The multiculti cast is led by Peter Graves as The Dutchman. For someone who grew up on multiple viewings of Airplane!, seeing Graves as a badass outlaw is something of a trip. At the time, he was about midway through his run on TV’s Mission: Impossible, and like that long-running series, Five Man Army finds him assembling a group of experts to complete a mission. This one just trades high-tech wows for a lot of dirt and dust.
The Dutchman assembles a crack team of rebels to help steal half a million dollars in Mexican Army gold from a moving, heavily armed train. In on the plan are a level-headed buddy (James Daly, TV’s Medical Center), a cocky local who aims a mean slingshot (Nino Castelnuovo, Strip Nude for Your Killer), a brutish circus acrobat (genre staple Bud Spencer) and a silent swordsman named Samurai (Tetsurô Tanba, You Only Live Twice).
Memorably, the Dutchman uses burritos to explain his master plan to his amigos. When it’s put into practice later, Warner Archive's Army is a winning effort. Before then, the film is light on action and heavy on conversation, but at least it sets up the bickering ways among the quintet. Thus, it’s shy of being great, but its spy-esque exploits make it a good contender for converting the genre-adverse. —Rod Lott
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