Saturday, July 13, 2013

No Mercy (1986)

I've always felt that a movie can be as cliched as it likes, as long as it does something interesting with those cliches.  The 1986 flick No Mercy is a prime example of what can happen when someone follows that credo as it takes a rather formulaic plot and gives it a nice spark thanks to two appealing leads, some nicely done action and a real slimy villain.

Richard Gere is Eddie Jillette, a tough Chicago cop whose partner is killed by slimy vice lord Losado (Jeroen Krabbe) during an impromptu undercover job.  He tracks down Losado by way of Michele (Kim Basinger), a witness to the killing who Losado has control over and of course, the cop and girl end up together while the bad guys track them down.

There are a few things that makes the script work in spite of its predictability:
  1. Richard Gere and Kim Basinger are both likable performers and they give their roles a little more depth than one would expect.  Gere is an unconventional choice for an action role but he makes it work by giving Eddie a humorously cynical outlook along with an understated toughness that works.  As for Basinger, she is quite sexy of course but she also brings a nice dose of reality to her illiterate kept woman character.  
  2. You can't go wrong with New Orleans as a primary location.  Tons of atmosphere, dark corners and grimy swamps, a thriller fan's paradise.  The action is pretty good too with a nice fiery finale.
  3. A good thriller requires a good villain and Krabbe is not too bad as Losado.  He's fairly low key for the most part (save for the end when he starts busting through walls) and William Atherton is pretty good in his typical 80's role of a complete prick.  This time, he's a lawyer.
 No Mercy is a typical 80's cop film with cliches out the ass but thanks to some good casting and nice atmosphere, it manages to work.

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About Me

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