Loyal Opposition (1998) starring Joan Van Ark, Nick Mancuso, Rick Springfield, Lloyd Bochner, Corbin Bernsen, Don Diamont, Joel Palmer, Nathaniel DeVeaux, Malcolm Stewart directed by Mark Sobel Movie Review

Loyal Opposition (1998)   1/51/51/51/51/5

Joan Van Ark in Loyal Opposition (1998)

Cry Hard

When the military become aware of a tyrant gaining strength in the Middle East, General James Metzger (Nick Mancuso) urges the President to take swift military action rather than just monitoring the situation. When the President goes against the General's recommendations he takes radical actions and holds the President hostage in the Whitehouse control room whilst his men start to take military action by sending up fighter jets to nuke the enemy. Stuck in the Whitehouse is Vice President Elizabeth Lane (Joan Van Ark) and Secret Service Agent John Gray (Corbin Bernsen) who are the only ones able to stop the General and his military action. Mean while Elizabeth's son and her boyfriend find themselves on a plane with a bomb aboard.

If someone had handed me "Loyal Opposition" to watch and it featured someone like Wesley Snipes on the cover it would not have been a surprise because the plot sounds exactly like something he would have starred in back in the late 90s, a "Die Hard" knock off. But there is no Wesley Snipes or other recognizable action star; instead we have Joan Van Ark who I only know from the "Dallas" spin-off "Knots Landing". The thing is whether "Loyal Opposition" featured a recognized action star or a woman from a soap opera it is simply a ridiculous movie from start to finish.

Nick Mancuso in Loyal Opposition (1998)

The ridiculousness starts with the shocking back story which not only features a General wanting to take military action on some tyrant in the Middle East but then taking over the Whitehouse with a handful of men. It is incredibly stupid but then so is the General's plan to trigger a gas alert in order to have everyone else evacuated from the building because by big coincidence the female Vice President and her favourite secret service agent find themselves locked in. The upshot of this is something akin to a "Die Hard" movie with Joan Van Ark going all hero, creeping around the Whitehouse and trying to save the day.

But of course we have some extra drama as there just happens to be a bomb on the plane that the Senator boyfriend and her son are travelling on. I wonder who will save the day for them, that is if you can't guess.

The thing about "Loyal Opposition" is that it is one of those movies which only become entertaining when you realise that it is never going to get good and just continue to be constantly ridiculous. At that point it becomes amusing and not a single member of the cast be it Joan Van Ark, Nick Mancuso or Corbin Bernsen manage to make any of the seriousness work.

What this all boils down to is that if you want a laugh track down a copy of "Loyal Opposition" as it is simply ridiculous. But don't think for a minute it will ever work as a serious action movie as the closest it will get to being "Die Hard" is when it makes you "Cry Hard".