1 April 2003 | TOMASBBloodhound
Great fun. Just don't take it seriously!
No matter how many times this movie is shown on cable, I still have to pause for at least a few minutes and watch portions of it. This is one of those action films that will entertain you as long as you don't try to apply logic to it or take it seriously.
The story has a professional mercenary (Berenger) and his army pals looking for work after they are cut loose from active duty following a botched mission in Cuba. Berenger doesn't want the group to get involved in running drugs for anyone, but that seems to be the only work that mercs can get these days in Florida. After Berenger's girlfriend is attacked by a ruthless street gang (led by Latin heart-throb Marc Anthony, no less) he and his pals end up trying to weed them out of the high school where she teaches. Berenger poses as her substitute teacher, and once he gets an inside look at the problems at the school, he realizes there may be more than just a gang of punks causing the trouble. It's up to Berenger and his merc pals to try and rid the school of its criminal element, and make things safer for the kids.
You cannot deny the good intentions of the plot, even if it is a bit preposterous. The acting is a little wooden in places, and the soundtrak (particularly the rap song in during the final credits) is laughable. The script has some questionable dialogue, and sometimes it can be downright amatuerish. There are plenty of shoot-outs and explosions to get the viewer's blood pumping, and it's nice to see someone make a stand in a tough environment like an inner-city high school.
This movie has spawned a few sequels which I won't comment on since I have only seen one of them, and they have no connection to the original.
Overall, this film is definitely worth watching if you are into action and revenge type themes. If you are looking for anything deep and insightful about the problems of the inner-cities, you may want to look elsewhere.
So sayeth the Hound.