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Brian Bosworth took the action movie world by storm when he starred in the immortal Stone Cold. With that film, the former Seattle Seahawk pretty much cemented his legacy as a Legend of the Silver Screen. Today, we’ll be taking a look at three films from “The Boz”.

First up is…

ONE MAN’S JUSTICE (1996) ***

When The Boz and the director of Equilibrium, Kurt Wimmer team up for a revenge-fueled action picture, you know it’s gonna be something special.

Brian Bosworth stars as a drill instructor who witnesses his wife and child gunned down in what appears to be a convenience store robbery. The Boz also gets shot and awakens weeks later from a coma with the news that his wife is dead and his daughter is on life support. After being forced to pull the plug on his daughter, Bosworth starts looking for answers. A shifty undercover cop (Bruce Payne) assures him he’s dealing with the case, but The Boz doesn’t buy his story. He does a little digging and learns the gunman is in cahoots with Payne and they are trying to sell a bunch of military grade weapons to a kingpin played by… are you ready for this… MC HAMMER!

Stone Cold may be Brian Bosworth’s finest hour, but One Man’s Justice is a fitting encore. He gets to show his dramatic range a bit here and shows that he is more than capable in the acting department. Of course, he has plenty of scenes where he gets to show off his ass-kicking skills too. There’s a great scene where he calls 911 right before beating a bunch of dudes to a pulp. (“I’m going to need five ambulances right away!”) But the highlight of the movie comes when The Boz kicks butt in a tattoo parlor and shoves a tattoo gun through a dude’s hand.

Bruce Payne, with his Whitesnake hair and nose ring is slimeball perfection as the villain. He gives one of his best performances as the dirty cop out to get The Boz. I really loved the scene where Bosworth calls him up to tell him his underling has double crossed him and Payne nonchalantly writes “KILL MARCUS” on his “To Do List”. It’s a throwaway bit that perfectly sums his character up.

One Man’s Justice sizzles when Bosworth is avenging the death of his family. However, the plot gets a bit cluttered near the end. The stuff with Bosworth trying to help a hoodlum kid go straight eats up a lot of screen time. Though well-intentioned, it gets in the way of the ass-kicking. And while it was fun seeing MC Hammer (he was in his “Hammer” phase here) as a kingpin, his talents are pretty much wasted. It’s as if someone told him “Please Hammer, don’t hurt him” and he listened.

AKA: One Tough Bastard. AKA: North’s War.

The next feature starring The Boz is…

SPILL (1996) **

Brian Bosworth teams up with his Midnight Heat director Allan A. (Death Wish 5: The Face of Death) Goldstein for this middling Virus-Run-Amok-in-a-Small-Town movie. The ex-football player turned actor Bosworth stars as an ex-football player turned Secret Service agent. He goes to a national park to prepare for the President’s upcoming visit. A runaway tanker truck carrying a biological weapon crashes into a nearby creek, spilling poison into the town’s water supply. Pretty soon everyone is getting sick and bleeding out of their eyeballs. Bosworth is immune to the virus (mostly because he’s Brian Bosworth) and along with a local vet, they try to stop the government officials behind the outbreak and find a cure to the deadly disease.

The opening scene of Spill is kinda hilarious and is filled with a lot of sub-Keystone Kops shit. One scientist trips over the other’s foot, dropping the virus. In doing so, she cracks the faceplate on her suit, exposing herself to the disease. When the other scientist tries to pick up the broken test tube, she cuts her hands on it and infects herself too. It’s funny as Hell. Too bad the unintentional laughs pretty much stop there because the movie could’ve used them desperately.

I’m not one for Disease movies. I liked Outbreak and that’s about it. Usually when you make one of these kinds of films revolving around an action movie hero, it winds up sucking. As far as these types of things go, I’d say Spill is about on par with Seagal’s The Patriot.

Bosworth does what he can, but he’s not really given much to work with. I mean you don’t hire a guy like The Boz and then make him cough and sneeze for an entire act of your film. I did like the scene where he stopped a guy from throwing an egg at the President and told his team to “Scramble him!”

AKA: Virus. AKA: Acid Death.

And our final Brian Bosworth flick is…

MACH 2 (2001) **

Brian Bosworth stars as an Air Force pilot named Washout assigned to protect a presidential candidate (David Hedison from Licence to Kill) during a flight on a Concorde jet. Crooked Secret Service agents (led by Michael Dorn) take over the plane during the flight, kill the pilots, and try to recover an incriminating disc for the scheming Vice President (Cliff Robertson). Washout is able to handle the hijackers easily enough, but landing the plane is an entirely different story. (He didn’t get a name like “Washout” for nothing.)

Teaming up The Boz with one of my favorite directors, Fred Olen Ray seemed like a good idea. Sadly, this is one of those paste-up features Ray made in the early 2000’s that blatantly recycle footage from other movies and try to pass them off as new sequences. Nearly all the takeoff, flying, and landing scenes in this film are swiped from The Concorde: Airport ’79. Seeing so much footage from a movie two decades older than the movie you're watching is rather ridiculous. It’s almost as hilarious as it is pathetic.

Mach 2 hits all the disaster movie clichés in a Die Hard-ish situation you’d expect. The budget restrictions prevent the flick from really kicking into gear, but Ray did what he could with it. And despite the rough passages, the flick is slightly better than the usual Fred Olen Ray directed pasted-together movies, although that’s not saying a whole bunch.

Thankfully, the sheer number of good actors in supporting roles elevates the film to “Watchable” status. Erotic Thriller Hall of Famer Shannon Whirry plays the love interest, The Last Starfighter himself, Lance Guest shows up as a passenger, Austin (Assault on Precinct 13) Stoker is a sheriff, and Ray regular Nikki Fritz has a decent sized role as an air traffic controller. I especially liked seeing Cliff Robertson playing an evil Vice President. (He also played an evil President in Escape from L.A.)

Next week’s Legend: Tom Cruise.


( 2 comments — Comment )
Dec. 23rd, 2012 12:06 am (UTC)
Which Cruise films are you reviewing? I saw Jack Reacher last night and thought it was pretty good.

BTW I would also recommend checking out Back In Business, Phase IV and The Operative.

Edited at 2012-12-23 12:24 am (UTC)
Dec. 23rd, 2012 12:38 am (UTC)
I'm doing All the Right Moves, Mission: Impossible 2, and Knight and Day. I am going to try to squeeze Jack Reacher in there somewhere this holiday season. Whether or not it'll become part of the Legends column remains to be seen, but I do want to check it out.
( 2 comments — Comment )


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