13 January 2019 | Hey_Sweden
"I couldn't hear that last part." "You weren't supposed to."
"Karate Kid Part III" villain Thomas Ian Griffith debuted as star with this routine B level actioner which he also wrote and co-produced. Griffith plays Terry McCain, a Chicago detective hoping to righteously bust pompous mafioso Sal DiMarco (Burt Young). But time and time again, he gets away with everything. After a bust, the mobster believes that either Terry or one of his fellow cops stole some money from him, and all Hell breaks loose.
Overall, this is quite routine, with a script by Griffith that is pretty predictable. It wins no points for originality, but, as directed by Jon Hess ("Watchers"), it entertains adequately. It has sex appeal (but no nudity), a fair amount of bloody violence, and fine use of Chicago locations. The fact that the supporting cast is very strong - it includes Lance Henriksen, James Earl Jones, Tony Todd, and W. Earl Brown of 'Deadwood' fame - does help matters a fair bit. At first glance, it would seem that Jones, as a jazz club proprietor, is sorely under-utilized, but he gets more to do as the story plays out. Young is fine, although he doesn't exactly have to stretch himself. Henriksen and Todd remain great value. Griffith is a reasonably likeable chap, albeit no great shakes as an actor. Still, he makes for a decent action movie star, with a couple of opportunities to show off his martial arts moves (as well as a standard workout scene with which to start off the movie). Charlotte Lewis ("The Golden Child") looks extremely delectable as McCains' ex-wife, but she didn't improve as an actress after that memorable Eddie Murphy vehicle.
Good pacing (this runs a trim 87 minutes) and an atmospheric Charles Bernstein score further aid in the telling of this story, which does lead to the inevitable bloodbath.
Six out of 10.