Stryker Force arrives accompanied by one of the slickest and most pervasive ad campaigns ever launched for a gayporn video. Oiled, pumped, stripped to the waist, wearing camouflage pants, toting rifles and festooned with ammo cartridges, blond Steve Hammond and surly Jeff Stryker star brazenly at the camera. Slogan: "They'll Take Your Breath Away." And they will.
Stryker Force is pretty slick stuff, with the better-than-gayporn but lower-than-B-movie standards we've come to expect from producer/director Matt Sterling. Escapism runs riot as Stryker and Hammond set out on rival missions to recover a lost fortune in gold somewhere in the South American jungle. So what if the setting looks more like Balboa Park than the Amazon basin? I'm a sucker for costume sexual fantasies. The sight of Sterling's sleekly muscled cast tramping half-naked and glistening through the vines makes up for all those jungle epics where Tarzan would never take off his loincloth, much less get it on with the Great White Hunter. So what if the guys all look like they just stepped out of a bleep & beauty salon on Santa Monica Boulevard? It's only a fantasy.
Which is a problem. As usual, Sterling's material is painfully superficial and heavy-handed, and his convoluted fantasy world tends to put "straight" men on a pedestal and gay ones in the gutter. A last-ditch effort to modify all that and inject some romance between Stryker and Hammond falls absurdly flat. It's a chilly vision in the end, but the pictures are certainly pretty.