Caribe (1987) – Review

1/2 Star

Caribe is an odd wannabe action thriller, that incorporates James Bond, Deliverance and The Emerald Forrest into one wacked-out adventure. Sporting a distinctly European style, the film sputters along with little in the way of sense or coherent plotting, but man are those Belize vistas beautiful. In fact the location photography and an outstanding method performance from Stephen McHattie save this lackluster flick from being a total time-waster.

Helen is a lovely accountant for a munitions company, she is persuaded by her boss to aid in an illegal arms sale in Belize. As if credulity isn’t already strained, Helen accompanies Roy on the mission, the perspective buyer of the goods is an insane ex-solider named Mr. Whitehall (McHattie). The proposed sale goes awry, when Whitehall murders Roy in a double-cross. Helen just barely escapes being killed with the help of a british intelligence office, Jeff Richardson (Savage), who happens to be spying on the whole affair.

On the run from Whitehall’s goons in the forest, the pair are on their own. Until they encounter Tommy Goff, a redneck hippie who lives atop a pyramid in Central America. He offers the fugitive couple shelter and food for a night, and a boat to take upriver to the Guatemalan border, where Whitehall plans to unload his barge full of C-4.

Jeff and Helen form a plan to intercept the shipment and destroy the cargo before the villain can sell the stolen munition. This leads to a last act that is on auto-pilot. The script by Paul Donovan and Michael Kennedy drops gems like these,”If a thief robs a thief, god laughs.” “What looks good to a dog once, turns sour in his ass.”

The movie plays out with no mounting interest, and the love-affair between Jeff and Helen is laughable and awkwardly staged. From the evidence onscreen, it is possible to assume that the intention was to either serve late-night cable with filler, or that a significant portion of the script was discarded in favor of the barest semblance of plot and structure. Director Michael Kennedy and star John Savage would re-team years later for Red Scorpion 2, a film that is an infinitely more professional piece of work than this garbage.

Director: Michael Kennedy
Stars: John Savage, Kara Glover, Stephen McHattie

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