THE STORY:Wanna know what my reaction was to the first half hour of this movie was?-----"Wow! This movie might be pretty [unwrite]ing good!"
That's a shock. I rented this movie because I saw a preview for it on another video. The preview of course just showed explosions and gunshots. I figured this movie was going to be a big "Pop and no kick" affair. Imagine my suprise to learn that even though its a cheesy b-movie actioner, it was still pretty good in B-movie terms!
ATF agent Jack DeForest interrupts terrorist supreme Josef Szabo in a weapons theft. DeForest risks life and limb to stop Szabo's gang, and kills Szabo's son in the process...in front of Szabo! Szabo escapes but we all know he'll be back.
DeForest gets chewed out by his boss, Mr. Pitt for interfering in this case. It seems the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms had plans to get Szabo at a better time, but DeForest's little one man commando mission screwed that up. Still, its Christmas Eve and DeForest doesn't want to hear Pitt's bull[unwrite]. He wants to spend the holidays with his ex-wife, Julia and 16 year old son, Ricky. The holidays aren't too jolly for ol' Deforest though. The next day he finds that Szabo has killed Julia and kidnapped his son as a form of revenge.
DeForest then does what most men, myself included, would do. ..he finds a suspected ally of Szabo, Vasquez, and gets Primordial on his ass. (Like that one?...I figured getting Primordial was worse than getting Medieval!) Unfortunately, this [unwrite]s up another ATF sting. Though Vasquez goes to jail, DeForest is relieved of his ATF duty for doing this.
A little more than a year later, DeForest finds that Szabo has been knocking over banks and one of his henchmen is Ricky. Szabo's been keeping Ricky drugged and raising him as a surrogate son. Even though Ricky is vaguely aware of what's going on he is powerless to do anything about it. But DeForest isn't. He seeks the aid of an ATF colleague, Annie. Annie gives a lot of aid. She always had the hots for DeForest and supplies him with information and...well, a little more.
DeForest first tries to get through to Szabo by a middle man named Turbo, but that goes south, mostly because of DeForests' stupid plan. With no backup he figures he's going to storm in and take out Szabo's man on his own. This doesn't work and DeForest barely escapes as the bad guys escape. But DeForest is determined to get his son back. He uses his manly wiles and talks Annie into helping him spring Vasquez from the prison for the sole purpose of getting Szabo's location from him. Vasquez does try to escape, but in the end tells DeForest what he needs to know.
Meanwhile, Pitt learns about a falsified request to get Vasquez out and figures out its DeForest. To make it worse, Szabo has hit an army weapons depot nearby! Vasquez was returned to the authorities by DeForest and spills the beans. Pitt and a gaggle of agents head for Szabo's cabin hideout. Annie manages to stay one step ahead and goes there also.
At the Cabin, Ricky comes to his senses enough to make a run for it. Good thing too, because DeForest shows up and has murder on the mind. He scuffles with a henchmen but is almost killed by Szabo. Its just then that Ricky returns and shoots Szabo, killing him. ( which was really cool, because other than expected, Szabo doesn't get up for "one more try" at the heroes) Annie arrives moments after and shoots another henchmen before he harms DeForest or Ricky. Then Pitt and is agents show up...but everything is over by then
The movies epilogue clearly shows that Annie's illegal involvement in this was either overlooked or not discovered. And Pitt, grateful for Deforests stopping the evil Szabo tells him that he's put in the paperwork to have him reinstated as an ATF agent. So the good guys win, which we all expected But its just in the way this movie was done that makes it stand above some of its other B-movie brethren. Here's just a few reasons why:
Though he's the hero, DeForest is far from perfect. He's kind of selfish. Although he cares about his family he seems to spend more time at his job. He asks Annie to risk her career and freedom just for his son and he's not superhuman. He gets his ass kicked in this movie.
No stupid subplots. No big "Dad, I love you" scenes. DeForest wants his son back. Simple. At the end of the movie when Pitt asks how Ricky is doing, DeForest tells him that he's getting better...meaning that he isn't instantly cured.
DeForest isn't reinstated instantly at the end...Pitt tells him that he's put in the word for him to be but it may be a hard road to go on considering what Pitt did. not the usual B-movie "Here's your badge and gun" trick.
The movie didn't have a lot of characterization, but it didn't pretend to, It just said "Here's the bad guys...here's the good guys." Doesn't make it an award winner, but it was refreshingly honest.
As for the actors, only two come to mind that I feel like mentioning. The ever-spooking looking Meg Foster was Julia. Pitt was the regular-Joe guy, Yaphet Kotto. Sci Fi fans will know that Kotto was in the classic movie Alien. In addition, and its not like he needs an introduction, Szabo was David Warner, star of cinematic disasters and successes. Warner has visited the Inferno before when he played dual roles in Quest of The Delta Knights.
Best Lines:"You'll have to be more specific...."Military [unwrite]'s" a bit vague."- Szabo tells Turbo to just spit out what he wants.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?:
1.)Without knowing the entire backstory to all of this I want to just rant about fathers for a minute. Ricky's pretty hard on DeForest, I guess for not being around that much. But hey, you can see the guy is trying to make an effort. It only pisses me off because I never knew my father. He died when I was really young. Even if he had a job that kept him away for long periods I'd have given anything for the chance to have spent more time with him. So for all of those movie-kid crybabies that whine that pop doesn't spend enough time with them...count your blessings. At least you get to spend SOME time with your father. (This rant is voided if your father is a no good, lazy, non-child-support-paying, alcoholic, wife beating, child molesting, drug using bastard)
2.)When Turbo gets dragged behind the car it was to reminiscent of the tragedy in Texas. I know this movie was made before that happened, but still...it made me feel kinda icky watching it.
3.) DeForest must have a foot long dick! Seriously! Annie helps him a little by supplying him with some info, but when his first plan fails, DeForest decides to spring Vasquez from prison just to get more information. For this he needs Federal Agent ID...which he talks Annie in to supplying him with! Easily! Right after he slept with her! Keep in mind that Annie could be charged with treason, falsifying records and a whole [unwrite]load of other things for this, but she still does it, just to help DeForest save his son, a kid she doesn't even freaking KNOW. Why? Well, you could say she loves him, but lets be honest folks....she doesn't seem to know him that well and before DeForest resurfaced she hadn't seen him in more than a year. I'll go out on a limb and sound like a real barbarian, but DeForest must just be a love machine, to put it mildly. Its not like I can't say I have never done anything stupid for a little romp in the sack.
4.) Is DeForest out of his freaking mind!?After getting Vasquez out with phony papers and stopping at a service station he falls for the old "I have to piss" thing? Then he even falls for the lamer trick of "Are you gonna hold it for me" and takes Vasquez's handcuffs off. Why not just let him wet his pants? Deforest kidnapped him anyway, he doesn't have to worry about a charge of "mistreating" Vasquez. Even if he didn't want him to wet his pants, with his sons life on the line and possible federal interference I think he'd be willing to hold the guys pecker for a minute. If Vasquez did have escape on his mind he'd think twice when his arch nemesis has his schlong in his hand.
NUDITY AND SEX:Not a lot.
HUH?:In many movies this will come up...how can so many bullets be flying and no one gets hit? How could DeForest possibly miss a man sitting in a jeep? Well, his plan was pretty weak anyway. If he really wanted to get his son back alive and didn't want to go to the police why not find some help? Movie thug help usually is easy to find. In the movie universe there's probably a phone listing in the yellow pages for cheap mercenaries.
HAHAHA! This movies portrayal of an Army Weapons Depot is hilarious. Only a few lightly armed guards? No way! Arlington Cemetery has better security than that!
THE TALLY:This movie's preview that I saw doesn't do it justice. By the preview you'd expect it to be a really crappy flick, but I found it to be pretty good. Its no Silence of the Lambs, but its a decent action type flick, which is more than I expected. Thats why I award this movie with four devils.