|EXCESSIVE FORCE (director: Jon Hess; screenwriters: Thomas Ian Griffith/Grant Morris; cinematographer: Donald M. Morgan; editor: Alan Baumgarten; music: Charles Bernstein; cast: Thomas Ian Griffith (Terry McCain), Lance Henriksen (Devlin), James Earl Jones (Jake), Charlotte Lewis (Anita Gilmour), Tony Todd (Frankie Hawkins), Burt Young (Sal DiMarco), W. Earl Brown (Vinnie DiMarco); Runtime: 87; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Thomas Ian Griffith/Erwin Stoff/ Oscar L. Costo; Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (New Line Cinema); 1993)|
|"Succeeding only in living up
to the brutal expectations of its title by
delivering the goods."
by Dennis Schwartz
violent but enjoyable thriller, succeeding only
in living up to the brutal expectations of its
title by delivering the goods. It's geared for
viewers not too picky on the values of their action
pic fare. A film that will be often on cable, where it
belongs. Jon Hess ("Legion"/"Mars"/"Infidelity")
offers a pedestrian directing turn, but keeps the
fight scenes exciting. The writers are
Thomas Ian Griffith, the film's star, co-producer
and a martial arts expert, and Grant Morris.
McCain (Thomas Ian Griffith) belongs to
Chicago's Tactical Narcotics Unit. The
vengeance seeking Terry obsesses over capturing the
sadistic "Teflon" drug dealer mobster Sal
DiMarco (Burt Young). DiMarco's gang gets into a
shootout with the narc squad and a suitcase with three
million dollars is missing. DiMarco thereby kills two
members of the narc squad and goes after Terry to
retrieve his loot, which forces the cop to go on the
run with his girlfriend Anita (Charlotte
Lewis). Police Chief Devlin (Lance
Henriksen) gives Terry a free reign to operate in
this case. This gives our moody cop anti-hero a
license to take the law into his own hands. But when
DiMarco is rubbed out and Terry is accused of the
execution, no one believes he didn't do it.
Perhaps the best reason for watching is to catch 6'4" Griffith, a black belt, do some kick-boxing on the baddies. James Earl Jones plays the slapped around suspicious owner of a jazz club, where Terry plays the piano when not kicking ass for the police force. The film would have been better off just sticking to its violent talking points then wasting so much time with its unbelievable sub-plot.
REVIEWED ON 2/1/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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