A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Action Jackson

May 17, 2011

Action Jackson

I’ve never seen this movie. Neither has Amanda. And that’s a crying shame, because it is pure awesome cheese. I said when we reviewed Cliffhanger yesterday that I thought it was a movie made during the Nineties that felt like a throwback to the Eighties. This movie is a movie made during the Eighties that has a very Seventies feel to it. Oh it takes place unmistakably during the Eighties. It has giant cellular phones, a bar with hot pink lettering on its sign, yuppies and boom boxes. The plot, however, is pure Dirty Harry.

Carl Weathers (who beat up Rocky twice and is therefore linked to yesterday’s movie) is Jericho “Action” Jackson. Jackson is a policeman with a chip on his shoulder. Right at the start of the movie he gets a dressing down from his commanding officer. He’s already been busted down from Lieutenant for being a loose cannon.

Of course this is a movie from the decade of excess, so Action Jackson is not just a typical cop on the edge like Mitchell or Callahan. He’s an unstoppable super cop. He jumps on and over cars. He beats up mobs of hoods. He’s got a law degree from Harvard. (No, really.)

When an amoral business maven who made his vast fortune making crappy cars (they remind me of the 6000 SUX from Robocop – also set in Detroit) has a plot to take over the Auto Workers of America by killing all the heads of the union and replacing them with his puppets Jackson is the only possible hope. (It helps that he has some bad blood with Peter Dellaplane because Jackson put his son in jail.)

Once Dellaplane realizes that his beautiful wife has hear about his plot and talked to Jackson about it he murders his wife and frames Jackson for it. So Jackson teams up with a gifted and beautiful singer that Dellaplane has been sleeping with (and manipulating via heroin injections.) He goes out and touches base with some of his contacts in the criminal underworld. (His usual source of information turns out to have died, but he’s able to find a new one – an omniscient barber named Dee.) He’s captured, escapes, and finally drives a car up into Dellaplane’s bedroom to confront him.

This movie is pure grade-A cheese. The script is full of astonishingly bad one-liners. Bad as only the one-liners in an Eighties action movie can be. When Jackson is killing a bad-guy with a blowtorch he admonishes him to “Chill out.” It’s a hell of a lot better coming from him than it is from Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin.

At one point near the end of this movie, when the heavily synthesised music swelled during an implausible fight scene, Amanda had this look of pure astonishment and joy on her face. This is the kind of delightfully implausible action super-hero movie that they simply don’t make any more. You can’t imagine how disappointed we are that there were never any sequels made to this movie.

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May 17, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , ,

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