Although he has played a campy villain in the ring and in ROCKY III (1982), wrestling star Terry "Hulk" Hogan has a more upstanding role in this low-grade, family action-comedy.
Ray Chase (Hogan) has been a hotshot secret agent for more than a dozen years, traveling the world as a troubleshooter for the clandestine peacekeeping organization SHADOW. But to his son Jeremy (Mathew McCurley), dad's just a klutzy, boring toy marketer, too long away on business trips,
especially since Jeremy's mother died.
When Ray brings home a prototype disintegrator pistol, swashbucklingly snatched from international arms-merchant Eve (Lesley-Anne Down), he tells Jeremy the laser is merely a new toy. Eve, however, uses a leak at SHADOW to pinpoint Ray's whereabouts. When Ray and Jeremy are attacked by Eve's men,
Ray blurts out his incredible tale before being captured. While Ray undergoes torture in Eve's hideout, Jeremy retrieves the laser from the wrecked family car and learns to wield its devastating power against pursuing bad guys. He explains the situation to his little pals in their ersatz
clubhouse. Combining their skills at computer hacking, kung-fu, and plain old pranks, the kids thwart Eve's various flunkies who try to steal the gun from them. Finally Eve declares that if Jeremy ever wants to see his father alive again he'll deliver the gun. With SHADOW troops as backup, Jeremy
and friends storm Eve's fortress, using toys as weapons. While Ray is freed, Eve seizes Jeremy as a hostage, forcing the father once again to give up the ray gun in exchange. But Ray has set the laser to overload, and the Chases barely escape the fiery meltdown that takes a trapped Eve, her lair,
and henchmen with it. All the children receive the "Distinguished Intelligence Cross" for their work.
Peddled straight to home video, SECRET AGENT CLUB is more or less exactly what its promos promised: TRUE LIES (1994) meets HOME ALONE (1990). At least director Murlowski doesn't belabor Ray Chase's milquetoast cover identity, discarded early when the superagent shows his true combat skills in an
ambush. What is overemphasized is the typical kiddie-movie theme of a negligent (and almost always widowed) parent seeing the error of his ways. Whilst being tortured with a virtual-reality device, Ray faces an accusing vision of Jeremy at his mother's grave, yelling, "She died of loneliness!"
This motif is repeated several times, in case any viewers still haven't gotten the point. Hulk Hogan features are not noted for their subtlety.
Administering the VR torture is character actor Jack Nance, best known for his lead role in David Lynch's cult/underground hit ERASERHEAD (1976); Nance died in 1997 after a life scarred by personal tragedy--and many B-movies. Lesley-Anne Down gamely hams it up as the femme fatale villainess, as
does Richard Moll as her grotesque, one-legged stooge. After a 007-style entrance, Hogan, rather suprisingly, gets written out of most of the plot, leaving a multicultural band of bland children to carry on slapstick action heroics. Special effects and stunts look acceptable granted the low
budget, although mistaking the awesome disintegrator handgun for a chintzy toy is an error any observer could make. (Violence, profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1997
- Rating: PG
- Review: Although he has played a campy villain in the ring and in ROCKY III (1982), wrestling star Terry "Hulk" Hogan has a more upstanding role in this low-grade, family action-comedy. Ray Chase (Hogan) has been a hotshot secret agent for more than a dozen years… (more)