Wednesday, October 21, 2015

52 Pick-Up (1986)/Hero and the Terror (1988)

Given the recent DVD release of a fantastic new documentary on Cannon Films, I thought it would be fun to indulge in a double feature.  For the record, Electric Boogaloo: The Wild Untold Story of Cannon Films is fantastic.

Up until Get Shorty in 1995, 52 Pick-Up was the best display of the wonderful world of Elmore Leonard on the silver screen.  Partially adapted in the company's 1984 Robert Mitchum flick The Ambassador, this 1986 John Frankenheimer film is a tough, gritty, grimy little thriller starring Roy Scheider as a Los Angeles (because shooting in Detroit is more expensive or something, I guess) businessman who is being blackmailed by a slimy jerk played by John Glover and his goons.

Glover has footage of Scheider cheating in his wife (played nicely by Ann-Margret) and he quickly ups the stakes by framing the man for the murder of the woman he's been sleeping with.  Scheider retaliates with the usual table turning and pitting bad guy against bad guy and the end result is a solid but unexceptional thriller.  Good acting, a decent script and some nice direction help things work, though a more energetic pace with more of Leonard's dark wit would have been welcome.

I'm actually a little surprised at how much I enjoyed this rather middle of the road Chuck Norris film.  Chuck plays a heroic cop who is haunted by nightmares of the psycho killer he brought in, only to have to face his fears up close when said psycho escapes from prison and begins killing again.  Chuck is okay here, Steve James is typically underused (par for the course) and Jack O'Halloran is adequate as the huge, unstoppable killer.  Action is muted but solid, the pace is decent enough and while its quite stupid, it never gets to the point where it pisses me off.  Hero and the Terror is a perfectly acceptable rainy day movie, just have one or two actual good movies to bookend it with.

That's all for now.  Stay tuned for more very soon.

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About Me

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