CIA Codename: Alexa (1992)

Director: Joseph Merhi
Starring: Lorenzo Lamas, Kathleen Kinmont, O.J. Simpson, Michael Bailey Smith, Alex Cord, Pamela Dixon
Music: Louis Febré

Some films almost hurt to watch. CIA Codename: Alexa is one of them. It is B-grade trash, but it is certainly fast paced and features plenty of noisy gunplay and explosions.

The film opens with the entire Californian Police Force arriving at a Top Secret Government Facility with lights blaring and sirens wailing. Inside the building are five terrorists who have five hostages. These evil doers are working for an even eviler guy named Victor Mahler (Alex Cord). The terrorists job is to steal a micro chip that will make a nuclear bomb, one hundred times more powerful than it is now. But the scientists must have only made one of these chips and then forgot how they did it, because this chip is the only one of it’s kind in the world and whoever has it can control the world. That make sense to you? Don’t worry, it didn’t to me either!

The terrorists steal this chip, and the leader of the group swallows it. By this time the police have completely surrounded the building. The negotiator on his megaphone asks that the terrorists release the hostages. The bad guys respond by throwing one of the hostages out of a sixth floor window. (Remember that. These guys are on the sixth floor of this Top Secret Government Facility.)

At this point Special Operative Mark Graver of the CIA (Lorezo Lamas) arrives on the scene and takes charge of the siege. The terrorists demand a fully fuelled helicopter to make their escape. Instead, Graver gets on a police motorcycle and rides through the front glass door. Then he shoots the bad guys.

Now I take it that most of you will have seen one of Tom Cruises Mission Impossible films. And as such you would have seen how hard it is to get into Top Secret Government Facilities. Especially one on the sixth floor. But Graver just rides a motorcycle in. I guess he rode up the stairs. Or maybe took the elevator, which the bad guys weren’t watching – even though the front glass doors have been shattered by a motorbike. It just doesn’t ring true to me. It’s sloppy.

Next we cut to the funeral service for the leader of the terrorist operation. Under the command of Alexa (Kathleen Kinmont), who also works for Victor Mahler, a group of masked terrorists burst through the doors of the church brandishing machine guns. Alexa orders her men to check the body in the coffin, much to the stunned amazement of the church assembly. They run a sensor over the body and find the chip. But they haven’t got time to remove it now, so they remove the body from the coffin and take it with them. One of Alexa’s men is a little trigger happy and delights in shooting up the church and killing the priest, but the gunfight attracts the attention of the police. More sirens. More flashing lights.

Alexa’s body retrieval mission fails as the police surround the church. The terrorists drop the body and run off in different directions. This results in another fire fight. Lot’s of shots are fired, a few cars explode and few people die. Alexa manages to run off, but not too far. Hard ass cop, Nick Murphy (O.J. Simpson) manages to capture her, after she has single handedly beaten up about ten cops.

Back at the police station, as Alexa is being interrogated, she swipes a gun off a policewoman and using her as a hostage tries to escape from the police station in her underwear. She nearly makes it except for the intervention of Special Agent Graver, who arrives on the scene in the nick of time.

Graver tells Murphy that the case is a CIA operation now and he will be collecting Alexa the next morning. Murphy isn’t happy. He has dead cops and a priest and his only lead is being taken away.

Graver takes Alexa to a Top Secret Government Facility which is underneath a sewage treatment plant. It isn’t a hollowed out volcano, but it is a nice try! Here the film becomes a cut-rate version of La Femme Nikita. Graver and his team have to coerce Alexa to work for them or they’ll kill her.

The musical score by Fouis Febré is of the worst kind. It is plinky, plinky synth rock, with soaring guitar over the top. In places it is so loud that you can’t make out the dialogue – but then again, maybe that a good thing. Some of the acting in this film is amateur. Pamela Dixon as Graver’s CIA chief is particularly bad.

You can pick up a copy of CIA Codename: Alexa and it sequel CIA Target: Alexa at any bargain bin DVD shop. Whatever the price, you’ll have paid too much. This film is crap. It’s a sad day when O.J. Simpson is your most emotive actor. It’s so bad, it makes me long for the production values and characterisations in a Steven Seagal film. Don’ bother.

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