Friday, August 12, 2011

365 Movies day #137 "One Tough Bastard"

How about 3 days of 90s action? First up is "One Tough Bastard" aka "One Man's Justice". It's actually the first of three films directed by Kurt Wimmer. Wimmer was also responsible for "EQUILIBRIUM" and the much unfairly maligned "Ultraviolet" which stands next to "Fifth Element" as my favorite Mila Jovovich film. In his latest two flicks, Wimmer showed an amazing ability to manipulate the unbelievable. His use of visual effects rivals Bekmambetov. Though without his digital signature, "Bastard" is a fun ride.

The film stars Brian Bosworth, former linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks, as Sgt John North. His character is a loving father with a marriage in need of saving. He's also a DI and hand-to-hand instructor for the Army. His opening speech and demonstration to his troops is awesome. All of his fight scenes(a gift Wimmer has displayed in all three movies) are amazing to watch. When North's daughter and wife are killed in a hostage situation leaving him critically wounded (a la "The Punisher" films...but better), he sets out for justice.

The badguys in this are an assortment of well knowns. White gangsta Marcus is played by Jeff Kober, best known to me in his role as Jacob Hale Jr. on "Sons of Anarchy", though he is a consistently successful TV actor with a regular stint on "China Beach" back in the day and appearances in just about everything since. Crooked FBI agent and the true main villain of the story, Agent Savak, is played by Bruce Payne. Now if his name doesn't just scream villain, his ability to play one on a level with folks like Costas Mandylor and Michael Wincott definitely does. Payne will always be the badguy from "Passenger 57" in which he did some of the nastiest crap. He's also known for taking over for Julian Sands in the "Warlock" flicks, playing Kell in "Highlander: End Game", and his badassery earns him even a forgiveness for the "Dungeons and Dragons" movies. I mean, Jeremy Irons did them too. Finally, one of the big crime lords is played by MC HAMMER!!! He traded in the idea of not hurting them for watching those who cross him suffocate on a plastic bag. Fun stuff. "Lost" veteran (played Tom Friendly), M.C. Gainey also makes an appearance as Hank.

Now if you're looking for academy award quality, why are you watching a 90s action flick? If you want to see a cool film where big guys hurt each other, the villains are nasty, the guns are cool and the plot is a bit smarter than your average 90s action flick, then this is definitely the film for you. So many of the action movies from that time frame disappoint me now and I loved them then. "One Tough Bastard" holds up. Oh, and DeJuan Guy plays one of the toughest child ganstas I've ever seen. It's hard for a 12 year old to pull off badass next to Boz, but Guy does a good job of holding his own.

For an extra treat, see if you recognize Neal McDonough ("RAVENOUS", "Captain America", "Band of Brothers", "Minority Report") without his trademark white blond hair, OR Clifton Collins Jr. as one of the Marines. It's a trip!


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