Final Mission (1993) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
IMDb says that Corbin Bernsen "has one of the largest
collections in the world of snow globes, over 6000." Six
thousand? The man is really into snow globes. He can't
have time for any other hobbies, because he sure doesn't take a lot
of time off. According to IMDb, he has 102 credits dated 1987 or
later. That's truly remarkable. The incredibly prolific Eric Roberts
has 111 credits during that same period, but Bernsen almost matched
spending the first seven or eight years of that period in full time
employment as a character on L.A. Law! Since Corbin obviously has too
way much time on his hands, he also wrote a comedy film in 2005 (3
Day Test) and directed another (Carpool
Guy). At this time, I am not able to say
whether these films are based on snow globes.
The following list, although lengthy, is nothing more than a few flakes in the giant snow globe that is Bernsen's career. It represents only Bernsen's non-TV projects with enough votes for an IMDb rating.
Obviously, he doesn't have control over the quality of anything in those films but his own performances, but it must be frustrating to Bernsen that with so many tries he has rarely found a strong project. Which six films would you pick for a Corbin Bernsen film festival? The Misadventures of Margaret is not a bad flick. Radioland Murders is kinda interesting. Shattered, which I've never seen, may be the best film on the list, having been written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen. Overall, I can't seem to come up with any selections that will bring viewers to our hypothetical Bernsen retrospective. Nowhere along the way did he stumble into a really good movie: not an ambitious independent that won critical hosannahs, nor an action flick that unexpectedly went supernova at the box office. Nothing. Many of the films on that list have gone straight to video, and I don't see anything on the list which was stronger at the box office than Major League, so his career output all boils down to this fact: his top financial and artistic success is an ensemble cast comedy about the Cleveland Indians.
I suppose you would have to include Trigger Fast in the Bernsen Film Festival, just for the sheer curiosity value. The actual IMDB score on the Trigger Fast page is 1.1. Mind you, the lowest possible is 1.0, and the highest is 10.0, so within that possible range of nine points, it achieved one tenth of a point. And this score is not some statistical fluke based on 11 votes! A total of 472 people have cast a vote on this movie, and nearly 400 of them have awarded the lowest possible score. I haven't seen the film, but it doesn't seem possible that it could be that bad, despite boasting Christopher Atkins as the star. It's just the usual Western plot about the stereotypical greedy rancher who dominates a small town, drives his neighbors away to get their land, and ruthlessly crushes anyone who gets in his way. (Bernsen himself gets to play the evil land baron.)
I guess you have noticed by now that I have not talked about Final Mission very much. I guess I should fess up that I'm not too sure what to say. The basic plot, to make a long story short, is that a cadre of fanatics in the U.S. Air Force is running a "black" brainwashing operation inside a computer flight simulation project. This enables the evil military higher-ups to gain control over the hotshot flyboys and use them for their own insidious purposes. During the simulation exercises, the evil mind-control dudes implant something like post-hypnotic suggestions that allow them to make the unsuspecting pilots do things they would never do normally, like, oh, I don't know ... goin' to White Castle for the generals, and ... oh, maybe killing the Secretary of Defense. You see, the Secretary is one of those namby-pamby guys who is such an idealistic wimp that he thinks Jimmy Carter was a hard-ass warmonger. He thinks that America doesn't need to be any stronger than Togo, and that the country should be cutting back on defense spending to give more money to welfare mothers and abortion clinics and Al Franken. Well, the military guys can't have that, can they? So ...
Oh, who cares?
The real point is that the action in the movie consists entirely of head shots and captures from video game screens. You see, the flight simulation program prepares the pilots to fly without sight, by dropping some goggles over their eyes and watching an enhanced computer representation of what they are doing. This, as it turns out, is a very good gimmick for the director to avoid showing expensive live action. By using the simulation software technique, the director is able to avoid staging expensive explosions with real planes by showing cartoon planes blowing up in bottomless cartoon canyons. I think I even saw Wile E. Coyote in one of the sequences. The editor cuts to a helmeted Corbin Bernsen in a cockpit, then cuts to some video game action, cuts to somebody else supposedly flying another plane, then cuts to the worried face of the guy back in flight control. Repeat as needed.
Our main man, the workaholic Mr Bernsen, plays a general who may or may not be the evil mastermind of the brainwashing scheme. The script plays a cat and mouse game where he appears to be the culprit, then appears to expose the real culprit, then appears to be guilty again, then saves our hero's puppy, then ties our hero's girlfriend to a log in a sawmill. It's the ol' switcheroo, and I'm just not sayin' how it turns out, but I will give one hint: the guilty party leaves behind one big clue:
Gee, who could it be?
The snow globe is not really a clue, but that is an actual capture from the movie, and the snow globe probably would have made a better brainwashing device then the computers. Think about people being hypnotized by snow globes. The snow is gently falling ... falling ... you are getting sleepy ... sleepy ... you will kill the Secretary of Defense ... Defense.
Anyway, you've seen the filmography above and you know that this ranks lower on the Bernsen scale than Major League: Back to the Minors, so I'm not sure how much more of a review you need.
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