There have been many cheesy action flicks through the ages, some more memorable than others. Leaden acting, stale lines, ridiculous stunts, cardboard characters, and horribly thin plotlines are par for the course. What Lethal Force accomplishes is to create an homage to the genre while poking fun at it without turning into a spoof. It has the smart tongue-in-cheek winks to fans (like Fatal Instinct) combined with just plain dumb jokes (like Airplane!). Yeah, it’s stupid, but it’s brilliant in its stupidity.
The surprisingly interesting plot introduces us to Savitch (Cash Flagg, Jr.) and Jack (Frank Prather), a couple of hitmen who have worked together in the past. We learn that one of Savitch’s old targets, Mal Locke (Andrew Hewitt) didn’t really die and now he’s wheelchair bound and highly pissed. To exact his revenge, his seemingly endless army of henchmen (including tons of faceless masked men and cartoony stereotypes) kidnap Jack’s wife and son to force him to bring his pal Savitch out in the open. Problem is, as badass as Jack is, Savitch’s badassitude is tenfold. Wave after wave of baddies try to capture Savitch and wave after wave fail. While Jack sells his friend out to save his family, Savitch has to figure out if he should help his friend out or fight for his own life.
And oh man, is there some fighting! Scene after scene of over-the-top fight sequences. Guns blazing, feet and fists flying, swords swinging, and even some teeth gnashing. Great stuff abounds!
Besides poking fun at the stereotypical characters and dialogue, there are some also genuinely funny moments in the film. Writer/director Sir Alvin Ecarma knows comedy, and knows the right ratios to make it work.
I urge action fans with a sense of humor to track this down. It was an absolute blast. The sound falls out of synch with the video once in a while, not quite enough to be annoying, but darned near. And the ending makes perfect sense with the rest of the story. If you’re going to go stupid, go all out, and go down swinging.
The musical selections were pure genius, and I found myself laughing at the soundtrack almost as much as the story. Can I watch this again? Readily. It’s smart, funny, chock full of blood, and beats the hell out of what passes for a parody lately (yes, Date Movie, you sucked hard). This movie is something that makes for a fun diversion. Besides, we need enough people to rent and buy this so there’s a sequel!