by Anthony King
McBain (1991) may be multi-hyphenate James Glickenhaus' last great film, but that doesn't mean any of the man's eight directorial features are uninteresting, or boring at worst. When a Glickenhaus-directed picture was advertised, the public generally knew what they'd be getting: men – always men – who had a score to settle. McBain is nothing short of a Glickenhaus masterpiece.
Glickenhaus' directorial debut, The Astrologer (1975), is not a great film. It's not even a good film, but it shows how insanely ambitious he was. What followed was a five-film run that will challenge any consecutive run of five genre films. Friedkin, De Palma, Scorsese, Carpenter, the greats. Glickenhaus deserves to be in the conversation. From 1980 to 1991 James Glickenhaus delivered gem after gem. The Exterminator (1980), The Soldier (1982), The Protector (1985), Shakedown (1988), McBain (1991). These aren't the greatest films in the world, but these are five entertaining-as-hell flicks that never disappoint.
McBain has been added to my shortlist of films in consideration for my final discoveries of 2023 list. Unlike many films of this era, there isn't a single performance in McBain that took me out of the movie. While the trope of the white savior in movies past and present is overused and uninteresting and should be taken out back and euthanized, not once did I feel the white savior aspect being exploited in McBain. There's a moment at the end of the film (that I won't spoil) that resembles the mercenaries giving back to innocent Columbians what they deserved all along. More than anything, this is a war picture about soldiers helping out their fallen comrade. The toppling of a tyrannical regime is just the icing.
New 5.1 surround soundtrack created specifically for this release (original theatrical stereo mix also included)
Audio commentary with director James Glickenhaus and film historian Chris Poggiali
Original theatrical trailer
Newly translated removable English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Blu-ray release date: July 11, 2023
103 minutes / 1991
DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 / DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English (SDH)
Region: All Region