Action Man: X Missions - The Movie
Action Man: X Missions - The Movie is a 2005 direct-to-DVD CGI animated film based on the Hasbro toyline, Action Man. The film was produced by Reel FX Studio and directed by Dale Carmen, it is the sequel to Robot Atak and serves as the second in CGI Action Man movie trilogy.
While a zoo guard is reading about men's abductions, he is ambushed by little robots, who then proceed to take DNA from the zoo creatures.
The next day, Action Man, Flynt and Red Wolf are trying to capture a tiger... to give it a bath. Sir Arthur Strong had borrowed the tiger to use it for their training. When he goes out to meet the van that will be taking the tiger back to the zoo, he is tazered and kidnapped by a disguised No Face, who takes him to Dr. X in his new Antarctic base.
Meanwhile, Action Man finds Sir Arthur's secret cellphone and finds a text message from ISD asking the Action Force to go to the zoo. There, they find the video of the robots, which Flynt names a "UCO" (Unidentified Creepy Objects) and rescue a bear. The tissue sample vial found in the bear enclosure is marked with Dr. X's logo. Figuring that it had to be Dr. X who kidnapped Sir Arthur, even though X is supposed to be dead, Action Man decides that his next course of action should be to break into ISD headquarters in London.
Once Action Man gets down to the boss of ISD, we learn that he is not actually an ISD member and has no clearance, but needed to talk to the top brass immediately and didn't have time to wait on hold. So, they go down to the briefing room where Action Man shows all the evidence, including the vial with the X logo, but they don't believe him anyway. After all, Dr. X is supposed to be dead (after his base was destroyed in Action Man: Robot Atak).
Suddenly, the X Robots arrive!
Action Man helps the ISD guards fight off the robots; then, realizing that they were just a diversion, he runs straight to Sir Arthur's office where he finds... Sir Arthur, who is actually No Face in disguise, and he's there to steal a code card for the entire world's satellite control systems so that Dr. X, with help of Professor Gangrene, can shut off the world's satellites and launch his toxic pods without being discovered. After a daring motorcycle chase and a game of chicken, No Face gets away. ISD then sends Action Force and Sir Arthur's daughter Anabelle Strong, AKA Rebel, to chase him down to the South Pole.
They head down there on snowmobiles and a snowboard. There, they fight some Snow Wolves and more X Robots. Red Wolf and Flynt create a distraction so Action Man and Rebel can get inside. While inside, they are captured by Coil Crushers and watch helplessly as Sir Arthur is toxified with the DNA of all animals and X himself. This turns him into Tyrannotox, who emerges from the Venom Chamber fully armored and beats the two good guys, who allow themselves to be captured so they can get more information on Dr. X's plan.
But they're locked up, and Dr. X blows up the whole facility. Luckily, Rebel is able to steal all the information from his computer before everything explodes. They make their escape with the help of some street luge sleds and a ventilation shaft leading to a hangar where Dr. X carelessly left a Thunderwing Jet when he abandoned the site.
Back at ISD, they've found an antidote and are about to find the new base. By locating the intersection of all the orbits of the first satellites to be shut down, they find Dr. X's new base, an island off the coast of Chile that is shaped like a giant X. They head there, accompanied by a plane carrying the antitoxin. Dr. X's launchpad is fully operational. They just don't dare to launch anything until all the satellites are down because they don't want the ISD to find them. Action Force arrives there and begin detoxifying Dr. X's troopers. Of course, it takes more than that to save Sir Arthur. They shove him down onto the launcher to undo the electromagnetic induction done to him in Antarctica, and he is saved. Then ISD arrives and arrests Dr. X, along with No Face, but Gangrene escapes (only to reappear in the following movie). The world is safe once again.
Why It Sucks
- This movie shows that Hasbro have completely run out of ideas for Action Man, because, instead of actually coming up with an original plot, they decided to lazily copy and paste the exact same story and script from G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom (also owned by Hasbro and animated by Reel FX). In other words, this movie is virtually a shot-for-shot remake of that movie, the only difference is that the G.I. Joe characters are replaced with the characters from Action Man.
- Despite having more or less the exact same plot as G.I. Joe: Valor Vs Venom (as mentioned above), this movie's version of the story feels a lot more dumbed down, generic and boring.
- Dr. X is still a cringeworthy villain who spews cheesy one-liners like he did in the first film. It's made even worse by the fact he now wears a sleeveless leather jacket with a shark-tooth necklace around his neck and a business tie tied around his right arm. He looks more like an evil version of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin than a scientist!
- Steven Burkoff's performance as Dr. X is still dreadful like in the first film.
- Lack of character development.
- The two new characters, Rebel and Sir Arthur Strong, are carbon copies of Scarlett and General Hawk from G.I. Joe. They even share the CG character models used for Scarlett and General Hawk in Valor Vs Venom.
- The movie doesn’t even have a main menu. No scene selection, no special features, all you're given is a language selection screen, if you select a language, the movie starts, and when the movie finishes, it takes you back to the language selection menu, which just seems rather lazy.
- The animation actually looks a lot better than that of the first film, Robot Atak. It helps that it was made by a different action studio this time around.
- The voice acting has also improved (except for Steven Berkoff's acting), and the Canadian voice actors pull off pretty convincing British accents as the characters they're portraying.
- The music is actually decent and dynamic, compared to the more campy soundtrack from Robot Atak.
As mentioned above, Action Man: X Missions: The Movie is a shot-for-shot remake of G.I. Joe: Valor Vs Venom, which was also based on a Hasbro toyline and animated by Reel FX. The two moves share the following similarities:
- The main plot (injecting beast DNA into abducted victims) is taken from Valor vs. Venom.
- The abduction and transformation of Sir Arthur Strong is also reminiscent to what happens to General Hawk in Valor vs. Venom.
- Many character models from Valor vs. Venom are re-used (see below)
- Shipwreck's model, sans hat and with blonde hair, is used for Sir Arthur.
- Beachhead's model is coloured blue and used for the ISD guards
- Scarlett's model is used for the character Rebel
- Snow Wolves and Coil Crushers appear almost unchanged, fulfilling the same roles as in Valor vs. Venom.
- A hairless version of the Venomous Maximus model is used as his X-Missions counterpart, Tyrannotox.
- Action Man's model is a modified Duke model.