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The Golden Serpent (1) Recap

In southeast Asia, an IMF agent sneaks into an opium-manufacturing plant and determines that they're using a submarine and torpedoes to smuggle the opium out of the country. The agent spots two men in charge of the operations and recognizes one as Prince Selimun. He goes in for a closer look as a man reports to Selimun. Selimun then tells his henchman Baal that the submarine has monitored a nearby radio broadcast.

The agent knocks some dust off the walkway onto Selimun, who notices it. Baal moves off onto the deck of the submarine and throws two shuriken at the agent. The second one hits the agent in the back and he falls into the water below. Selimun comes over and tells Baal to dispose of the body.

In Sydney, Jim picks up his briefing at a seaside fortress. He's a southeastern Asian triad, Golden Serpent, uses its revenue from smuggling drugs to contain control over third world nations. They've lost the leader of a team but another team member has infiltrated the organization and has remained undetected for three months. The IMF has not yet learned the identity of the organization's head, but the undercover operative has learned that Selimun, rules of the small Asian country of Benarli, finances Golden Serpent. They can't operate without Selimun's funds, so Jim and his team must bring Selimun and the organization leader together. The organization's signet ring may be the key to the operation.

The team gathers on a fishing boat on the barrier reef and monitors Selimun's yacht. Selimun was one of a set of twins, and his brother was born three minutes ahead of him, thus becoming the heir to throne. When the boys were 9, they went swimming and the older brother drowned. Selimun was suspected of killing him, and the brother's body was never born. The prince lives with the fear that someday his brother will come back and reclaim the throne. The triad owns the island but Selimun had his own house built and serves as the Benarli consulate. Jim figures that all of the records are hidden somewhere on the island. Every month the Serpent deposits one million into Selimun's Swiss bank account. He explains that they plan to play the Serpent and Selimun against each other.

Barney Collier--the IMF undercover agent--enters Selimun's underwater base and tells the waiting divers and workers that the shipment is coming in. He turns off the laser grid protecting the pool and opens the outer gates. A submarine fires the torpedoes with the opium, and the divers pick them up and bring them into the base. Selimun and Baal arrive and inspect the product as technicians repackage the opium as vitamin C powder. The prince goes to his office and calls Conrad Drago on a secure line. He scrambles uses his Serpent signet ring and Drago does likewise. Selimun says that the shipment will be ready in the morning and Drago tells him that Selimun's payment will be handled in the usual way. Drago's henchwoman Big Blonde is practicing shooting with her new weapon, a crossbow pistol.

That night at the house, Shannon and Grant arrive at the prince's party. Grant talks to his father Barney and points out Shannon, who sends an envelope via waiter to Selimun. After signaling his waiting team members, Grant slips a disk to Barney.

Selimun opens the envelope and finds a photo of himself and his twin brother. He goes to Shannon, who says that he's there to keep her alive. Shannon says that she couldn't be a party to murder.

Barney goes to the base and uses a device in his wristwatch to fake a phone call. While the supervisor is distracted, Barney uses the disk to scan one of the vitamin C bottles in three dimensions and then leaves.

Shannon says that Selimun's brother is involved in the murder plot, and says that "they" are using him. Jim and Nicholas approach the group, and Shannon slips away while Selimun and Baal are distracted. Grant comes up and congratulates Selimun, stalling him so that Shannon can escape. She gets into the boat Max is piloting and he leaves. Selimun tells Baal to find out who Shannon is, and Jim and Nicholas well.

Barney slips the disk back to Grant, unaware that surveillance cameras are monitoring the party. A security man shows the footage to Selimun, who sends for Baal. Once Baal has captured Barney, they strap him to a chair and Selimun's technician Lee gives him drops preventing him from closing his eyes. He then tells Selimun that they're going to project a laser beam directly into Barney's brain, causing madness or death. Barney insists that he works for the Serpent and they sent him to watch Selimun. Lee turns up the beams until Barney faints. As Lee revives him, Baal reports that Jim is a banker from Zurich and Nicholas has been indicted twice for drug-running but never convicted. Shannon was followed to a hotel on the mainland. Selimun tells Lee to make Barney talk and leaves.

On the team's boat, Grant uses the holographic scanner to print more bottles. identical to Selimun's and fills them with fake opium. Jim and Nicholas return and explain that they had to lose the people following them. Grant reports that he and Max will go in just before dawn and use knockout darts to take out the guards. Max arrives and says that Barney's coordinates led them to the passageway leading to the grotto but there's a gate. Grant assures them that Barney will open the gate, and Nicholas makes a Selimun mask to look like Selimun's twin.

Later, Jim and the disguised Nicholas go to the hotel lobby where Shannon is waiting. One of Selimun's men sees them together and takes photos as Jim threatens Shannon. He takes the photos to Selimun and reports that he lost the men and Shannon went to her room. Baal goes to get her and Lee renews his torture of Barney.

Baal goes to the hotel and takes Shannon with him to Selimun. Nicholas is watching and reports to Jim, who tells him to join them. Grant figures that Barney will open the gate at 8 am and prepares to leave with Max and canisters filled with the fake bottles.

Lee tells Selimun that Barney's heart is fibrillating and a doctor might be able to save him. Selimun says that he needs Barney and if he dies, so does Lee.

Grant and Max approach the gate.

The guards take Barney to a storage room. He wakes up and realizes that he has ten minutes until Grant reaches the gate.

Baal brings Shannon to the island.

Barney uses his watch to activate Selimun's private elevator. When the guard goes to investigate, Barney slips out and knocks the guard unconscious from behind. He then goes down to the base and heads for the controls.

Grant and Max reach the gate at 8, but it's closed.

Barney opens the gates and a guard spots him as he turns off the laser. The guard clubs Nary down just as Max and Grant arrive. Max darts the guard and his backup unconscious, and Grant goes to Barney. Barney tells Grant to make the switch and then passes out, and Max assures Grant that Barney will be okay.

Selimun tells Shannon that his brother drowned when they were 9. Shannon says that "Jahani " looks just like Selimun, and they plan to kill Selimun soon. Selimun points out that if she doesn't tell him who is responsible then he'll have Baal kill her.

Grant and Max make the switch, and Max tells Grant that Barney is in no condition to dive and they don't have a spare tank. Grant tells Max to use Grant's tank and he'll stay while Max gets Barney out.

Selimun agrees to give Shannon protection and take her out on his yacht. She says that one time Jahani said that the Serpent was going to help him get his throne back by killing Selimun.

Grant goes to Barney, who says that he's in no condition to go. The elevator comes down as Barney dies in Grant's arms, and Max tells Grant that Barney would do his job if his position was switched with Grant's. Grant reluctantly goes with Max so that Selimun won't find them there, blowing the mission.

Selimun and Baal arrive and find Barney dead on the floor. They assume that Barney was trying to escape and knocked out the guards. Baal turns on the lasers and closes the gate, and the two agents get out just in time. Once they get back to their ship, Shannon sees the guards loading the "opium" onto the boat. She calls Jim and reports that Selimun is going to a presentation at the Sydney Opera house. Selimun comes up, startling Shannon and causing her to drop the communicator in the water. She claims that it was her compact and Selimun says that he'll replace it.

Jim tells Grant that Barney was his best friend, and Grant talks about how the job consumed Barney and he rarely saw his father. Undeterred, Jim says that Barney did it for Grant and his mother above all, and tells him to have faith. They join the others, and Grant goes back to work confirming that there's a reception on behalf of the International Bureau of Drug rehabilitation at the opera house. Selimun is the guest of honor and keynote speaker,

Later, Nicholas and Max plant squibs on the stage at the opera house while posing as workers. Grant is watching from a nearby apartment and signals his teammates that Selimun is arriving by boat.

On the boat, Shannon plants a bug in Selimun's phone.

Grant gives Jim a remote and explains that it will trigger the squibs on the stage while Max fires for effect. When Grant says that he wishes they weren't using squibs, Jim assures him that they'll get Selimun and the others. Max sets upon a nearby bridge, and Grant assures him that once he's seen, he should have plenty of time to make his escape.

Jim goes to the reception and spots Shannon, who nods to him.

Max braces himself on the upper structure of the bridge and takes aim at the reception. He then radios Grant that he's in position. The presenter introduces Selimun as Nicholas joins Jim. Selimun takes the stage and gives his speech, and stutters briefly when he sees Jim and Nicholas in the crowd. Jim triggers the remote and Max "fires". The squibs go off and everyone takes cover. A guard calls Baal, who is in a helicopter and moves in on the bridge before Max can escape. Grant sees him and warns Max, while Baal rappels down.

Jim tells Nicholas to leave because there's nothing they can do.

Baal throws a shuriken at Max, just missing. He swings down on a block and winch and throws another shuriken, and the helicopter tries to cut off Max's escape. Max has no choice but to walk out on a girder, using his rifle to block the next shuriken. Once he gets across, Max heads u p a stairwell and Baal hits him in the leg with one of his shuriken.

Limping, Max gets onto the upper railway and Baal closes with him. They fight and the railing breaks. Max holds on as Baal tries to push him off and then stomps on one of Max's hand. Max grabs the shuriken out of his leg and throws it into Baal's chest. The bodyguard falls to his death, and Max manages to pull himself up. The helicopter flies past him and Max plummets toward the water below.

Written by Gadfly on Sep 16, 2018

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