DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews
 
VIGILANTE FORCE (director/writer: George Armitage; cinematographer: William Cronjager; editor: Morton Tubor; music: Gerald Fried; cast: Kris Kristofferson (Aaron Arnold), Jan-Michael Vincent (Ben Arnold), Victoria Principal (Linda Christopher), Bernadette Peters (Little Dee), Judson Pratt (Harry Lee), Brad Dexter (Mayor Bradford), David Doyle (Homer Arno), John Steadman (Shakey Malone)
; Runtime: 89; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Gene Corman; MGM; 1976)

"A forgettable but entertaining lightweight routine action film."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A forgettable but entertaining lightweight routine action film directed and written with unabashed silliness by George Armitage ("Grosse Pointe Blank"/"The Big Bounce"). Its murky narrative blends together a Western and a war drama, one that revels in male bonding, retelling of the Bible tale of Cain and Abel, and offering some awkward filmmaking moments.

Lawless oil-field workers have made life unbearable for a small California mountain boom town. The respected Ben Arnold (
Jan-Michael Vincent), a tractor mechanic, is asked by the compromised Mayor (Brad Dexter) and the overwhelmed sheriff (Judson Pratt) to recruit his older brother Aaron (Kris Kristofferson), the town's outcast, a Vietnam veteran, to help. He brings about law and order with his bad- ass pals from the war. In the aftermath, Ben must curb the thirst for power by the enforcers, who begin a protection racket by shaking down the local merchants.

The film offers a dubious  caveat against relying on a vigilante force to maintain law and order.

Bernadette Peters plays a hard-luck bar singer, who hooks up with
Kristofferson. Victoria Principal does little but look attractive playing Vincent's girlfriend.

REVIEWED ON 4/4/2017       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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