The challenge when discussing this abysmal WWII saga isn’t explaining why it’s a bad movie, but picking the best examples to illustrate how it’s a bad movie. Perhaps it’s the way the first seven minutes of this brief action flick almost exclusively comprise stock footage. Or perhaps it’s the way the filmmakers regularly disrupt any sense of 1940s verisimilitude by awkwardly interjecting ’70s soul music, such as Edwin Starr’s furious anthem “War.” Or perhaps it’s the way star Jim Brown frequently slips into anachronistic dialogue straight out of a low-rent blaxploitation joint, as when his enlisted-man character berates a racist superior officer thusly: “Now you wait a minute, my man—you do whatever you want to me when we get outta here, but until then, don’t mess with my life!” Set and shot in the Philippines, the discombobulated and dull Pacific Inferno concerns a group of American POWs forced by Japanese captors to dive for sunken treasure. Among many galling logical lapses, the captors somehow have extensive personnel files on their prisoners, hence their discovery that characters played by Brown, Richard Jaeckel, and others are experienced divers. One would laugh at this degree of cinematic ineptitude if Pacific Inferno were sufficiently interesting to provoke any reaction beyond boredom. Better to keep a safe distance and ignore that fact that Brown did this to himself, seeing as how he’s listed as an executive producer. Hopefully he enjoyed some pleasant time in the sun between takes.
Pacific Inferno: SQUARE