Thursday, January 10, 2013

Steel Dawn (1987)

Steel Dawn is a late entry in the post-apocalyptic action film genre starring the late, great Patrick Swayze as Nomad, an appropriately named loner who lives out in the desert and wields a mean sword.  After his mentor is killed by an assassin named Sho (bad movie staple Christopher Neame), he takes off after the killer, finally running across a farming community headed by Brion James (in a rare turn as a good guy) being threatened by warlord Anthony Zerbe.  The usual "stoic hero protects the innocents from evil" story ensues and it all goes about the way one would expect.

Steel Dawn is an okay action film that sort of drags in the first half and never really builds up a good head of steam.  Swayze is fine in his role, he always made for an interesting hero and while he's good, the rest of the cast sort of goes through the motions.

Anthony Zerbe comes off as fairly generic and dull, Brion James is given little to do outside of looking either stern, kinda dumb or drunk and then getting killed.  Christopher Neame is...Well, at his best he's generally a crummy actor so this may be one of his best roles.  Swayze's wife Lisa Niemi is the female lead who wants to irrigate the area and she's okay, though given that she had been married to the star since the seventies one would hope they would have some chemistry.

Despite the flaws, the movie is worth checking out at least once.  The action is pretty good, the film is beautifully shot (though it is sort of hard to screw up the desert) and the 80's hair throughout is good for a chuckle.  I also get a kick out this one henchman who keeps trying to help Sho out (Sho wants a fair fight so this is more than a little annoying to him) only to be beheaded by Sho during the showdown with Nomad.  Just don't expect anything terribly original and you might enjoy it.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.