Friday, August 17, 2012


Up to this moment I didn't think myself & Paul Cooney agreed on ANYTHING movie-related which is funny because I honestly thought we'd hit it off once we finally met. But ever since I met him it seems like all we do is disagree on everything from Miami Vice & Ghost Dog to Jason Statham & Ryan Gosling. Actually I think the only thing we have in common with each other is our love for Akinyele. But not anymore. As it turns out we both share the same love for the classic Carl Weathers film; Action Jackson. I know Carl Weathers isn't part of the Expendables team but with films like THIS, Predator and Rocky 1-4 under his belt, it goes without saying that he's an Expendables alum.


Detroit! City of not so broad shoulders, the Paris of Nowhere, the mistake that's not necessarily on a lake, long derided as a burnt out hellhole...but when it comes to cinema, when it comes to a places in which to make motion pictures-it is the pinnacle, the apex, the Dolph Lundgren of metropoli! What is my proof? Who the fuck are you to ask! But if you must know, I submit to you the twin pieces of perfection that are Robocop and Action Jackson. Based on those two titans of film alone it seems impossible for a movie made in Motown to be anything less than stupendous! In fact, Hollyweird would be well served doing shot for shot remakes of every classic ever made, but this time setting them in Detroit. Think about it! Do you think E.T. would have even wanted to go back to his crummy planet if he and Henry Thomas had been bicycling around the Motor City instead of nowhere USA? And I dare say those poor unfortunate Hebrews in Schindler's List would have stood a better chance of surviving had they been on Robocop's beat. No way that paragon of justice would have allowed a bummer like the Holocaust to go on for years unchecked!

I digress. The 80s! They were a simpler time were they not? Aids was fresh and exciting, Ron was drooling over Nancy, the Transformers were but cartoons and entirely LaBoeuf free. America wasn't perfect mind you, Duran Duran was running rampant, George Michael was setting ladies up for a devastating let down, and Patrick Dempsey was playing nerds and shitting on houses instead of being his McDreamiest. But at least we had Action Jackson!

Unlike me, director Craig R Baxley wastes no time with nonsense and gets right to the good stuff in the first minute: grenades, gunplay and violence against women . That trio might spoil your average Dora the Explorer episode but it's precisely what the discerning moviegoer during the "Me decade" was looking for. A bunch of long haired killers blast some suit wearing d-bag out a high rise window, turning him into a human fireball that falls 50 stories before crashing through a restaurant and landing, seared and ready to serve, amidst a crowd of screaming diners. Their meals may have been ruined but my appetite has been whetted -for more action! It's no surprise that Baxley went on to direct Stone Cold, clearly he's a true master of his craft.

Mac and cheese this movie is dynamite! As I'm recovering from that hot hot beginning the flick hits me with the opening theme, the Pointer Sisters, "He Turned Me Out". Girl power!

Biff from Back to the Future shows up as a cop with an exasperated black partner in what is clearly the inspiration for Lethal Weapon. Why didn't Biff get the role that later went to Mel Gibson? Racism, pure and simple.

Holy crap! Joel Silver produced this? The man responsible for Commando has another masterpiece on his resume. Somebody get my chisel! Teddy Roosevelt's coming down and Herr Silver is going up on Mt. Rushmore! (Hmmm I'm not sure I can fit that face in just one slot...I may have to bump Jefferson too)

Back to the movie...some innuendo passing as exposition reveals that Action Jackson was born after his mother was "molested by Bigfoot." A slanderous assertion against Bigfoot for sure, but entirely believable. It's not quite as menacing as being the bastard son of a thousand maniacs but close enough! They also speculate that he was created by NASA, which is federal funding we can all get behind. Am I right? I don't pay taxes, but if I did, I would write my congressman and tell that bureaucrat to funnel my fundage straight to the Jason Bourne/Action Jackson super soldier programs.

Finally Carl Weathers himself appears onscreen, in all his glistening glory, mustache in bloom and its power surpassed only by the mountains majesty that are his pecs! I'll let everyone pause and contemplate the absolute bullshit that was Rocky II. There is no way a pint sized ally of the Taliban like Sly Stallone could ever beat Apollo Creed!

Bill Duke, clearly jealous of Weathers' magnificence, bellows as the stupid chief who wants Jackson to play by the rules, even if it compromises results! Whatever chief! A whole bunch of exposition happens and we learn that in addition to having gone to Harvard Law and being well on his way to becoming president, Jax was demoted from Lieutenant to Sergeant after he busted the pervert son of auto titan and all around dick Craig T. Nelson.

Well done screenwriter...I already hated Nelson on account of his eyebrows, but now you tell me he's spawning rapists? I double dog hate him!

Duke delays the death dealing by ordering Jackson to behave himself at a fancypants shindig set up to honor Nelson as Man of the Year or some shit. Jackson keeps it cool at first, but then heats it up by flirting with a not yet decrepit Sharon Stone, who happens to be married to Craig T. Oooo! Hot grits on the stove- things are sizzling now! When Jackson makes a crack to Craig T. about his son being anally violated in prison he officially becomes the life of the party. Well done Weathers!

After the festivities we see someone harpooned and a boat explodes. This movie has it all! And what a cast...the amazing assemblage of talent grows even more spectacular when the limo driver from Die Hard makes an appearance, playing a character named Clovis. Clovis! How ridiculous is that? Hello what's this? Action Jackson's first name is Jericho! Wow. I'm tempted to change my pet turtle's name to either Clovis or Jericho...Clovico?

A debate for cineastes the world over is ignited when we see a commercial for Dellaplane auto company's Halley-the hot, hotter, hottest car on the market! Is it better than Robocop's 5000 Sux? Test drive alert!

OMG! Vanity! America's sweetheart finally graces the screen with her unique brand of smoldering slutitude. Caramba! She's not singing Nasty Girl, but she is wearing a purple dress which must have been an ode to Prince, and her nipples are protruding which surely is an ode to awesome. She slinks over to a seated Craig T. after finishing her tune and says, "I expected a standing ovation."

T rejoins, "You're getting one." Zing scwhing! Houston, we have a boner!

T and Vanity split the club and she whines about wanting some heroin and a record deal. When he asks for two reasons why he should help her she pulls down her dress and exposes her boobies. What a compelling argument! Dress open and case closed! She lays back on the bed and Nelson whips it out...a jewel case containing a "girl's best friend"- sweet heroin! Vanity has never looked happier. Thankfully Baxley has enough sense as a director to cut away from the scene after the injection. (not that kind of injection you perverts). T pushes the needle in but we are spared her further degradation and are left to imagine that hateful man defiling her cocoa loveliness. I always close my eyes at this scene just in case a director's cut exists that shows Craig T. actually touching her. Omg, I can't believe it, the 'star' of Coach with Vanity?? Stop, drop and roll! My eyes are on fire!

If I may digress for a moment I'd like to note that among the great tragedies of the 20th century: genocide, World War I, Cop Rock, etc. the worst of all was Vanity discovering Jesus and becoming a born again virgin. What madness is this? Why would the Cleopatra of ho's throw away her genius for smut and abandon her unparallelled sleazy allure? It's like if Bach abandoned the harpsichord so he could play the spoons full time. Will their ever be another Vanity? I doubt it. And thus we can concede the 21st century's race to debasement to the Chinese, who have absolutely no qualms about using sex appeal and have never even heard of Jesus. What an amazing advantage.

Where was I? Ooo Craig T. vents his rage through some martial arts as one of the hoods from Die Hard looks on! Why is T. so angry? He drives a sweet car, lives in a mansion, rails Sharon Stone and molests Vanity on the side. Look on the bright side little camper! You got a lot going for you! What's the lesson boys and girls? Crime pays.

Speaking of crimes, I would be remiss if I didn't point out the rare mistep from auteur extraordinaire Craig R Baxley. Though he graces the audience with a gratuitous shot of Sharon Stone's boobs as she relaxes in the sauna, he lets her don a towel, whereas a true master like Verhoeven insisted she go the extra mile, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

After her shower she joins Jackson for drinks in the afternoon. (alcoholics?) Their daytime dalliance is interrupted when a rather clumsy attempt is made on Jackson's life via a side swipe by a runaway taxi. WTF! We saw three elaborate hits earlier featuring rappelling, grenade launching, harpoon attacks and suitcase bombs fastened to wrists with handcuffs, all to kill out-of-shape middle-aged white guys, but when it comes time to put bad-ass personified Action Jackson out of commission the plan is to hit the gas and try and clip him as he crosses the street? Do you really think your fender has a chance against his thunder thighs? Wait a I going to do it? Yes, I'm calling bullshit. Bullshit has been called!

Jackson dodges the taxi like it was the limp wristed punch thrown by that mumbling idiot Rocky, and then shows off his high school track skills by chasing down the speeding cab on foot! Totally amazeballs. If twitter had been around that would have trended for sure. #blackmancatchescab

Back to Vanity! She sings another terrible song but makes up for it by wearing a sheer dress and I enjoy her breasts. While I'm ruminating on her beauty Sharon Stone pokes her little nose into Craig T's bizness, upsetting him to the extent that he gives her the kiss of death, all literal like, bellowing a psychotic, "I LOVE YOU!" as he sucks her face and pumps a bullet through her chest. Boom! Not even Billy Baldwin can save you now Sharon!

In an scene that is even more shocking and harrowing, Jackson bursts into Vanity's dressing room unannounced and discovers her...fully dressed! Oh the disappointment! A golden opportunity to showcase more of her lovely tawny body is missed, and my sadness is overwhelming. Happily things perk up when she shoots up and Jax quips, "You wouldn't by any chance be diabetic?"

No chance! Oh Vanity, you sure play a strung out sexpot well. I wonder where she studied acting.

Jackson and Vanity take a drive through beautiful downtown Detroit. As I admire her cleavage she opines on life, "Honey, romance is where you find it, and I find it wherever and whenever I can." Take that Buddha! You've just been rendered irrelevant you chubby fuck!

Jax wants to squirrel dear Vanity away before Nelson can kill her so he takes her to a really sleazy hotel that is perfect for her. The manager is the dude from Weird Science who said "in the family jewels?" and he chortles while watching Dino bite Fred Flintstone. Vanity mistakes him for Jou Louis and thereby works her way further into my heart.

Once ensconced in the room Jax wants to have a serious talk, but all Vanity wants to do is fuck. He gets all serious about her heroin use and asks, "Why do you do it?"

"What else is there?" Mmm existentialist philosophy emanating from that lustful little frame! You got me convinced Vanity! What else is there indeed? Somebody pass me a needle!

She's had enough of the jibber jabber and finally puts the question we've all be waiting for to Jackson, "One more chance, wanna fuck?"

Incredibly, he has morals or something and turns her down. The next morning she ponders the reasons why he didn't ravage her in all her trashy glory, "Fine looking woman like me and you don't even touch me all night? You either gotta be queer or a cop."

Why not both? Is Action Jackson America's first queer supercop? Stay tuned!

When he tells her, "Dellaplane owns you", she counters with, "He rents me." (Hmm can we get a price check on that?)

Moving along! Once again Jackson finds himself in a bar in the middle of the afternoon and I'm becoming convinced he has a drinking problem. The bartender is one of the henchmen from Commando, the dude Arnold kills on the plane and then quips to the stewardess that he's "dead tired". Lol! Arnold!

Jackson is shown some testicles in a mason jar and in moments we find our hero at the mercy of a crew of cuthroats, (cutscrots?), who say stuff like, "Take a Tom Slick like you and have a blanket party."

I have no idea what that means but it reminds me of my days as a boy scout, memories I long to block out out despite the entreaties of my therapist to share. I don't like blankets!! Leave me alone!!

Holy shit it's Branscombe Richmond! He's about to cut Jackson up til Vanity smolders her way through some improv and saves the day. What a team!

In a bizarre diversion, Jackson winds up at the salon of some chick named Dee, who's trademark is using words with D in them. It's as awesome as it sounds and not the least bit irritating or ridiculous. She even says "defenestration", (foreshadow alert), and refers to Jackson as "indefatigable".

Suddenly I have visions of Jackson teaming up with Horatio Hornblower and tussling with Napoleon mano a mano. Mismatch! That portly little Corsican wouldn't stand a chance!

Whoa! A more fearsome adversary than Napoleon appears, Billy Bear from 48 Hours and Predator in a silver Detroit Lions jacket, and he's pushing smack on Vanity! Weathers to the rescue. After a brawl highlighted by Billy Bear's psychotic grin and propensity for foul language, Jackson quits playing games and defenestrates him! (The window budget on this movie must have been astronomical.)

Let's skip ahead to Vanity's cleavage cause it is probably the most compelling character in the picture. What are its hopes? Joys? Dreams? Does it recoil in horror at the thought of Vince Neil?

Jackson has a plan to end T's shenanigans once and for all, and it naturally involves using Vanity's copious sex appeal as bait. She slinks into a dive bar and passes two burnt out barfly wastrels on the way to her mark- generic business looking dude. He turns from his whiskey to ogle her, and after drinking her in asks, "What's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?"

After absorbing his leer she rejoins, "I'm not that nice."

AWESOME! Omg...when Steve Jobs reanimates himself and frees Walt Disney from his frozen death chamber, and the two of them work in concert to make the tv in which the viewer can actually meld with the screen and join in on the action, this is the first scene I will meld with! "I'm not that nice"! That's when I appear, with cash in my pocket and malice in my briefs, ready to see just how "not nice" Vanity is! Hurry up and get alive again Jobs! The I-meld. (TM) Make it happen! I want to defile Vanity in a bar full of skels!

While I'm dreaming of Vanity things are starting to look bleak for our man Jackson. Nelson captures him, chains him up, (shirtless of course), and then plays the Bond villain role to a Craig T. (LOL!), revealing all his plans, including confessing to a slew of murders and murders to be. (This in full view of his many many henchmen as well...ummm I don't want to tell a murderous power hungry egomaniac how to do his job but you might want to keep a few secrets! Those henchmen are loyal now but everybody has their price. That reminds me, have we gotten word on what Vanity's price is? Should I get a Kickstarter fund going for that?)

Our hero is helpless as Craig T. taunts him, revealing himself to be a world class meanie and racist in addition to being an all around bad guy. Jackson stays calm cool and collected as T recounts his many misdeeds, until Nelson suddenly ups the evil ante and says that he's going to kill Vanity, but not before he "fucks her one last time." Noooooooooooooooooooo! It's one thing to scheme, and plot, and murder a bunch of less tawny and beautiful nobodies, but to make this threat is going too far! Jackson finally abandons his cavalier air and reacts with fury, jerking his chains...(hmmm he really did. He jerked his chains. I suppose there's another way to phrase that but in any case they were fastened pretty well I guess and he couldn't get out...)

Anyhoo, after instructing his boys to kill Jackson, Craig T. leaves. Haha! T leaves! Why doesn't he stick around for another, oh, 3 minutes and see his nemesis killed? Ummm, he's busy? Evil doesn't take an hour off!

Of course his bungling henchmen botch Jackson's murder and he is freed, with some rather inexplicable help from Vanity's rotund bodyguard. Where the fuck did he come from? In another odd moment, Jackson then shows up at Nelson's murder party without a disguise. Isn't he worried Nelson and his henchmen are going to recognize him? Why did he bring the old guy and the bellhop? Who the fuck is taking care of the hotel guests??

While I'm contemplating these ridiculous things Jackson proceeds to kill a sniper by pulling on some lights...wft? He yanked on some lights? This movie may be running out of steam. Hello what's this? Vanity cries for help! Go Jackson go! He hops in a Dellaplane Hottest and drives it right up a fucking staircase! Amazeballs! He continues his in house vehicular rampage and speeds through the doors to Nelson's bedroom, smashing them open and charging inside! (Good thing Vanity wasn't near the door).

Jackson spies Nelson, who is inexplicably still hellbent on killing Vanity instead of rushing to his waiting chopper and escaping. The game is up Craig T! You should have split, but it's too late now fuckface! Cornered and desperate, T. takes Vanity as a hostage... but wait! He abandons his plan and releases her, challenging Jackson to a one on one, hand to hand fight to the finish instead! What an honorable move! He just won my respect.

Our hero hesitates, suspecting some sort of trap, and Vanity urges him to shoot the now unarmed Craig T. (Not nice Vanity! Oh wait, she plainly stated earlier that she was, in fact, "not that nice". Way to stay in character Vanity!)

They fight, some more glass is broken, Vanity decides not to get involved and leaves her vagina's future in the hands of fate...when fate intervenes and Nelson's guts are splattered all over his wall! It's a happy ending and I'm all ready to break out the marshmallows and the weenies to celebrate when hello what's this? Weathers has been shot too! Ahhh not to worry, much like Dolph in Showdown in Little Tokyo, bullets are no match for pecs of steel and the wound requires zero medical attention. Like none at all. I mean neither he nor Vanity even looks at it closely. There is scarcely a drop of blood is what I'm trying to say!

Bill Duke inexplicably shows up even though the 911 call couldn't have happened more then 2 minutes ago, but before he can answer for that mystery he changes the subject by promoting Jackson on the spot! Take that Axel Foley! You've just been usurped as the Motor City's premier supercop! Go back to discussing cheese plates with Bronson Pinchot you poseur!

Vanity adds to the festive mood by proudly stating that she has kicked heroin cold turkey... in just under a day! Hooray! She then offers her body up to Jackson on the spot in lieu of Thanksgiving dinner and he sensibly accepts. Bon appetit!

Has there ever been a greater triumph? Our man Jackson saves the day and basks in the glow of the always scintillating and never wholesome Vanity. Revel in it mon ami! Live each day contented, knowing that you starred in what's easily the best darn police picture this side of Robocop. I like it!

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