12 January 2017 | Hey_Sweden
"What took you so long, butt-crust?"
Mostly routine, but agreeably trashy goodness from the Charles Bronson-J. Lee Thompson- Cannon Group-1980s assembly line. The almighty Bronson plays Jack Murphy, a detective whose motto is simple: "Don't *beep* with Jack Murphy." But of course, somebody does: a vindictive, psychotic woman named Joan Freeman (Carrie Snodgress), who goes about murdering people who Jack knows and framing him for the crimes. However, Jack seizes upon an opportunity, breaking out of prison while handcuffed (shades of "The Defiant Ones") to a foul mouthed car thief, Arabella McGee (scene stealing Kathleen Wilhoite).
With this team, you expect some pretty straightforward, and effectively sleazy, entertainment. It's fairly violent as well as exploitative (ever delectable Angel Tompkins, as Jacks' ex-wife Jan, plays a stripper and shows off some of the goods). Gail Morgan Hickmans' story is diverting, throwing in a subplot involving a mobster named Frank Vincenzo (Richard Romanus) and creating a reasonable body count.
What gives this otherwise formulaic scenario a shot in the arm is the give and take between Bronson and the sexy, husky voiced Wilhoite. She's constantly firing off insults at him. While they were much more profane in the original script, Wilhoites' one-liners are still ridiculously funny. And you can see that Bronson is having some fun with this premise. It's not often that he had a full blown sidekick in one of his vehicles.
Other familiar faces that turn up include Robert F. Lyons, Bill Henderson, James Luisi, Janet MacLachlan, and Lawrence Tierney. It is somewhat novel that our vengeance crazed villain is female, and Snodgress is just fine as the kind of psycho who's *well aware* that they're a psycho.
Capped off by a finale that offers up some fairly good suspense, and a typically amusing Bronson quip.
Wilhoite gets an "introducing" credit, although she'd actually made her film debut in "Private School" three years previous. She also belts out the theme song over the end credits.
Seven out of 10.