Although retitled in the UK to act as a sequel to the 1993 Viggo Mortensen starrer on an unsuspecting video crowd (there were loads of us), this generic action comedy feels like a fused hybrid of early Quentin Tarantino and Shane Black - what with its relentless gunplay, snappy one liners and razor sharp fast cuts: This one isn't a bad way for action junkies to waste an hour or two…
Short tempered ex-L.A. cop Bob Malone (Michael Rooker on scene stealing duty) spends his free time beating up ATM machines and generally being angry for no apparent reason when he gets embroiled in a robbery and inadvertently takes out nearly all of the gang (led by Police Academy's Bobcat Coldthwait). He's quite handy is Bob. Now, back in trouble with the law, Malone has to figure out a way to get his life back on track and make amends with his daughter Chelsea (Danielle Harris), herself finding it difficult to deal with his off-kilter behaviour. Meanwhile across town, Yakuza killer Koji (Ryo Ishibashi from the first movie, even though it isn't. Erm.) arrives to meet with local Mafia and through a series of events is arrested too - thus bringing out two heroes together. Cue a series of events which involves our duo having to team up to battle corrupt cops, Yakuza killers and make sure Chelsea makes it back alive in one piece.
Director Roger Nygard, who subsequently worked on the Star Trek documentary 'Trekkies' and episodes of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' kicks this TV movie into high gear with enough comedic touches and wild action sequences that although derivative of the era (ie: Everything is Tarantino influenced) never fail to impress. The movie has an undeniable fun energy and its clear lead Rooker is having a helluva of a time: His Malone is both crazy and cool in equal measure, expertly flanked by the laid back composure of Ishibashi's Koji. Sure, its not Murtough or Riggs. Hell, it ain't even Butch and Sundance. But its close. The screenplay too by Lloyd Keith (pseudonym for Scott Nimerfro of 'Hannibal', 'X-Men') is wonderfully amusing with the smarts to ensure the action is upfront and centre but doesn't skimp on character or situations. The two leads are ably supported by great character turns from John Laughlin, Tim Thomerson, Stephen Furst and Vincent Schiavelli ensuring this one has enough talent to hold up the back end.
Prism's UK DVD release is one of those budget type deals, but don't let that put you off. The transfer is fine and the audio perfect for this kind of numbskull nonsense - granted, there are little to no extra features and all you basically get is the movie but for the price Amazon are asking one can hardly complain. All in all, this one does the trick with a very silly 'Last Boy Scout' style actioner that's eager to please and twice as handy with much needed gunplay and martial arts shenanigans. Recommended.
A not overly taxing film, which entertainingly blends Tarantino-styledirection and dialogue, with Jarmusch-style quirky Japanesetourists. An Elvis obsessed Yakuza hit man hunts his target, out toavenge the death of a colleague. If you enjoyed 2 Days in the Valley,then watch this. If Tarantino is your God, then beware.