If G.I. Joe Had a Disco Phase, It Would Be MegaForce

Explore the wild ride of MegaForce, a quintessential cheesy science fiction flick filled with over-the-top heroics and flashy tech.

A section of the MegaForce movie poster.
MegaForce the quintessential cheesy science fiction flick.

Have you ever imagined what it would look like if G.I. Joe had a disco phase? Look no further than MegaForce (1982), directed by Hal Needham and starring Barry Bostwick, Persis Khambatta, and Michael Beck.

MegaForce takes you on a wild ride through the land of over-the-top heroism, where the good guys have motorcycles that fly, and everyone looks like they just stepped off the set of a Bee Gees music video. If you love cheesy science fiction with a heaping dose of unintentional comedy, this might be the film for you.

MegaForce 1982 trailer.


Strap in for the dazzling, spandex-clad odyssey of MegaForce, where the hair is big and the vehicles are even bigger.

The film's protagonist is Ace Hunter, a man who knows his way around both a quip and a turbo-charged combat bike.

Imagine two countries from a Saturday morning cartoon. Sardun is like the quiet neighbor who wants to garden peacefully, but next door is Gamibia, the guy who revs his motorcycle at 3 AM.

Unable to fend off a Gamibian sneak attack, Sardun sends Major Zara and General Byrne-White to call in the big guns — MegaForce. These aren't just any soldiers, but a dazzling, high-tech troop led by the aforementioned Commander Ace Hunter.

However, Ace isn't just facing any enemy. He's up against his old school chum, Duke Guerera, turning their battlefield into an awkward school reunion.

While Ace Hunter is knee-deep in planning how to turn Duke Guerera's forces into confetti, Major Zara is out there passing MegaForce's version of the SATs. As she zips through the tests, Ace finds himself doodling hearts around her name. But even as the sparks fly, he hits the brakes on her joining the big raid. Why? Because throwing a new star into the old boys' club could stir up more drama than reality TV.

So, MegaForce goes full Hollywood action movie, parachuting their attack vehicles into Gamibia like they're delivering pizzas.

Ace Hunter leads this surprise party, wrecking Duke Guerera's base in a spectacular fireworks show. But then, General Byrne-White drops a bombshell. Sardun has basically uninvited them, declaring MegaForce too hot to handle. They're like the guest who parties too hard, and now, even their friend doesn't want them crossing the yard.

Meanwhile, Duke Guerera decides it is the perfect time for a little game of "Gotcha."

He sets up his version of a welcome party at the only spot where MegaForce can make their getaway —a dusty old lake bed meant for their cargo plane escape.

Guerera parks his tanks there like it's a Sunday BBQ. But Ace Hunter isn't about to RSVP "yes" to that setup. He whips up a plan to sneak attack by taking a scenic route over a mountain. Lo and behold, it works.

MegaForce punches through Guerera's tanks. Sure, they scratch up one of their planes in the scrum, but hey, that's just a day in the life of a super squad.


The themes of camaraderie and heroism are unmistakable in MegaForce, often shining through the glittery haze of campiness that blankets the film.

The narrative showcases a tight-knit elite group united against a common foe, with moments of earnest friendship that contrast sharply with the film's tongue-in-cheek humor and flamboyant style. However, the lack of a serious tone dilutes the thematic impact, leaving the intentions feeling superficial.

This film is an exercise in over-the-top fun, where any profound messages about teamwork and bravery are often overshadowed by the spectacle and levity.

Cinematic Techniques

MegaForce is no Star Wars, and it does not impress its audience with special effects. This was the 1980s, after all.

The film deploys an array of pyrotechnics, laser beams, and a flying motorcycle that soars with as much grace as a brick. This particular scene, aiming for the skies both literally and metaphorically, tends to receive its fair share of criticism for appearing rather unconvincing, highlighting the challenges of pioneering visual effects on a budget.

Character Development and Acting

Barry Bostwick's portrayal of Ace Hunter in MegaForce is a spectacular display of over-the-top heroics that captures the film's exuberant spirit.

With a charisma that can only be described as "explosively enthusiastic," Bostwick embodies a leader who is both daring and dashing, albeit with a liberal sprinkling of cheese. His performance is so aligned with the film's campy tone that it elevates the character from mere cliché to a memorable icon of 1980s sci-fi cinema. This alignment ensures that even the most outrageous moments feel right at home in the movie's universe.

Originality and Creativity

MegaForce ambitiously tries to carve out its niche within the 1980s action genre by introducing a unique team of high-tech heroes, complete with flashy vehicles and futuristic gadgets. This creative vision aimed to blend traditional action tropes with an over-the-top, almost cartoonish flair. However, despite its original aspirations to redefine the action-hero team concept, the film's execution fell short, often veering into the realm of the absurd and failing to provide a coherent or plausible narrative, which ultimately muddied its place in the action genre landscape.

Should You Watch MegaForce?

The movie is a delightful treat for enthusiasts of cult classics and cheesy sci-fi flicks who revel in the charm of over-the-top acting and retro special effects. This film will particularly appeal to those who appreciate a good laugh and a dose of nostalgia rather than a complex plot or nuanced storytelling. It's perfect for a light-hearted movie night where the focus is on fun and flamboyance, making it less suited for viewers seeking serious, tightly woven action narratives.