28 March 2011

Tough and Deadly

United States - 1994
Director - Steve Cohen
MCA/Universal Home Video, 1995, VHS
Run Time - 1 hour, 32 minutes

If after seeing the 1993 action flick Back In Action starring Roddy Piper and Billy Blanks you thought to yourself, “This movie shouldn’t have a sequel”, you would be among a respectably discerning demographic. But if, after pondering for some time over a highball, you subsequently concluded, “What this movie does need is spiritual continuation, the further development of the Blanks/Piper dynamic, and the expansion of their unique and compelling action universe/milieu”, you would be in a small and daring group of envelope pushers.

Elmo Freech (Piper), a private detective with painfully macho and stylishly-unmatched uber-90’s perma-stubble stumbles across the comatose form of a man who, thanks to an arbitrary flip of Freech’s pocketknife at a wall map will soon be known as John Portland (“One more inch and you would have been called Puget Sound!”). Portland, played by a perpetually sweaty and obscenely fit Billy Blanks is a deep cover CIA agent who has just been beaten, drugged and car-wrecked to the point of amnesia. Together they spend the rest of the movie punching the shit out of people until they are unconscious and then punching them in the face again for extra “actioniness” in a quest to discover for themselves what the audience saw in the first five minutes of the film.

Tough and Deadly attempts to load a tasteless and mindlessly violent bash-fest with enough shitty, witless one-liners delivered by the eerily youthful Piper, and enough flying high-kicks delivered by the chiseled-yet-childlike Blanks to dull our minds beyond the point of realizing that this flick isn’t about a goddamned thing. Unfortunately, lacking the finesse and grace one would expect from either of these gentleman actors Tough and Deadly fails to deliver a sufficient volume of either wit or wailing to achieve its goal.


Direct to Video Connoisseur said...

I really liked the action quotient on this one, and though it was pretty dumb, the action made up for it.

Ty said...

It was really goofy at times but a Blanks-Piper team up is always gold!

Just picked up a copy of this. Looking forward to watching it again.

The Goodkind said...

Oh yeah, don't get me wrong guys, this is an entertaining movie no doubt, it's just so crude and brutish. I think it was made to illuminate the term "slug-fest". Fortunately it's actually better than Back In Action!