It’s been a while since I reviewed an Arizal flick because, frankly, a single gonzo action flick from this maniac director provides enough action for at least a couple of months. I’ve only just recovered from Special Silencers so I figured it was about time I gave another of his films a shot. This time it’s the insane action/revenge movie Final Score, starring Chris Mitchum, son of actor, Robert Mitchum, and brother of the lesser known Jim Mitchum (Hollywood Cop). With that pedigree how could it be anything other than amazing?
Indonesia, 1986, Arizal
The plot is paper thin. Richard Brown’s (Chris Mitchum) wife and son are brutally murdered by a crime boss who’s trying to take over Brown’s computer business. His wife is raped in front of her child for good measure and if that wasn’t enough it happens on the son’s birthday. It’s a dark scene that starts within five minutes of the credits and goes on for ages. It’s a really heavy way to start a movie, especially if you’re expecting a goofy Indonesian action flick.
Stick with it though, because the mood does lighten up roughly when Brown, cradling his dead son, has an inner monologue along that could only exist in an Arizal movie.
Arizal further cranks up the cheese during a trippy flashback to a theme park. It only lasts for half a minute but it’s pretty amazing, showcasing the emotional subtlety of a brick through a window.
Not long after, Brown is seen tooling up his guns, intercut with an insane ‘Nam flashback. Yes, it turns out Brown is a heroic war vet. He rescues half a dozen POWs, guns down most of the enemies on his own and blows up about five water huts all in the space of five minutes.
Brown is understandably depressed and things aren’t helped by an assassin being sent round to his home to kill him. He dispenses with the assassin pretty quickly and so begins his one man rampage against Indonesia’s stunt man industry. Final Score is a ton of fun. Within the first thirty minutes at least seven buildings have been blown up, about twenty henchman have had their necks’ snapped or been shot, a birthday cake is machine gunned and we’ve even had a Vietnam flashback. This movie rules.
After the explosive opening, we get to meet the lead villain, named, predictably, The Boss (real name Hawk, played with bug eyed intensity by Mike Abbott). He’s a hilarious growling businessman who say’s “fuck” a whole lot more than most lead villains do.
I think he wants Brown dead because of his computer business or something. I don’t know. It’s not clear and I doubt anybody cares. He’s not as outrageously sadistic as some other antagonists from Arizal’s back catalogue, but he’s definitely cut from the same mould. He demands Brown’s head and sends his goons out to find him. Eventually Brown is captured and taken back to a house/prison. He’s tortured by some thugs but he breaks free with the help of a mystery ninja woman. After a hysterical scene involving a red hot poker and a henchman’s anus, they both escape and watch as another house blows up. I count nine exploding houses now, all within 45 minutes. Amazing.
The ninja woman is called Julia (Ida Iasha). She treats Brown’s wounds and explains that she is Hawk’s secretary. She too is also going after Hawk for kidnapping her sister and turning her into a drug addicted prostitute. She warns Brown about how sadistic and evil Hawk is and we’re given an example of his cruelty in the very next scene when a henchman questions his methods.
Amazing. Just amazing.
So the plan is that Julia infiltrates Hawk’s inner circle, while Rich punches everyone in the face. It’s a good plan, especially as all I really want to see is Chris Mitchum killing stuntmen and blowing up buildings. Talking of stuntmen getting killed, Final Score is light on carnage in comparison with other Arizal movies. That is until the halfway mark during a lengthy and insane car chase. Cars are flipped, crushed and driven through roads teeming with unsuspecting pedestrians. Stuntmen willingly throw themselves in front of these cars with little care for their lives. Other stuntmen are seemingly crushed underneath flipping cars and in one case even driven through a lopsided tree trunk at high speed. My favorite bit of the chase is when Brown’s car manages to fly over a truck that’s blocking the road. This happens more than once with no explanation given. The film is all like, “Of course this guy’s car can fly.” When you’re watching an Arizal movie, you just have to flow with the insanity.
Before the final showdown, Brown and Julia share a romantic moment and fall in love. It’s a beautiful scene, made all the more poignant that Brown’s wife and son were only murdered two days prior.
The finale is a non-stop barrage of gunfire, speedboat chases, machine gun-mounted motorbike carnage, bad kung fu and crazed stunts performed by a small army of suicidal maniacs. Many buildings explode. At one point even a camera is taken out by a flying piece of wood. Nothing is safe from the carnage of an Arizal movie.
When Brown finally faces Hawk there is a surprisingly intense (if still hilarious) fist fight. They make use of the entire room, smashing themselves into mirrors and tables and its all the more impressive that they’re actually doing all their own stunts which makes every mistimed punch or trip that little bit more amusing.
I won’t give away the ending but it’s truly one for the ages. Arizal doesn’t mess around and as the credits finally start to roll even before the flames have gone down I was grinning like a buffoon and you will too. It’s just too entertaining not to love.
Final Score isn’t the craziest Arizal flick I’ve ever seen but it’s still damn good fun. It’s wall to wall action and better paced than previous efforts. It’s a film on a mission. A mission to deliver more punches, kicks, broken bones, dead stuntmen and exploding houses than any other movie, and I think it might just have succeeded.
God bless Arizal.
Like much of Arizal’s filmography, Final Score is difficult to come across. A rough copy can be found on YouTube, although slightly cleaner bootleg DVDs can be obtained elsewhere.