Mostly forgotten 1991 film in which (barely) high school graduate Michael Corben of Detroit goes on a class trip to France and winds up being mistaken for an American CIA agent of the same name who is killed at the airport. Upon arrival he is immediately shanghaied into service by British Intelligence and tasked with stopping Diabolical Mastermind Augustus Steranko from conquering all of Europe.Has nothing to do with the song by band Heart.
Affectionate Parody: To an extent. While the story is more or less presented seriously, it isn't above occasionally poking fun at some of the tropes of the spy genre, but in a kindhearted way.
Axe Crazy: The word "subtle" isn't in Zigesfeld's vocabulary - in fact, very little is in his vocabulary. For example, sent to kill Michael (and Areola) at his hotel, he just walks in and blows the place up with a rocket launcher.
Brilliant, but Lazy: Michael is consistently shown to be a bright and clever young man, however never lives up to his full potential due to his desire to slack off. Even the film's Big Bad, Augustus Steranko, tells Michael to his face that while he (Michael) might have "good intentions", he doesn't "follow through".
Cut Lex Luthor a Check: That sure is one advanced robotic hand Steranko got made for Zigesfeld. Such a device would revolutionize the prosthetic industry and make Steranko a zillion times richer than he already is, but he would rather steal gold from common market nations as part of a harebrained scheme to unite Europe under his rule.
Chekhov's Gun / Brick Joke: Hot Scientist Vendetta Galante presents Michael with a tuxedo fitted with "standard hands-up protection." Later, upon being cornered by two of Steranko's Mooks while in the tux, Michael is told, "Put up your hands." He complies. Hilarity Ensues as knockout gas sprays from the armpits of the tux.
Combat Pragmatist: Subverted. When confronted by Zigesfeld, Michael initially attempts to retrieve a gun from a dead Mook rather than face his opponent hand to hand. This fails, though, when Zigesfeld grabs him from behind.
Convection Schmonvection: Mrs. Grober and the French class spend an awful long time hanging in a cage over a giant vat of molten gold, apparently without the heat or fumes bothering them at all.
Cool Car: The red Lotus Esprit. Once Michael sees it, he stops insisting that he's a high-school student.
Creator Cameo: Director William Dear as a scientist testing out a bomb-proof suit.
Disney Death: When Steranko's mansion blows up, everyone thinks Michael and Mariska have died. Poor Mrs. Grober wonders despairingly what she's going to tell Michael's mother, only to have the pair emerge from the fiery ruins unscathed. Cue the cheering.
Psychopathic Man Child: Zigesfeld. He's very feral and violent and rarely speaks except to growl, but also behaves like a simple little boy around Ilsa, who he seems to regard as some kind of mother figure.
Refused The Call: Initially, Michael is your typical teenager in such a situation - scared and confused and hesitant to cooperate with the agents. He flatly refuses to do what they say...
This is then inverted - once Steranko's assassins start trying to kill him, he Refuses The Call again and intends to back out and run off. It's only after he meets Mariska that he realizes the full scope of what's at stake, and agrees to help her avenge her father.
The Unfavorite: Michael's parents (his father especially) clearly prefer his younger brother Brad. However, they don't treat him badly and his father tells him he loves him and just wishes he'd be more productive.
Lafevre: France's gold must remain in France. Steranko: Well, I'm very sorry you feel that way.
A much more literal interpretation of this occurs when Steranko throws Ilsa out of their helicopter.
Too Dumb to Live: Michael's classmates. They continually ignore their constantly changing bus drivers and ultimately wind up caged over a giant vat of molten gold.
Additionally, the German finance minister, upon learning of Steranko's evil plan (because Steranko tells him), boldly threatens, "I'll tell the world!" While in Steranko's house. Surrounded by Steranko's Mooks. Small wonder he's last seen getting dragged off to an implied offscreen demise.
Took a Level in Badass: Mrs. Grober. From meek schoolteacher who lets herself get bullied by Steranko, to grabbing an Uzi and crashing his party very noisily. She even captures several of his Mooks in the climax.