Peligro…! Mujeres en Acción (Review)
Peligro…! Mujeres en Acción
aka Danger! Women in Action
Written and directed by René Cardona Jr.
If you heartily missed the action of Alex Dinamo, agent of Servicio International, after his last adventure discovering the Bikini Conspiracy, then you are not alone. Alex Dinamo returns because of that ever-present danger, women doing things! Peligro…! Mujeres en Acción(Danger! Women in Action) was made a year after SOS Conspiración Bikini, and has the return of Julio Alemán as Alex Dinamo and René Cardona Jr. as writer/director. By now the Alex Dinamo franchise has grown to the point where there were comic books, and spy films in the mold of James Bond were hot hot hot. So it’s not a big surprise when Peligro… was eyed as an international production, even going so far as probably producing an English language dub. If that version was released is a mystery, but as the opening credits sport overlapping credits in Spanish and English, it was at least partially completed.
Peligro…! Mujeres en Acción sees the return of the mysterious international force known as S.O.S.(Secret Organizational Service), who plan to poison the water supplies of Ecuador and other Latin American countries in a bid to openly take over. S.O.S. is presented as a large conglomerate movement that actively controls the governments of many third world nations, but whatever their larger goal other than world takeover just for the thrill of taking over is never explained. Nor is any overlying S.O.S. ideology, so it is a mystery why it attracts so many people, especially a high proportion of women. Like S.O.S., the sequel is largely female-centric, despite being stuck in a male super hero spy world. The leadership of S.O.S. is almost exclusively women, Dinamo’s partner and contact are both women, and other women are instrumental in helping Dinamo take down S.O.S. It’s almost a consolation prize, Cardona knowingly packing the cast with women to try to counter Dinamo’s sexist ride through life, as well as taking advantage of all the eye candy to pack in male audiences.
This being an Alex Dinamo film, the following things return, thus making them official Alex Dinamo tropes: Weird ways of passing notes by secret agencies, this time via cigarettes. Random gadgets such as a cigarette voice recorder and a hairpin gun. A female contact who dies halfway through the film, and a female main partner for Alex. Lots of random S.O.S. agents who all die in a hail of gunfire during a long long action climax.
Peligro… falls short in that it is too long (ha!), and not because it’s packed with lots of action. We see every second of things that happen. From people walking and walking to their planes/boats, to starting the planes/boats, to the planes taking off and boats unmooring, not a frame goes to waste on the cutting room floor. Hey, I understand, editing is expensive. But that makes the film clock in to close to two hours, while only having 90 minutes of film.
The major difference is the action sequences are very long and much more brutal, which is better than the prior and I like the change. The violence isn’t innocent, Alex Dinamo and his companions are not immune to bullets and get injured in almost every fight. There is a cool knife fight that is the best scene in either Dinamo film combines. It’s not enough to propel this sequel to awesomeness, but it was enough to keep me interested. You don’t need to see the original to follow along, so if you see one Alex Dinamo film, this is the one you should get.
Sonia Furió is replaced by Elizabeth Campbell as the new head of S.O.S. Bárbara Angely plays an agent named Bárbara, who spends a large amount of time in a bikini like all government agents do. Amedee Chabot (Agente 00 Sexy ) pops up as a bikini-wearing girl with a gun. Other women who have bit parts as S.O.S. Agents include Nadia Milton, Elsa Cárdenas, Ellen Cole, and Arturo Correa.
Although the film appears to be filmed at least partially in Ecuador, information has made it out that it was largely Florida and Mexico City that were where the film was actually shot. Production and union problems plagued the film, necessitating the cutting of shooting location. It sounds like they just flat ran out of money and had to make due with what they could scrape together. Not a wholly unusual story, and it’s good to know these things when judging the final product to see how they compensated.
S.O.S. smuggles the mad Dr. Yura into Miami via coffin in an elaborate funeral procession that begins before the opening credits and then keeps going and going as the credits roll and roll. S.O.S. leader Solva gives him a lab to work at, while S.O.S. plans raids on oil refineries both as a distraction and to further weaken the economy of Ecuador to ease the influence of their agents on the government.
The plan is partially stolen by an intrenched agent, Bárbara, and a plan is made to give the plans to Servicio International via Alex Dinamo at a club that is frequented by S.O.S. This means a huge bunch of nasty characters are all at the same place at the same time, which results in a lot of bodies piling up as people blast each other. Brave Alex Dinamo swirls his contact, the lovely Samantha, around so she becomes his human shield and is gunned down, giving him time to kill the attacking villain with a wrist gun. Samantha’s dead, and I’m now rooting for the villains to win.
One gun blasting blonde bikini girl is played by Amadee Chabot, who is sent to kill Bárbara, who is the lead on the case. She heads over to Barbara’s place, Barbara having just gotten out of the shower, which she took while wearing full makeup, and the makeup was not ruined at all by the shower. =O What makeup is she wearing????? The blonde agent and Barbara fight, until the blonde is gunned down by Barbara. RIP Blonde Lady.
Bárbara is on the run to meet up with Alex and Maura to warn them about the commandos coming to attack the oil refineries via submarine, being pursued by cars and a plane while driving in a convertible down a lonely beach road, just the place you want to be when murderous thugs are chasing you! Don’t worry, her plan is to strip down to a bikini, grab an oxygen tank, and run into the ocean.
It works! Luckily for S.O.S., they keep frogmen literally standing around at the ready exactly where she’s headed, but she sets off an explosion underwater and is rescued by Alex and Maura. The trio rush to beach where commandos are landing, which leads to a protracted gun battle on the beach where no one can hit anyone with guns. But once they start shooting rockets and grenades at each other, the bodies pile up! Even all our heroes are all hit at some point, Bárbara biting the big one. Despite a shoulder wound, Alex even gets in a nice well choreographed brutal knife fight with the commando leader that goes on for a lot longer than I thought it would. It ends with Alex machine gunning the guy, finally bringing a gun to the knife fight.
S.O.S. Leader Solva is upset that they were forced to use violence against government agents instead of a factory, and mentions that S.O.S. won’t win with violence, also they have millions of silent members and control of many countries at this point. Solva outs a traitor while also showing off their new virus that will be dumped in water supplies across the globe in order to take over. So, violence bad, genocide good! They just need to make a cure for that virus! Why don’t they have a cure yet? Also, viruses can mutate, so good luck with that cure.
Alex is dragged away from recuperating from his injuries by the new Inspector, while S.O.S. agents kill some people and send a woman named Monique to seduce and destroy Alex Dinamo. Which results in said Monique tied up in the bathroom. Metal handed S.O.S. Agent Jack is sent to kill Maura, only to be shot himself by turncoat S.O.S. Agent 77, who has now switched sides because her sister was one of the murdered agents from earlier, named Cristal.
Agent 77 leads Alex and Maura to the secret lab, where they have a firefight all the way there and into the lab. This sequence goes on and on, and after Dr. Yura is injected with his own creation and then the lab burned down despite it being in the wetlands and the virus probably now is released into the water supply, the heroes’ escape is stymied by lack of gas and outside communication. So what was a long firefight is now an incredibly long firefight, with lots and lots of death and the heroes fighting against long odds and everyone getting shot and having terrible aim at the same time. And let’s not forget the plane swooping over and dropping grenades.
While I complain at points about the length of certain scenes, I’d rather have a long gunfight than a long sequence of driving and boat driving and planes taking off.
Whatever happened with the box office success or not of Peligro…, this became the final mission of Alex Dinamo in film form. Whether the comic continued long after the end of the film series, or if he appeared in other media such as pulp novels, I cannot say, because there just isn’t that information out there.
Rated 7/10 (art time, sub time, operator, many explosions, voice trick, I said many explosions, wall decoration)
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