Wifes and children of the Mormon Orville Beecham become victims of a massacre in his own house. The police believes the crime had a religious motive. Orville doesn't give any comment on the... See full summary »
J. Lee Thompson
Trish Van Devere,
Police Inspector Paul Fein (Bronson) copes with family troubles while also dealing with the possibility of advancement to police chief. Meanwhile, his son (Joe Penny)) is investigating the murder of a banker.
Jay Killion (Charles Bronson) had been the presidential bodyguard, but for the inauguration of the recently elected president, he is assigned to the first lady, Lara Royce (Jill Ireland). ... See full summary »
Peter R. Hunt
Paul Kersey, LA architect and part-time vigilante, is fed up with violence and wants a quiet life. However, when friend's daughter dies of overdose, he has no choice but to go to war on drug dealers. Written by
Dragan Antulov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
By this time, Cannon Films' overspending and multiple box office flops were rapidly catching up with them, which promptly resulted in the slashing of their film budgets - most famously with SUPERMAN 4, but also with this one. It's extremely cheap-looking; apparently not that much more was spent than B movie companies still in the theatrical business were spending around this time. It leads to a lot of shoddy moments, like an explosion in a restaurant that is clearly superimposed instead of actually filming an explosion taking place there.
There are other goofs, like how you can see the squib-firing cables trailing out of the pantlegs of characters who get shot. Or how a window shatters a second before someone actually runs into it. Clearly, veteran director J. Lee Thompson's heart was not into this movie, possibly because of his advanced age at this point of his career. The action scenes are pretty lifeless, not helped by them being incredibly inept in their editing (by Thompson's son) at times. It's too bad Michael Winner didn't stay with the series. Even given the sometimes questionable decisions in his career (including in this series), he almost certainly would have pumped up the energy here. The only bright spots come from a few unintentional humorous moments - "It's those damn drugs!", a bomb exploding SEVERAL times, or how Cannon relentlessly promoted itself in the video store scene.
Bronson himself doesn't seem very energetic. The screenplay really doesn't give a lot of extraordinary things for him to do or say here. Curiously, the screenplay was written by a woman, and in fact this female touch sets things up in the beginning that actually have a lot of potential. However, the screenplay abruptly changes track and ignores further exploration of these things to become a dumb shoot-up. I wonder if this was actually how it was written, or things during the production resulted in last-minute rewrites or reedits - it would certainly explain how Kay Lenz's character suddenly disappears early on, and doesn't show up again until the last few minutes!
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