Thursday, 14 June 2012

Street Hunter (1990) John A. Gallagher

I don't tend to watch a whole lot of action cinema. Well, not a whole lot of action films that don't include either quality kung fu or deranged and excessive violence. I probobly wouldn't have bothered with Street Hunter as it doesn't have a reputation for either and doesn't evidence anything to make its reputation unfair, but it does have stupidity to spare and not the gauche, tiresome stupidity of a film made for millions with an IQ a millionth of said millions, but an offbeat cool, gritty stupidity that manages to be consistently amusing and watchable instead of depressing and dull like a lot of action stupidity. Actually Street Hunter is kinda lousy as an action film, being of such low budget that the action consists of little more than a good deal of people getting shot and a couple of lame explosions. But at least there are some bloody squibs for the people being shot and a lot of big budget action films of the time didn't really bother with that, so there's a plus. The cast is what really makes the film entertaining. Undervalued should have been a big name star Steve James has one of his few lead roles as the heroic bounty hunter Logan Blade, he's tough, he's cool and he takes shit from no fool. He's even socially conscious, concerned with the education of underprivileged youth. And a decent screen fighter to boot, though he only has a few occasions to show of his physical prowess he makes good use of them. On the side of evil is John Leguizamo in a hysterical early role as a loud mouth upstart drug dealing jive turkey, his trash talk constantly undermined by his obvious weakness. And the always awesome Reb Brown is a villain for a change, a soft spoken psycho mercenary with an obsession for historical war and victory and no tolerance for bad discipline. He acts like he has a serious role in a serious film and as a result is pretty interesting as well as being as badass as you'd expect (it's Reb Brown, so pretty fucking badass). And Valarie Pettiford makes for a better than average token girlfriend character, throwing herself into the cliches with agreeable gusto. I'd say as a mindless action film this is a little overlong and underpowered to carry a kick with the best of 'em, but it sure ain't half bad if you drop your standards down a mine shaft or two and then sit down with a bottle or two of your preferred tipple. That's what I did at least. So on those terms if not necessarily others, recommended from me...

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