SURVIVING THE GAME (1994)

Directed By: Ernest R. Dickerson

Written By: Eric Bernt

Cinematography: Bojan Bazelli

Editor: Sam Pollard

Cast: Ice-T, Rugter Hauer, Charles S. Dutton, F Murray Abraham, Gary Busey, John C. McGinley, William McNamara, Jeff Corey, Bob Minor 

A homeless man is hired as a survival guide for a group of wealthy businessmen on a hunting trip in the mountains, unaware that they are killers who hunt humans for sport, and that he is their new prey.


At the time this might have seemed like an action film that was a fine by the dozen, but looking back it feels like it was a bit ahead of Its time.

As at the time it might have felt too basic or familiar. To a film like Jean Claude Van-Damme starring HARD TARGET. 

Casting Ice-T during a starring hot streak and then surrounding him with well-known character actors. As seemingly types though as the film goes alongside actually revealing decency or having specific reasons for their savagery and blood lust.

His casting works as he is not your typical action hero presence. So that gives him a kind of wild card status in which to impress and win over the audience. As he is the protagonist, we still don’t know exactly what to expect. 

Though race isn’t brought up it can easily be seen or interpreted. Even if the argument is over classism. As Ice-t’s character is a military vet who is homeless and most of the hunters are rich, successful white men. Racism and capitalism usually walk hand in hand. As for something to have value another must not have any. As really the only other person of color is Charles S. Dutton who helps discover him and convinces him to take the job.

The film offers plenty of surprises and double-crosses. It also offers ice-T’s character who was suicidal a reason to survive, a passion for life, and live again. 

The film comes across as a little bit more realistic in its action sequences. Which are quite impressive. As no one is an expert, some characters actually need to reload or rest. Though it never feels overplayed, overwrought, too expensive or stylish just to look cool.

The ending is a bit of a letdown by bringing up a point that is repeatedly brought up so many times. You know it will be integral later.

One of the reasons for the audience to enjoy the film is that most of the cast, the hunting party if you will, is made up of classic character actors who usually play villains. So it’s a murderer’s row hunting our hero down. Which gives the film and the lead a kind of bonafide status 

This ends up being one of the more memorable ice-t leading roles, especially in an action film. No less treated a certain way maybe because it is more contained. As far as cast size goes. 

Grade: C+

MR. MAJESTYK (1974)

Directed By: Richard Fleischer 
Written By: Elmore Leonard 
Cinematography: Richard H. Kline 
Editor: Ralph E. Winters 

Cast: Charles Bronson, Al Lettieri, Linda Cristal, Lee Purcell, Paul Koslo, Alejandro Rey, Frank Maxwell, Jordan Rhodes 

Vietnam veteran Vince Majestyk just wants to grow his watermelons and live in peace on his farm. But the local mob boss has different ideas. When his workers are threatened Mr. Majestyk decides to lend them a hand but then the wrath of the mob is turned onto Mr. Majestyk himself. The poor mobsters don’t stand a chance.


This is an infamous Charles Bronson starring film that I am only recently catching up with and I can see why the film has such a following.

It is one of the better Charles Bronson films. As it is is again him versus the mob this time or at least a gangster/hit-man 

As usual Charles Bronson comes off as a more stiff, cheaper Clint Eastwood. This film was originally written for by Elmore Leonard not based on any of his novels. 

When we are introduced to the character we learn he is a decent man, when he sticks up for Mexicans to use the bathroom at a local gas station. As well as him exuding a tough center.

The first half of the movie really moves and feels exciting but the second half slows down. As we are forced to wait for things to build up for the finale. While impressive isn’t quite the scope we are hoping for.

As far as the action even though it is violent and full of car chases. It also gives off a western vibe where men are men. There are bare-fisted fights and shootouts and a sense of honor and over-the-top revenge for a slight.

It also doesn’t help that the main character is so single-minded. That for a character who seems smart and intuitive to continuously make mistakes. Where we know there will be hell to pay for and he seems shocked when it does happen. 

Even when he is in jail and doesn’t recognize the hitman and keeps bothering him for food and smokes and then his questionable plan after he escapes with him. 

At least the film set’s up more of a surprise villain than the original one we thought he was going to have to deal with, who came off less as a menace than an annoyance. 

Al Latteri is the main villain as when he shows up in a movie you know there will be trouble. Was kind of hoping that there was going to be a switch and that even though he looks like he might be an ally. But now he is his usual and as always impressive and repulsive in the role.

One wishes the females had more to do on screen as Linda Kristal who plays Bronson’s kind of love interest tries to help but even though written strongly and played strongly. The film still relegates her to the background and Lee Purcell the HITMAN’S Girlfriend is so prim and proper who Carries a Bible that you wonder how they got together and while those details could have led to an interesting story. She is more fully dressed eye candy and the villains are the same.

It also makes you wonder why such a high-priority criminal would be locked up in such a small town. 

The film plays pretty basic or how you expect it to. Though Charles Bronson’s character is such a gentleman to most that even when he goes to the general store and is speaking to the cashier there is a sweetness and charm that shows through. That shows the little piece of the humanity of the character and the chink in the armor of Charles Bronson in general that he seems to rarely want to show or play. It’s those moments that make the film a little different or give it humanity. 

Sure we have seen this type of film before and might expect someone like Steve McQueen to play In it. I’m not saying this one is better or worse than any other but it is quite entertaining and one of the better Bronson films I have watched, short of his known classics, such as THE DIRTY DOZEN or THE GREAT ESCAPE. This film shows why he is a screen legend and the types of roles he is known for 

Grade: C+

THUNDER FORCE (2021)

Written & Directed By: Ben Falcone
Cinematography: Barry Peterson 
Editor: Tia Nolan 

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer, Bobby Cannavale, Jason Bateman, Pom Klementieff, Melissa Leo, Taylor Mosby, Kevin Dunn, Ben Falcone 

In a world terrorized by super-villains, one woman has developed the process to give superpowers to regular people. But when scientist Emily Stanton accidentally imbues her estranged best friend with incredible abilities, the two women must become the first superhero team. Now, it is up to Thunder Force to battle the super-powered Miscreants and save Chicago from the clutches of The King.


It seems with most new comedic vehicles that Melissa McCarthy makes it seem to drag down the quirky of her stock. What is more digressing is that usually, these films are her own creation with her writer-director husband Ben Falcone. 

For every BRIDESMAIDS, SPY or even THE HEAT. There is a LIFE OF THE PARTY or TAMMY. At least THE BOSS was somewhat entertaining.

The bright spots of this film are few in-between. As at least the film becomes fun when it comes to the scenes with her and Jason Bateman as they still obviously have chemistry from the forgettable Studio film IDENTITY THEFT.

Like that film, this seems to want to be a forced buddy comedy. Where we how for the best. While two different personalities are forced to work together. While the stench of corporate studio movie making and synergy is pretty obvious. 

It’s almost like an Adam Sandler Netflix film which you know most likely will be bad. If they keep serving you and you take a chance and instantly regret it usually. As you remember how good they can be no how many better films they made than the one you are forcing yourself to watch. Hoping for something salvageable amongst the wreck. 

The other bright spot of the film is anytime the film deals with the villains and their hierarchy. Which isn’t the sharpest writing but some of the funnier material. That could have easily been a sketch more than anything.

The problem isn’t that the film isn’t inspired, it just does nothing with the idea or ideas it has Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer are friends in real life and used to do improv shows together and were nominated on the same year for Best Supporting actress at the academy awards McCarthy for BRIDESMAIDS and SPENCER for THE HELP which she won for.

Other than that you wish they could have chosen a better project. As this film most of the time comes off as pretty flat. The jokes come off as simple and weak and while this is meant to be a spoof or take off of superheroes. Nothing seems quite Inspired and the film comes off as tame.

This could easily be a family film with how inoffensive it is. It’s Predictable and you wonder about the intelligence of most of the characters. Such as why a successful mayoral candidate doesn’t suspect a thing when the person she beat all Of a sudden wants to throw her a victory party. 

You Can tell where the film and story are going constantly and the deepest character development we get from McCarthy is that her loser character obsesses about classic rock band music. Even a character they introduce when they are kids and have a crush on Spencer who we see as an adult goes nowhere. 

The film is a major disappointment especially when it seemed to be aiming pretty high. Though comes off more not as anything made for the big screen but almost purposely meant to be on streaming or television as it’s scope and aim seem so narrow but try to aim for bigger and better 

Though to be fair it’s rare that there has been a successful superhero comedy. 

Grade: D

AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER (2002)

Directed By: Jay Roach

Written By: Mike Myers & Michael McCullers Cinematography: Peter Deming

Editor: Jon Poll & Greg Hayden

Cast: Mike Myers, Beyoncé, Michael Caine, Seth Green, Michael York, Verne Troyer, Robert Wagner, Fred Savage, Mindy Sterling, Diane Mizota, Carrie Ann Inaba, Nobu Matsuhisa, Nichole Hiltz, Aaron Himelstein, Josh Zuckerman, Tommy Tiny Lister, Jim Piddock, Masi Oka, Clint Howard, Michael McDonald, Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones, Britney Spears, Burt Bacharach, Donna D’erico, Fred Stoller, Brad Grunberg, Greg Grunberg, Scott Aukerman, Nikki Ziering, Nathan Lane, Katie Couric, Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Osbourbe, Kelly Osbourne, Jack Osbourne, John Travolta, Rob Lowe

Upon learning that his father has been kidnapped, Austin Powers must travel to 1975 and defeat the aptly named villain Goldmember, who is working with Dr. Evil.


This Is where the franchise jumped the shark. It got too big and popular for it’s Own good Believing it’s Own hype. Not only referencing itself but making fun of itself to be part of laughing with others. Which ends up damaging itself and not as much fun as the previous films.

The opening plays more like an mtv movie awards spoof than a witty or memorable opening. 

It also doesn’t help that mike Myers was taking out his problems over the problems he was having on a film project SPROCKETS with Ron Howard (supposedly) which is why Seth green dons a similar look as Howard towards the end.

The film is filled with stunt casting that makes it feel more like an homage. Having Michael Caine is more of a co-star than Beyoncé as the current love interest. Where it seems she is only in the film more out of popularity. Just as many of the cameos seem there only for their then current popularity and to be in on the jokes. Rather than it being more organically funny. 

It feels constantly like the steam has run out of the premise. As this is more mike Myers seems to make it more of an occasion to make it a show to try out and play more characters almost similar to Eddie Murphy in THE NUTTY PROFESSOR. 

The film just feels like gags and leftover fat from the previous films with tired jokes and bad attempts at pop culture humor. 

This could almost be like one of those spoof films that came out at the end of the year. That made fun of bee trends in all media culture but tried to tie it under one bow like DATE MOVIE or EPIC MOVIE or MEET THE SPARTANS. This franchise started off as an homage and felt original and now has become a spoof itself.

The second film in the franchise was good but while stretching it seemed to go all the way with what still worked. This feels like it was left out of shape and warped working in those perimeters.

If you enjoy mike Myers this film is for you more as a completist. But this feels like him at his most mega maniacal. As the film is just him going through excess

He also believes his own hype. Trying to bring in modern celebrities and have them make more fun of themselves but also show their own clout. As there truly is no reason for them to be here other than to show off. It comes off as begging whoever is popular at the time to guest star in the movie to get more surprises and show a sense of being somewhat timeless, it also truly dates itself, even though it tends to jump through time periods anyway. 

Grade: C-

ROCK STAR (2001)

Directed By: Stephen Herek 
Written By: John Stockwell
Cinematography: Ueli Steiger 
Editor: Trudy Sharp 

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston, Dominic West, Timothy Spall, Dagmara Domincyzk, Jason Flemyng, Timothy Olyphant, Matthew Glave, Michael Shamus Wiles, Beth Grant, Stephen Jenkins, Jason Bonham, Jeff Pilson, Zakk Wylde, Colleen Ann Fitzpatrick, Amy Miller, Rachel Hunter, Heidi Mark, Carrie Stevens, Carey Lassard, Kristin Willits 

The lead singer of a tribute band becomes the lead singer of the real band he idolizes.


This is a film built off of wish fulfillment and watching the life and fantasy most members of the audience dream of, sort of like those entertainment shows that show you the houses and yachts of celebrities to impress you even though you might never actually get a chance to actually see or experience it and better yet this is based on a true story.

So while the film is showing someone else living it up. It feels within arms reach for the audience. Like voluntary torture with a story. A real-life fairy tale with a moral to it.

It’s the old talented being careful what you wish for because you get what you want but you might not be prepared for what it entails and what you have to do to maintain it

An all-American dream movie that shows the dark side and in the end is a happy ending that lets the hero stand on his own Terms. Yet ends up feeling cheesy

Mark Wahlberg is strong. Here as the devoted fan and Everyman who won’t bend in his fandom and cover their songs but when he gets the chance to be part of them finds he has to constantly make compromises

He sees the dark side of stardom and the same type of doctoral behavior he had with his cover band he notices it’s the same way in the actual band

There are many scenes showing the access of rock-star life the lifestyle and legendary parties but also the toll they can take and how they can change you and practically make you a slave or zombie to it. Change who you are and who you are to people how flexible your morals can become

Jennifer Aniston is sexy but  the outfits they give her are made to be flattering but they also, unfortunately, show the limitations of her body and for some odd reasons  make her appear older than Her co-star

This is one of the folks that showed his appeal and has a prepared audience for his more Everyman appeal yet who they would want to Be. Watch him have good times and imagine themselves there.

This seems like a film that would have more of an impact when it is set more in the 1980s or even 90s to show how bloated that period of time was. Watching it now it seems to deliver more an obvious message as well as trying to be a kind of throwback that feels out of date and a satire with little to say about the time. Instead of just throwing in hooked jabs of Jokes

The casting of Mark Wahlberg seems ironic considering his past as an overnight music star as Marky Mark in his teens. So while his character here is in a different genre of music. You can’t help but think if he dealt with some of the same issues when he was a music star rapper.

Based on a true story it stays entertaining and funny at parts but seems to try so hard for something that is more of a minor tale. 

Though pretty much of ItMs time and more disposable back then. This film plays much better over time. Still ridiculous but more heartfelt. An earnestness of the modern era That is kind of missing in most modern films of these times. 

Grade: C+

AIRHEADS (1996)

Directed By: Michael Lehman 
Written By: Rich Wilkes 
Cinematography: John Schwartzman 
Editor: Stephen Semel 

Cast: Brendan Fraser, Adam Sandler, Steve Buscemi, Joe Mantegna, Ernie Hudson, Chris Farley, Amy Locane, Michael McKean, Michael Richards, David Arquette, Judd Nelson, Nina Siemaszko, Marshall Bell, Reginald E. Cathey, China Kantner, Michelle Hurst, Allen Covert, Harold Ramis, Lemmy Von Motörhead, John Melendez 

Three band members, hoping for a big break head to a radio station to play their demo tape and wind up holding everyone hostage with plastic guns when the head D.J. refuses to play them.


This movie came out at a critical time for me. When I was 15 and for some odd reason I remember every ad about it, the music video for the single BORN TO RAISE HELL by Motörhead with ugly kid Joe and Ice-T and even the premiere on MTV where it was obvious Chris Farley was drunk/high and the first time I realized he might have a problem.

I was the demographic for this movie that was for some odd reason Pg-13 I mean it was presented in the same way, but most of the material and spirit of the movie felt like this should have been an R-Rated movie. As it testily lacks the spirit and vision of over-the-top exuberance that rock was supposed to be but by the 1990s had mellowed to be more emo. Though these Characters obviously are more 1980’s types when it was hard rock, glam rock, and heavy metal. 

The film is the right film but at the wrong time. As it feels like a holdover trying to fit into the wrong time period. What I can appreciate about the film is that it works as nostalgia when radio stations still had power and were seen as important ambassadors between the bands and fans.

This film also unfortunately feels miscast. As much as I enjoy Brendan Fraser as an actor and he has proven to be versatile. He is just hard to believe as the lead singer of the band. Adam Sandler plays the drummer and is more the simple-minded of the group. He wanted to play the lead but the studio didn’t think he had any pulling power of an audience at the time.

Steve Buscemi is perfectly cast in the film, one of his first major studio films and one in which he is looked upon more as comic relief. 

The film is silly all around as you can’t take anything seriously. So that it comes off more juvenile than anything else

 The film has quite a respectable cast. Quite a few unfortunately in more small or bit roles. Even though Joe Mantegna is good, his look is less Rick and more disco holdover. 

The female roles don’t offer much other than angry girlfriend and object of lust. Which fits into the milieu and mindset of the time. As well as being treated more as eye candy. 

This film has surprisingly found an audience over the years, After the bombing in Its initial release. Due to not only bad marketing but it feels like it was over-marketed and misrepresented. Don’t get me wrong I don’t think It’s a good movie but I think everyone did try to make a decent film that came up short but deserves its Fans and its audience. 

It just wasn’t the great rock film people were expecting or at least hoping for. Somewhere there is a hybrid of this movie and PICK OF DESTINY where they swipe out each other’s weaknesses and build on each other’s strengths then maybe you would have the movie that the audience was looking for or expecting. If that film can still be made now.

As this film does have its moments, but ultimately fails to live up to the hype or potential. 

Grade: C 

THE KING’S MAN (2021)

Directed By: Matthew Vaughn 
Written By: Matthew Vaughn & Karl Gajdusek
Based on the Comic-Book “THE SECRET SERVICE” By: Mark Millar & Dave Gibbons
Cinematography: Ben Davis
Editor: Rob Hall & Jason Ballantine

Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Djimon Hounsou, Harris Dickinson, Gemma Arterton, Matthew Goode, Rhys Ifans, Charles Dance, Daniel Bruno, Alexandra Maria Land, Valerie Pacher 

In the early years of the 20th century, the Kingsman agency is formed to stand against a cabal plotting a war to wipe out millions.


The third in what can be seen as a franchise or at least a trilogy. 

This one is a prequel that shows the origins of THE KING’S MEN before they became a bit corrupt and needed to be sorted out. 

I will be honest I wasn’t expecting much from this film. It looked like they were trying to beat a dead horse with this series and felt like they might have been going in the wrong direction to prolong it. I have to eat my words because the film ended up being exciting and surprising in how enjoyable it is.

Like the previous films. It is silly plot-wise and the dialogue has a lot of grandstanding. Though it comes across as more well-mannered and tight Than the other films which were more dark-humored and verbose. This one feels a little more grown-up, but not without its own sense of humor. 

Which is not only one of the film’s strengths but also the franchise. 

The film is a period piece that touches on many historical figures and actions. It also has a lot of fun with them. Using them to set the background up.

The action sequences are impressive. Some are quite admirable, especially the Rasputin battle. 

The film also manages to still offer up surprises in a franchise partly built on them. 

Nice to see dramatic actor Ralph Fiennes in a more action-oriented role, but lets him also act. Though he also has a role in the latest James Bond films also. Here he is center stage. 

Djimon Honsou glad to see him also even if given the usual thankless role as more a dangerous sidekick or mentor to characters. Not only in this film but he played a similar role in the last CHARLIE’S ANGELS reboot, but at least here he has more to do and is in mroe do the film.

This film feels more like a guilty pleasure, though an inventive way to keep the franchise going and offer up a new origin story of sorts. That opens up the history of the franchise 

Grade: C+

THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD (2021)

 Directed By: Patrick Hughes 
Written By: Brandon Murphy & Phillip Murphy 
Based On Characters Created By & Story By: Tom O’Connor 
Cinematography: Terry Stacey 
Editor: Jack Hutchings & Michael J. Duthie

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Frank Grillo, Antonio Banderas, Tom Hopper, Caroline Goodall, Richard E. Grant, Morgan Freeman, Alice McMillan 

The bodyguard, Michael Bryce, continues his friendship with assassin, Darius Kincaid, as they try to save Darius’ wife Sonia


This is a movie that seems rushed to make money off the surprise hit of the first film and this time offers more Salma Hayek that the first film. Where she was a memorable supporting character.

This film offers a lot more of her including in her low-cut outfits and even a sex scene that is more comedic than sexy. Though the film gives her a chance to shine. 

The film is more aimed at being a comedy with action in it rather than the other way around and as hilarious as the film is you never take it seriously and just try to have fun. As much as the cast seems to be having.

This film offers up recognizable cast members new to the franchise in surprising supporting roles. Though luckily it seems as soon as they wear out their welcome they either disappear or are dispatched. 

They try to sideline Ryan Reynolds a little. as once again his character is going through confidence problems and here he has decided to not be violent throughout. He is involved in the action sequences. As more the straight man who keeps getting punished violently while all around him kill and fight. Which might be to make room for Salma Hayek to have more to do and be part of the action. He for the most part is abused throughout 

What works for these films is that while they are silly and quite stupid. They stay entertaining and are never boring and come off as guilty pleasures more than anything else. Especially by the end which is just ridiculous.

These films feel like the CRANK movies only not as over the top, campy or low brow. They are dirty And they all feel like they have the energy of an energized bunny or play out like violent love action cartoons more than anything anyone can really identify with. 

Grade: C+

TRANSPORTER 2 (2005)

Directed By: Louis Leterrier
Written By: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen 
Cinematography: Mitchell Amundsen
Editor: Christine Lucas Navarro & Vincent Tabaillon

Cast: Jason Statham, Amber Valletta, Alessandro Grossman, Kate Nauta, Matthew Modine, Jason Flemyng, Keith David, Francois Baerleand, Annalynne McCord

Transporter Frank Martin surfaces in Miami, Florida, and is implicated in the kidnapping of the young son of a powerful USA official.


Luc Besson is a director who has always flirted with more action-oriented projects as well as his own artistic ones. At a certain point, he seemed to abandon directing films altogether and instead write and produce continuous action films. Leaving the directing to others. Where you wonder if his brand is all over these films and lets up-and-coming directors spearhead the projects. Yet still maintains control.

As he is mroe than capable of directing them himself, maybe even he knows that they are mroe commercial projects and he wants to be seen more as an actual artistic director. Whatever the reasons he has made a fortune from writing and producing these mid-level budget action films that seemed to be everywhere in the 1990s and especially early 2000’s he seems to have set the rules somewhat for modern action cinema that unfortunately isn’t made anticipating the future and revising as the years go by More they are trashy and ridiculous yet fun and seek to stick to a formula and offer diversity and international casts.

This film became a franchise. One has to wonder was that always the intended aim to make this into a series of films or did the original make it easy to set up further adventures for the character who helped make Jason Statham An action star. In fact, the plan for most of his action films and scripts is to try to create a franchise and the others don’t do as well.

As there was never a sequel to LA FEMME NIKITA, there was not only a remake but eventually a television series. Which after a few mroe sequels was the same fate of this franchise. Even though Jason Statham only came back to the role to complete the trilogy with the next film in the series. 

This was only the second action film I saw Jason Statham star in after the first film. As I had mainly seen him in films by director Guy Ritchie when he was still making criminal caper films Such as SNATCH and LOCK, STOCK & TWO SMOKING BARRELS though he also was in the similar remake of THE ITALIAN JOB also. 

This franchise is like the character is an underworld James Bond of old. As he is usually somehow double-crossed in his own line of work or is brought into a conspiracy because he cares. Even though he has a supposedly strict set of rules. Yet in each new film, they are mroe stand-alone involving few recurring characters. Though no old girlfriends or attachments. Allowing for romance or sex for him in each new film

When it comes to this film It’s ridiculous, Loud, flashy, and fun full of  jokes and impressive action scenes where Jason Statham barely gets a R.I.P. on his suit 

This film is even filtered to be glossy where almost everyone seems to have a shin sheen of sweat that brings out any bright colors to almost be blindingly obvious 

Kate Nauta makes an impression as the villain’s henchwoman lover who seems to be a masochist. She is memorable in the film. One wishes she had been in more films or found a way to bring her back or get a spin-off or action hero series of her own

The film is legitimized by having Matthew Modine in the cast of having an actor who usually doesn’t appear in these types of films. While offering former supermodel Amber valets a role as a maybe love interest and whose scenes are more dramatic 

The film ends up being something that is hard to take seriously. As everything is over the top with the hero being the only one to truly not only save the day but figure things out. But also everyone is disposable especially when it comes to living g or dying except the heroes and villains.

Not to mention the action sequences are a sight to behold as they all truly depend on the fight choreography mroe than anything as the fights include so many people and the only way one can hold off so many are desperate luck and knowing the moves the others will make.

There is So much damage done yet you never question it and just want to see where it goes and how it resolves itself.

Grade: B

AVENGING ANGEL (1985)

Directed By: Robert Vincent O’Neil
Written By: Robert Vincent O’Neil & Joseph M. Cala
Cinematography: Peter Lyons Collister 
Editor: John R. Bowey

Cast: Betsy Russell, Rory Calhoun, Susan Tyrell, Ossie Davis, Robert F. Lyons, Steven M. Porter, Paul Lambert, Barry Pearl, Frank Doubleday

Molly, the former prostitute, has managed to leave her street life with help from Lt. Andrews. She studies law and leads a normal life. When Andrews is killed by a brutal gang, she returns to the streets as Angel to find his killers.


Not surprising that this sequel pales in comparison to the first film. While not a classic at least was offbeat and had some originality.

This film comes across as trying to make everything bigger. Instead of one villain this time she and her friends are taking on a crime family ring.

Now the character is no longer a hooker but in law school and seeking revenge. Most of the actors come back from the original except the two leads. Where one is recast and killed in the opening minutes. This leads to the revenge story. 

The lead this time is played by Betsy Russell and while appealing to the eyes. She doesn’t bring anything to the role. In fact, One misses Donna Wilkes, who played the role originally maybe it was that Russell had more box office appeal and recognizability 

The problem lies in that the first film’s side characters all added to the overall strangeness and humor of the first film. They added old-school charisma and personality and mostly stayed on the side as we got to know them. Which added to the first film’s charm.

This time around the surviving characters is brought into the action more and seem more equipped to handle the action. Whereas in the first film it was more random for them to get involved. Also since we know them from the first film. This time around they are barely developed before just coming out and chasing or shooting.

So while it’s nice to see the veterans in the cast that is all that there is. As of so far, I haven’t seen the other films In the franchise. After watching the first film I felt a little encouraged to continue. This one was written and directed by the director of the first film. Makes me feel like one has seen enough of Angel and her friends continue their adventure.

As it isn’t even fascinating or fun in a 1980’a cheesy or exploitation way. It just comes off as bad and overblown for no real reason. It feels more of chasing in. Rather than have a natural purpose or real story. As it is much less a continuation rather than franchising. 

Grade: F