(As I mentioned elsewhere, I've not one, but two (!!!), autographed stills from this film hanging in the study at Château Deeky. God bless the beasts and the Bostwicks for putting Sharpie to paper and making me an exceedingly happy spandex aficionado. This film, sadly, has not been released on DVD. Yet.)
A lot of phrases have been used to describe Megaforce, most of them variations of "shitty." The range seems to go from "pretty shitty" on one end, to "really shitty" near the middle, to "unbelievably shitty" down at the far end of the scale.
But let me tell you something: They are wrong. All wrong.
Megaforce is so blissfully self-aware, so steeped in the knowledge that it is nothing more than a silly film about motorcycles and spandex, that any attempt to take it remotely serious automatically fails. Megaforce is critical kryptonite. Try to take a swing at it, you'll see. It's like trying to punch a ghost: There is nothing to hit.
This film is fluff and it knows it. From Barry Bostwick's nudge-nudge-wink-wink performance to the ludicrous storyline, everything about this film is ridiculous. And that is its genius. It's one thing to be a crappy film; it's another thing altogether to be a crappy self-important film.
But, anyway… to the story.
Megaforce is a top-secret elite fighting force made up of volunteers from all the world's free countries. There's a guy from Japan, a guy from Mexico, a guy from Dallas named Dallas. And there's Ace Hunter, the group's leader. He's in charge since he's the only one with a rank, plus he's always dressed in gold spandex.
Hunter isn't very bright. But he's a nice guy and has a lot of confidence. That's not to say he's stupid, no. But he's a man who clearly knows his strengths, riding a motorcycle that shoots rockets chief among them.
Mercenaries from Gamibia have been breeching the border of neighboring Sardün and destroying model factories with fireworks. Sardün spent a lot of time building those little models, and the smell of burning plastic is making them nauseous. So Sardün asks Megaforce for aid to stop the attacks.
The delegation from Sardün consists of Zara, the Sardünian President's daughter, and Bryne-White, commander of the Sardünian armed forces. Now, let me mention that Zara appears to be an Indian, and Byrne-White is clearly an Englishman, and Sardün, when we finally see it, looks rather like Nevada. For a moment I thought the Zara/Bryne-White relationship was some clever commentary on Raj, then I remembered I was watching Megaforce, and quickly came to my senses. I'm not sure where Sardün is exactly, but it's pretty much indiscernible from Gamibia, which looks a whole heck of a lot like the same place Megaforce is headquartered. All look suspiciously like the Silver State. (Hooray for economic locations!)
Zara and Byrne-White tour Megaforce's headquarters, which is, of course, hidden deep inside a cave somewhere. They meet the team's scientist, see lots of high tech machinery, and get a look at Megaforce's formal wear. These outfits may actually be worse than the spandex suits. Imagine Jean-Paul Gaultier's even gayer brother designing a new outfit for Cap'n Crunch, and you'll have an idea of what I am talking about.
Sure, Ace still manages to look good in his outfit, because he's that fuckin' cool, but Dallas, well, he looks like Woody Harrelson vacationing at Neverland Ranch. Despite this, Zara is impressed enough to lobby to join Megaforce on their strike into Gamibia. Maybe she wants one of those Cap'n Crunch outfits of her own. Even though she's a decorated veteran of the Sardünian military, Ace doesn't think she has what it takes to be a member of Megaforce. Nonetheless, he agrees: If she can prove herself worthy, she can come along.
Zara's tests seem to consist of playing a primitive video game followed by skydiving to "The Love Theme From Megaforce." During the vetting Zara and Hunter fall in love, not so much because they're attracted to one another, but because that's what happens in situations like these. By "situations like these" I mean, of course, "films about motorcycles and spandex." They do seem genuinely fond of one another, despite having no real reason to be. But it's kind of cute, like when two people in an arranged marriage accidentally fall for one another.
Despite her excellent performance in the arcade and in the air, and his obvious desire for her, Ace refuses to let her go on the mission. No, she'd just be in the way, the 60 men of Megaforce are a finely tuned machine, and she'd just be a distraction. Still, Ace asks her for a date, telling Zara to meet him in London after the mission.
It is also revealed that Guerera, top mercenary and leader of the Gamibian Army, just happens to be an old pal of Hunter's. More than an old pal, really, they're more like best friends. They've known each other since their days at the Academy (What academy? Don't ask questions like that, they're not important.) Somewhere along the way, Guerera followed the money. Hunter, of course took the high road, defending freedom.
Anyway, the plan is for Megaforce to sneak into the heart of Gamibia, blow up some of their models, and then flee across the border to Sardün. Not wasting any time, Megaforce parachutes into Gamibia on their motorcycles and in their jeeps. Allow me to repeat that. Megaforce parachutes into Gamibia on their motorcycles and in their jeeps. On their fucking motorcycles, people! Suddenly, I have a new favourite movie.
Things go well. Too well, actually. The Gamibian stronghold is destroyed, left a mass of burning plastic, flaming barrels, and overturned jeeps. Megaforce disappears into the night, having taken nary a casualty. Now to the rendezvous point for re-supply, then to Sardün and safety.
While refueling in the Gamibian outback (AKA Henderson, NV), a Red Cross chopper swoops into Megaforce's camp. And guess who is onboard. Guerera! He's come to offer Hunter a deal. You see, Megaforce's attack was so successful, Gamibia is considering it an act of war. Sardün has no choice but to deny them safe passage across their border. Guerera tells Hunter that if Megaforce lays down their arms, he'll offer Hunter safe passage out of Gamibia. Apparently the rest of the team is expendable, so Hunter declines the offer.
Still, there is only one way out of Gamibia. Megaforce needs to make it to the dry lake bed, meet up with their plane and fly out to safety. Unfortunately, as Guerera explains, his battalion of tanks sits on the edge of bed, prepared to annihilate Hunter and company. So, what will happen?
Hunter explains: "The good guys always win, even in the Eighties."
He's got his bike, he's got spandex, and don't forget, he's got a date in London. There's no stopping him…