Extreme Prejudice (1987) Poster

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cracking stuff !
janus-209 March 2006
They don't make em like this anymore, Walter Hill knows how to stage an "in your face" gun fight, and this movie has truckloads of that. I cant imagine women finding much in this film to entertain them, its a bloke thing through and through.

The film has an engaging story, heist movies are always great, but its conceit of moving the western into the modern era is what really stands this apart. Its got some of the all time great tough guys in it, Michael Ironside , Clancy Brown , William Forsythe etc, and they are obviously having a blast.

If you like the cinematic equivalent of a punch in the face, then this ones for you, its blokes doing what blokes do best, growling macho one liners at each other and trying to blow each other out of their socks. Cracking stuff !
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Good modern western with great cast and good plot
bob the moo28 November 2001
Jack Benteen is a hard-edged Texas ranger, Cash is his boyhood friend who now lives across the border and works as a major drug smuggler bringing crime into Texas. The conflict between the two men is complicated further when a group of soldiers registered as killed in action arrive in the area and begin to involve themselves in the existing drug war.

This is a good Walter Hill film that has plenty of good old fashioned western style action. The plot seems a little strange for most of the film because you're not quite sure where it's going. At the start you assume that the main focus of the film will be the relationship between Power Booth's Cash and Nolte's Benteen, but after 15 minutes the focus shifts onto the arrival of the army unit and stays split between them and Nolte. Because you're not sure what the unit is doing in this situation it keeps your interest throughout. However this means that Boothe is sidelined for most of the film which is a shame.

Both Boothe and Nolte are good, with Nolte doing his usual tough guy stuff. However the real pleasure comes from the depth of famous faces in the supporting cast. Maria Conchita Alonso is in a thankless role as the girlfriend torn between Cash and Benteen, Rip Torn is the local sheriff while the army unit includes many now well-known faces of Michael Ironside, Clancy Brown, William Forsythe and a small role for the always recognisable Tom "Tiny" Lister Jr.

The action is good throughout despite being a little flat and without any great style. The "wild bunch" style ending is exciting if a little unlikely and is typical of Walter Hill.

Overall a good modern day western with a strong cast, good plot and good action. It's nothing out of the ordinary but it's still entertaining decades after it was made.
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You've seen this kind of movie before but it's still worth the ride because Walter Hill drives it
chaos-rampant21 September 2009
You know the movie. Drugs across the Southwest border, blasted Texan landscapes, sweaty faces, gas stations in the middle of nowhere, money exchanging hands and gone missing somewhere along the way, maybe a bank robbery. It's that distinctly American type of crime movie given character by the beautiful western setting, a modern update of sheriffs and Mexican outlaws and doublecrossing between old friends now on opposite sides of the law that goes as far back as Boetticher's films, done with a focus on high-octane no-holds-barred action cut straight from Sam Peckinpah's school of blood squibs and slow-mo gunfights.

The story isn't half-bad but Walter Hill has always been an action nut first and foremost and John Milius was never Cormac McCarthy, so you'll forgive Extreme Prejudice for not quite being No Country for Old Men. It's still a good movie, not very surprising truth be told, with some nice dialogue exchanges along the way, a crabby Rip Torn as the old sheriff mentor and Nick Nolte looking mean and badass for most of the film, and if it's let down in the acting department every now and then when some emoting is required, that's because both Michael Ironside and Powers Boothe playing the villains were never the greatest of actors.

The low 6.2 rating the movie has as of this posting tells me the movie has suffered at the hands of sleepy viewers catching it randomly on late night TV in crappy pan-and-scan versions or indifferent video club patrons renting it on VHS. A niche audience comprising of fans of action movies and 70's gritnik crime cinema, the kind of genre Walter Hill has proudly inhabited in the 70's with films like The Driver, watching a good quality widescreen copy like I saw, will have much different things to say.
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One of Walter Hill's Greats
Bret Rogers2 April 2003
I acutally remember seeing the trailer to this film when I was a teenager and couldnt wait. I have always been a fan of Walter Hill's work, especially Streets of Fire, the Warriors, and Southern Compfort.

I see most people tend to think this is a Wild Bunch wannabe but in actuallity it is more of a "elite team of superheroes kills the bad guy movie". Its more akin to Buckaroo Banzai than the Wild Bunch. (Maybe because Clancy Brown was the same character in both movies) The book was fantastic and I dont see many similarities to Sam Peckinpah other than he and Walter Hill must be brothers.

In this case, the "superheroes" are soldiers and the main hero is a bad-ass sheriff who's best friend is the main heavy. Sounds like any comic book I ever read.

What makes this film so good is Powers Boothe and the elite team of heroes, who are essentially bad guys in there own right. Powers Boothe coming hot off his bad-ass Colonel role in Red Dawn (also Milius) is awesome. His attitude is ripe for this movie and he and Michael Ironside, hot off of "V", is equally bad-ass, play off each other. It is nice to Nolte in his prime as a hero (versus a drug addict).

I highly recommend this movie for any junkie who wants to see a

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"Right way's the hardest, wrong way's the easiest."
Gareth Hacking30 September 2007
One of Walter Hill's many overlooked and undervalued films, Extreme Prejudice is a modern day western, set squarely on the US/Mexican border.

For an action film, it's unusually structured, with two separate strands vying for prominence. On the one hand we have Texas Ranger Jack Benteen (Nick Nolte, looking particularly sharp), versus childhood friend, now drug lord Cash Bailey (Powers Boothe), battling over both the drug trade and Sarita Cisneros (Maria Conchita Alonso), a Mexican singer who loves them both. But what is a supposedly deceased US army unit doing in town? These guys are on a mission, and while they might not like their orders, they'll carry them out to the best of their ability. But what their mission is, they or us are never to sure of.

The film is filled with to the brim with fine character actors, chewing up and spitting out the tough-guy dialogue with relish. Everyone is on fine form though Rip Torn, as Benteen's predecessor and Clancy Brown, as the unit's second-in-command are of particular note.

Well worth a look if you ever get the chance.
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An Underrated 1980s Action Classic. Walter Hill at his best.
jcbutthead8629 November 2012
Extreme Prejudice is a great,underrated 80s Action classic from Walter Hill that combines great direction,action and cast and is one of Hill's most overlooked films. A great mixture of Action and Modern Western,this is one Hill's best films and a movie that deserves more attention from Action fans.

Set in Texas,Extreme Prejudice tells the story of a Texas Ranger named Jack Banteen(Nick Nolte)who has to deal with criminals bringing drugs across the border from Mexico. Unfortunately,the drug supplier is his old best friend Cash Bailey(Powers Booth)who is not only on the opposite side of the law but also share love for the same woman Sarita(Maria Conchita Alonso). While dealing with Cash Bailey,Jack also has to deal with a group of military men led by Major Paul Hackett(Michael Ironside)who do classified missions,but this time they're in Jack Banteen's territory and Banteen has to deal with Cash and the military men with...Extreme Prejudice.

I am shocked and surprised that Extreme Prejudice has been underrated and overlooked by Action fans and Walter Hill fans. 1987 was a great year for the Action movie genre with great Action classics like Lethal Weapon,Predator and Robocop also being released that year. While those three films became Box Office hits and became classics,Extreme Prejudice sadly flopped at the Box Office remains obscure but in my opinion Extreme Prejudice is one of the great Action films of the 1980s and deserves more love. and I think one of the reasons Extreme Prejudice works so well is because of the main character,Action and modern Western setting. While Walter Hill paints the main character with a bigger than life scope,the characters also have depth. The character Jack Banteen is pretty much old school Western cowboy in a modern setting,instead of dealing with just drunks and bar fights,Banteen has to deal with drug dealers,violence and his best friend. Jack has to do something about the violence and drugs in his territory and he can't have second thoughts about it. Jack wants to deal with his old friend Cash his own way whether it means doing it by the book or breaking the law. It's a simple yet complex story that Hill brings with excellence. I love the Action that Walter Hill has in this film because it's bloody,violent and horrific. The violence and Action in the film is more in the tradition of Sam Peckinpah where the violence is ugly and brutal not like the Action films of the 80s(which I love)where after a violent scene it's followed by a one-liner or pun with the ending of the film is definitely a homage to Peckinpah's Western classic The Wild Bunch and you feel like when a person gets killed in the film it isn't fun or lighthearted,it's gritty,dark and uncompromising and I guess it felt kind of out of place during the 80s because you will feel like no character in the film is safe from the violence in the air. Where slow motion in today's Action films are used to look cool,Extreme Prejudice uses slow motion to show the horrifying and dangerous effects of violence. That's one of the things that separates Hill's Action films from the Action films made today. Hill keeps the film moving at a great pace and keeps you glued to the film with great storytelling,memorable characters and excellent atmosphere. Hill has always said every film he has made is a Western and that is true statement with this film. Even though the film is set in the 80s,you can feel the tone of the old west through out the film with most of the characters wearing cowboy hats and getting into Western style shootouts. I feel when watching the film the movie has an almost timeless look to it where you feel like the film could've taken place in any decade or time period by the way people dress and talk. When characters step in the dirt and dust you can feel it coming off the screen and feeling like you're getting dirt on yourself. While none of the film's main characters don't have six-shooters,ride on horse, have stagecoaches or gold coins you smell the great Western genre in this film and it's one of the reasons that Extreme Prejudice is amazing. The ending of the film is great and is filled with intense Action and brutal violence that Walter Hill is an absolute master at doing and will definitely remind viewers of the Western films of the past. It's a an excellent conclusion to the film.

The whole cast does a great job with their roles. Nick Nolte gives one of his best performances as Texas Ranger Jack Banteen bringing a memorable depth and dimension to the role.Excellent performance. Powers Booth is a wonderful delight as Cash Bailey,Jack's old friend who's now a drug lord. Booth's scenes with Nolte are amazing. Michael Ironside is terrific as Major Paul Hackett,the man who leads his secret military group. Maria Conchita Alonso does a wonderful job as Sarita,Jack's girlfriend and a woman Jack and Cash both love. Rip Torn gives a fun performance as Hank,a local sheriff who is also a Father figure to Jack. Clancy Brown is great as Sgt.Larry McRose,Hackett's second in command. William Forsynthe is wonderful and humorous as Sgt.Buck Atwater. Matt Mulhern(SSgt.Declan Coker),Larry B. Scott(Sgt.Charlie Biddle)and Dan Tullis Jr.(Sgt.Luther Fry)give good performances as well.

Walter Hill does an exceptional job with the direction with the film,bringing a gritty,dirty tone to the film and also does a great job with the Action scenes,making bloody,fast and unforgettable. Wonderful Job,Walter.

Jerry Goldsmith's score is great and fits with the Action and Western tone of the film.

In final word,if you love Action films,Westerns and Walter Hill I suggest you see Extreme Prejudice,an action-packed film that has been underrated and overlooked for too long and deserves an audience. Highly Recommended. 10/10.
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The only thing that scared the Hell out of me Cash, was myself
Dan Grant4 June 2000
There are films that are great because of the plot. There are films that are great because of the star and sometimes you get a film that is great because of the star, the director, the supporting cast, the script and it's locale. Those are the best films out there and EXTREME PREJUDICE into that category. Walter Hill has long since been revered as a great director by Hollywood insiders and those that know his work. But if you are a casual fan of film, then you probably have no idea who is and what he has done. But just know this, the man has had a hand in films like all of the Aliens, 48 Hrs and Brewster's Millions. He is quite versatile in his genres and in his propensity to switch his duties on a film. He directs, writes, produces and even executive produces. And in all of that, I believe this is his best film. Aliens is a great film but that has to be more attributed to Cameron because he directed it. But this was Walter's from the beginning. And what we have here is typical Walter Hill brilliance. It is testosterone laden, a little sexist and filled with colourful characters.

Nick Nolte gives, what I think, is the best performance of his career. He was great in Prince of Tides but he is amazing here. He plays an incredibly stoic Texas Ranger whose job is plain and simple. Keep the peace and keep the drugs out of Texas. It is the latter that gives him a bit of trouble as his best childhood friend, Cash Bailey, played with complete evil smugness by Powers Boothe, is now a major drug influence on the Mexican side of the border. But stoicism, honour and duty win over comrarderie and memories of years past. This is the first part of the story.

The second part involves the love interest of both men. Her name is Cerita ( Maria Conchita Alonso ) and both men have loved her for a long time. The issue here is, does Cerita have enough love to stay with Jack and his average life or does she want to sacrifice love and go for wealth and power with Cash?

The third part of the film is the best part and it is the story that involves a covert military team of supposedly dead war heroes. Every one of the team, when put into the computer, shows up as dead. One died while difusing a bomb, the other in a helicopter crash and so on. This supporting cast is one of the great casting jobs and as another reviewer said, one of the best ensembles put together, including Reservoir Dogs. Clancy Brown plays Larry McRose, Michael Ironside plays Major Paul Hackett and William Forsythe plays Buck Atwater. Forsythe has the best performance in the film and this is a film that is rich with great performances. I think the only reason that he got overlooked in 1987 was because this was a litttle scene film and Carolco was still in it's infant stages as a studio. But if Mario Kassar or Andrew Vajna released this picture now it might get a better look and more respect, but that is a different story.

This covert team is apparently in Texas to get some documents that are in Cash Bailey's possession. But what they are really there for, no one knows, and that includes all of the team except for Hackett. So somehow, all three stories and all of the individuals are going to cross paths until you have the final gunfight. Now I am not an expert at gunfights nor have I seen every film out there that has great gunfights, but this has to be up there as one of the best. It goes on for about fifteen minutes and there are some really great shots of people dying and blood spraying and such.

Extreme Prejudice is a tour de force in direction and it is a great script. All of the actors give some of the best performances of their career and if you can give this film a chance ( it seems kind of slow at first ) you will be rewarded.

There are only a few reasons why you are reading this review. One of them is that you have seen the film and you want to see what other people think about it. Another is that you are checking out Nick Nolte's filmography and this is one the films you haven't seen or the same could be said for the other people involved in the film. I'm sure there are other reasons but if the reason I just mentioned is why you are here, then let me just tell you this.

Rent this film, please. You will be very surprised and if you like intriguing characters and a great script with one of the best gunfights in film, then this is one film that you should see. It is now 13 years old but it hasn't aged at all. I watch it about twice a year and I still get a kick out of it.

10 out of 10

A true hidden treasure. And with lines like " Hey as long as I got a face, you got a place to sit", and " Jack Benteen, Texas Ranger, big son of bitch ain't he?" and my favourite, " (Brown)Strange. (Ironside) What is? (Brown) Ordering the termination of an American civilian peace officer, clearly loyal to the country and in the process of bringing a known criminal to justice. (Ironside) But we're going to do our job, right Seargant? (Brown) Right MAJOR." how can you not be entertained?
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Nick Nolte Kicks Ass!!!
cinebuff-310 January 2004
Walter Hill and John Milius tackle the modern day Western in 'Extreme Prejudice'. A fast moving, Drugs Across the Border film that requires some attention to detail. With Nick Nolte delivering the goods as a strong, silent, second generation Texas Ranger opposite an equally powerful Powers Booth as a well connected, possibly undercover Kingpin who had grown up with Nolte... Enter a team of Black Ops GIs led by Michael Ironside and the always underrated Clancy Brown. Stir in the odd bank heist. Great Lines. Lies on top of lies. Lots of guns. William Forsythe as a totally dedicated borderline psycho. Rip Torn as Nolte's shoot from the hip Mentor. Even more guns. And a final Shoot 'Em Up to rival 'The Wild Bunch'. Put it all together, and you have a memorable, cast driven classic 'Guy Flick'!
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Extreme Prejudice
Scarecrow-8828 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
"Well, it's a good day for a killin'"

A Bordertown Texas Ranger, Jack Benteen(..an intense Nick Nolte)warns his childhood friend, Mexican drug lord Cash Bailey(Powers Boothe, who oozes menace)to quit smuggling dope across the border having poor farmers, among others, selling the stuff. Soon, a group of Special Ops soldiers, led by Major Paul Hackett(Michael Ironside)are in town to rob a bank containing Cash's money. Hackett soon forges an alliance with Benteen, informing him that his men plan to wipe out Cash's army as part of a government secret operation. But, can Hackett truly be trusted? A beautiful Mexican woman, Sarita(..a sizzlingly sexy Maria Conchita Alonso), sharing a bed with Benteen, has always been a sore spot between Jack and Cash..Benteen, a man of few words, very serious and introverted, doesn't express his feelings the way Sarita wishes and a rift forms causing her to accept Cash's invitation to his Mexican town. Deciding to release two of Hackett's men when they are arrested, Benteen will join the soldiers on their trip to Cash's fortress, determined to bring both Bailey and Sarita back across the border. But, Hackett has other plans, revealing his true intentions, as his soldiers prepare for the climax's major showdown.

Man, I love Walter Hill movies. EXTREME PREJUDICE has a finale obviously inspired by THE WILD BUNCH and delivers one hell of a shootout. If you do not like bodies torn apart by constant gunfire, then this movie isn't for you. This movie is essentially a modern day western, and the Texas setting provides quite a backdrop for the action that takes place. What a dynamic cast! I mean, hell, listen to the names..Nolte as a firm, law-abiding Ranger(..he has one doozy of a concentrated stare, up and front with whoever he meets, a hold-over from the classic westerns I know and love), Boothe a ruthless drug lord with a frightening grin(..there's this great scene where he allows a scorpion to crawl across his hand, into his palm before crushing it!), Ironside as a seemingly honorable military leader with a dedicated mission(..although his true agenda shouldn't surprise anyone), Rip Torn as Benteen's fatherly superior, Sheriff Hank Pearson(..Torn fans have got to see this guy in action, with a southern accent and a shotgun!), Alonso as the smoldering senorita that comes between Cash and Benteen(..she even has a nude scene and you certainly understand why Gringos would fight over her!), & Hackett's men include Clancy Brown(Highlander;Pet Sematary 2), William Forsythe(..who is a hoot as a boisterous loud-mouth), Matt Mulhern(Major Dad;One Crazy Summer), Dan Tullis Jr, and Larry B Scott(Revenge of the Nerds;Iron Eagle). You even have Luis Contreras(..with a face only mother could love)and Tommy 'Tiny" Lister as Cash's gun-toting security. Boothe wears a white suit and hat, looking like a greasy pimp! There's a terrific bloody shootout between Benteen and Pearson(..good ole Hank bites the big one, saving Benteen's life)against drug dealers working in Texas for Cash, but the finale(..where a lot of automatic machine gun fire wreaks havoc on those engaged in combat)delivers the goods in true Peckinpah fashion..it was as if Hill summoned the spirit of Peckinpah when making this.
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Nolte, Texas Ranger.
Erich819210 May 2008
I can't say anything that already hasn't been said; Extreme Prejudice is a great movie with a great cast, and criminally underrated.

It definitely has a 1980's modern western feel in the vein of Lone Wolf McQuade, but solid writing and the lean direction by Walter Hill make this film about much better than the unintentionally comical Chuck Norris flick. Extreme Prejudice is old school action and it is raw and powerful from the start until the end, and there is some great dialog throughout the whole movie too...although probably only 'great' to those with a more conservative- libertarian bent, but what would you expect from the pen of veteran action ideologue John Milius.

The acting is all class, and every character you remember and has depth; always a sign of a worthwhile movie. Nick Nolte plays the straight edge but likable Texas Ranger, Powers Boothe is the archetypal self-aware 'bad guy', and once again my man Michael Ironside steals every scene he is in, and is the perfect foil. Rip Torn is the funny Sheriff, and Reagan era hottie Maria Conchita Alonso even has a topless scene.

This is a quintessential film for fans of either action movies, westerns, or 1980's nostalgia. The movie was produced by Carolco, which always meant that the action was going to be good and elaborate, and this film is no exception. The Peckinpah inspired final shootout is bloody and epic and really sticks out in an era like today where soft PG-13 action by guys like Will Smith or Nicholas Cage have forgotten that realistic firearms violence can add so much more to a story than CG.

And now let me ask...WHEN IS THE REGION 1 WIDESCREEN DVD VERSION GOING TO BE RELEASED? It is a crime to have to watch this first rate classic in Pan & Scan, especially when so many awful titles from the 1980's have gotten the widescreen treatment. Somebody start a petition already.
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My favorite modern day western!!
grendel-378 August 1999
Walter Hill is one of the most underrated directors, and this is his most underrated movie. A masterpiece, not just of action but dialogue, great character actors. When I first saw this movie, I hated it. Absolutely thought it was the most boring thing I've ever seen. But I wasn't watching it, I was on CQ (you military people will know what that is) and was getting up every five minutes to sign people in. Later on I put the movie in again, and actually sat down and watched it, and listened to it, and it just opened up for me. The dialogue makes this movie, it has lines in it that I feel, that have become part of me. It is really a beautifully written movie, beautifully directed, and littered with some of the finest character actors since RESERVOIR DOGS. Nick Nolte delivering one of his finest performances, in a career littered with great performances. My favorite modern day western! "Hell, you can buy me Cash, you always could. But you can't buy the badge, and one without the other ain't no damn good!" Highly recommended.
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A nice love letter to Peckinpah
tieman6412 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"The only thing worse than a politician is a child molester." - Sheriff Pearson (Extreme Prejudice)

Directed by Walter Hill, "Extreme Prejudice" stars Nick Nolte as Jack Benteen, a Texas Ranger who works the Mexican border. Benteen's biggest problem is Cash Bailey, a powerful crime lord who lives over in Mexico and who is responsible for a number of crimes on Jack's side of the border.

Hill's script was written by John Milius ("Apocalypse Now", "Red Dawn"), so of course things quickly get political. A large portion of their film revolves around a "mission impossible" styled subplot in which a group of off-the-grid soldiers plot to take Cash out themselves. One of the great things about the script is the way Milius juggles both story arcs, and then merges them during the film's grand finale. In an age of cookie-cutter action plots, its nice to find a genre film that keeps us gripped; an hour into the film and we still don't quite know what's going on, or how things tie together.

But most of all, "Extreme Prejudice" is director Walter Hill's love letter to Sam Peckinpah. The film plays like a combination of "Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia" and "The Wild Bunch", Hill serving up brutal gun fights, strained romances, slow motion squib-operas and the kind of sweltering Mexican heat that Peckinpah's best films ooze. This is a film filled with men weathered and beaten by the Texan sun, haunted by an inability to get things right and willing to lay their lives down on matters of principle.

Incidentally, the character of Cash Bailey is based on Orson Welles' corrupt lawn man in "Touch of Evil". "Touch of Evil" was itself set on the Mexican border, and featured a similar cast of sweaty gringos and snarling Mexicans.

7.9/10 - Hill's early films were visceral genre pictures several inches ahead of the curve. His later films, however, concede to, rather than challenge, the conventions of action cinema. This film is a bit different, though. Skip its poor first act and ignore Milius' stupid politics (the whole film is right winger's extra-judicial, "pop an immigrant" fantasy) and you have an atmospheric rift on Peckinpah's "Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia" combined with the apocalyptic ending of "The Wild Bunch".

Worth one viewing.
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Walter Hill's Tribute to Sam Peckinpah
zardoz-132 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"48 Hrs" director Walter Hill's modern-day, macho western "Extreme Prejudice" emerges as a bloodthirsty tribute to writer & director Sam Peckinpah. For the record, Hill adapted the Jim Thompson cult novel as a screenplay for Peckinpah's superb Texas bank robbery saga "The Getaway" (1972) co-starring Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, and Ben Johnson. You can spot some of the ideas that Hill appropriated from that memorable Peckinpah masterpiece and put into this uneven but above-average actioneer. The bank robbers use explosives to distract the local constabulary while they waylay the bank and they cut the local communication lines to keep the authorities from knowing about their audacious deed. Unfortunately, the problem with "Extreme Prejudice" is that Hill and his scribes struggle to streamline two movies into one. One plot concerns an "A-Team" of military soldiers deployed to perform ultra-secret missions that would otherwise embarrass the government. The second plot focuses on the relationship between the hero and the villain who were once the best of friends and are not rivals for the love of the same woman. Despite the uneven, complicated nature of this contemporary western, Hill has fashioned a good crime thriller that maintains attention throughout its 104 minutes with compelling characters, exciting shoot-outs and showdowns, and atmospheric settings.

"Extreme Prejudice" casts Nick Nolte as lean, mean, and incorruptible Texas Ranger Jack Benteen, while wolfish Powers Boothe is at his villainous best as Benteen's chief adversary Cash Bailey. Cash decks himself out in virtuous apparel with a white Stetson, slacks, and jacket. As it turns out, Benteen and Bailey grew up together in Texas. They played football together, dated the same girl, and smoked marijuana right under the noses of Benteen's Texas Ranger father and Benrey County Sheriff Hank Pearson. Times have changed for both men and Benteen wants Cash to stop selling dope and clear out. While these two lethal opponents circle each other warily with blood in their eyes, a squad of officially dead military soldiers under the command of Major Pat Hackett (Michael Ironside of "Starship Troopers") blow into Benrey to rob the city bank. Initially, the two plots appear to intertwine. As Hackett tells one of his men, "We're robbing the bank to cover what we're getting out of the safety deposit boxes. It's a case of national security." Hackett and his men plan to hold up the bank where Bailey stashes his money and records. These men case not only the bank, but they also case the local sheriff's office. Indeed, two of the team--Sgt. Buck Atwater (William Forsythe of "Out for Justice") and Sgt. Luther Fry (Dan Tullis Jr. of "Harlem Nights")--start a fight so authorities will arrest them for disorderly conduct and assault. Once they are confined to jail cells, they scope out the facilities.

The other members of Hackett's team masquerade as Lone Star Armored Car guards so they can enter the bank armed with guns. Naturally, Hackett accompanies them. The robbers don pantie hose to blur their facial features. The flaw in their best laid plan occurs when Sergeant Declan Patrick Coker (Matt Mulhern of "Junior") and Buck wind up stuck momentarily in a gully and cannot make it back to town in time to dispose of one of Cash's henchmen. Cash's henchman Hector (Gary Carlos Cervantes of "Scarface") ambushes Sergeant Fry as he is exiting the bank lugging suitcases of loot. Hector riddles him with a submachine gun and grabs the luggage. While all this is transpiring, Coker and Buck have established a diversion with a hydrogen tanker that they obliterate with explosive charges. Careening back into town late, Coker and Buck run afoul of Benteen. Benteen learns afterward that Coker, Buck, and Fry were listed as dead by the government. When Benteen tracks down Hackett, the major explains that Cash Bailey once served as the DEA's number one, deep-cover informant. Cash has been using the bank in Benteen's own town to launder and stockpile his illicit drug money. Somehow, Hackett convinces Benteen to release Coker and Buck so they can rejoin Hackett, Sergeant Biddle, and Sergeant McRose and head south to Mexico and liquidate Bailey. Ostensibly, Benteen wants to reason with Cash, but he also wants to bring back his girlfriend, Sarita Cisneros (Maria Conchita Alonso of "Predator 2"), who had gone back to Mexico with Cash.

Everybody in "Extreme Prejudice" talks tough and looks intimidating. The salty, profane dialogue that these tough guys snarl with venom at each other predated Quinton Tarantino by several years. As the Benrey County Sheriff, Rip Torn has what is possibly the best line: "Only thing worse than a politician is a child molester." The second best line belongs to William Forsythe's flinty character Buck when he flirts with a woman: "As long as I got a face, you got a place to sit!" The bullet riddled confrontation in old Mexico near the end of this R-rated shoot'em up evokes memories of Peckinpah's magnum opus "The Wild Bunch," while the corrosive friendship between the hero and the villain is reminiscent of Peckinpah's "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid." Hill and his writers slip in a few surprises along the way, particularly in the treacherous character of Major Paul Hackett. If you're looking for a blazing guns entry with virtually everybody biting the dust, then "Extreme Prejudice" is designed with you in mind. The other tale of the Texas Rangers in a contemporary setting that compared favorably with "Extreme Prejudice" came out about four years earlier was director Steve Carver's "Lone Wolf McQuade" (1983) with Chuck Norris in his best bad ass role.
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The ultimate modern western
NateWatchesCoolMovies22 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Walter Hill's Extreme Prejudice is a larger than life piece of southern fried shoot em up pulp, that plays like a Sam Peckinpah film that's been left out in the sun too long, and has solidified into a bloody, nostalgic fossil. The characters who inhabit this sun drenched southern vista are more like weathered archetypes than actual people at first glance, but the genius of Hill is that he always subverts that initial cartoony feeling with excellent writing, pacing that demands attention, and without fail, he casts his films with character actors who give the story the painstaking, unpretentious attention it deserves. Hill has always had a way with casting, and here he composes a symphony of tough guys and gutter poetry spewing, hard boiled cowboys that leaves you feeling like a shot of whiskey marinated in a deer skin sweat lodge. Nick Nolte, just emerging from his pretty boy cocoon and into the second age of his career as a cold blooded tough guy, plays Jack Benteen, a Texas ranger attempting to rid his county of the drug pollution flooding across the Mexican border. Ironically, the front runner and kingpin of the trade is his old buddy and fellow hell raiser Cash Bailey (Powers Boothe), who has zero intention of quitting his wicked ways, even at the behest of an old friend. Boothe is an actor that the camera and mic just loves, and here he theatrically inhabits the role of Cash like a white suited scorpion with a a five o'clock shadow from hell and a voice like granite slabs making love with sandpaper. Truly a memorable villain. This drug war gone personal provides a nice 'clash of the southern American Titans' style aesthetic, as the two go head to head, with the obligatory girl of both their dreams (Maria Conchita Alonso) caught in between. Just to give the plot another shot of tequila infused adrenaline, there's a team of ex special ops mercenaries in town to pull off a mysterious heist that to this day, after at least ten views of this film, I still cannot discern what they have to do with the main plot at all. But no matter, as that sub plot gives a bunch more awesome actors a chance to flex their bulldozing tough guy chops. Michael Ironside plays their leader Paul Hackett, a snarling desert dog of a prick. Clancy Brown plays the level headed, low key bruiser. It's a youthful William Forsythe, however, who steals the show as Buck Atwater, a rowdy, rootin tootin, flippant wiseass of a merc who functions like redneck, black ops version of the joker. Rip Torn shows up as a salty county sheriff as well. All of the characters eventually get swept up in a rip roaringly violent showdown south of the border, with Nolte and Boothe's characters colliding like dusty fire and ice in an explosion of flesh shredding bullets, booze and sweat cocktails flooding the air like smog, and an old fashioned sense of Hollywood escapism, aided by Hill's commitment to not only pushing the detonator on the action, but giving the characters time to talk things out, get to know each other, and most importantly, allow us to get to know them, and actually care about their outcome, so we damn well pay attention when they get their heads blown off in a gunfight. Highly recommended.
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Great action movie with attitude to burn
jadortmunder5 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Yeah, yeah, the final gunfight is obviously staged in such a way as to tip the old Stetson to Sam Peckinpah's "Wild Bunch", but this is no remake of that classic western. It is, however, a witty, brutal re-imagining of "Angels With Dirty Faces" - childhood friends take different paths ending up on opposite sides of the law (Nolte one-ups O'Brien's two-fisted priest with a turn as the most stoic peace officer ever and Boothe shines in too little screen time as the charismatic bad-guy that Cagney always played so well) and as they confront one another, they're forced to deal with a bunch of rowdy troublemakers (Ironside's Ghost Squad of "dead" Spec Ops soldiers standing in quite nicely for the Dead End Kids).

Add Maria Conchita Alonso as the girl in the middle, Rip Torn as the ultimate Texas sheriff, a mess of great "badasses" as the soldiers and a fine mix of action and hardboiled dialog and you have a very entertaining tough guy film. Milius' concept is terrific; Hill knows how to stage these things better than anyone. This movie is a whole lot of fun.

Best one-liner comes from Torn: "Only thing worse than a politician is a child molester." But Boothe, Nolte and some of the soldiers get off some good cracks, too. And that shootout is tremendous. Up there with Hill's Hard Times, The Long Riders and 48 Hrs.
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Oh Mr Hill, you've done it again
Only Mr Hill could bring something so exciting and explosive to the screen, only this wouldn't be well known, as many as it's others, which is the negative, cause it's definitely warrants viewing with an insightful script and very good performances, all around. It's the different and exciting story that makes it, kind of two stories wonderfully colliding together you could say. Once childhood friends, Texas Ranger Jack Benteen (Nolte-dead solid perfect) and drug kingpin, Cash Bailey (Boothe- in one of his performances here) are now warring against each other, especially after Nolte's close friend, and deputy (Rip Torn) is slaughtered. Both enemies vie over old girlfriend (Alonso- never looking hotter, especially near the end in the saloon scene) who had ended up with Nolte. Interfering with the investigation, Nolte has a bigger mess to clean up, where later on, this problem could wonderfully solve his. A elite army of undercover CIA soldiers, lead by their unwavering, hard as steel captain, (Ironside) some seedy, all presumed dead, have popped up, to take down Bailey and company. They are after these documents he has, Cash once one of them, but turned. This is one of those stylishly different action pics, as well as being one of Hills, that only comes along once, one you shouldn't miss. The action shootouts are well staged, especially near the end, with a great cowboy like showdown, it kind of seems weird and puts in a weird disarray, as you don't expect this. Nolte shows what solid character acting is, but it was Boothe, who really impressed me here, speaking such great dialogue, any actor would love to get their hands on. The dialogue seemed meticulously chose, it had me spouting off some lines, after seeing it a few times over twenty five years ago. The title is kind of worrying, when matched it to the movie's story, a better one for something like this could of been applied. All too was the small display of title, etc, over a rising sun. In this R rated version, (the M played cinema wise in Adelaide, more bums on seats) you get what you asked for, heavy squirts of blood and some spillages. You will be humbly satisfied. The whole bloody well made film, is just different you know, and today still stands alone.
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A beautiful modernised western
mokhatib25 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers

A beautiful western-inspired and influenced story of Good vs. Evil set in Texas where Banteen plays a local Texas Ranger on the good side of the law trying to complicate things for Bailey's drug trafficking business, adding to the mix is a secret army operation with more than just money on its mind. I liked the premise of good against evil as a result of human choices and not supernatural or paranormal ones, and what makes this story more humanly-conditioned is the fact that back in the days Banteen and Bailey were best friends both on the wrong side of the law, and at some point one has made a choice to lead a righteous straight path and the other just stuck to his evil ways. Major Paul Hackett (Ironside) surely commits to a choice of his own in leading a group of highly trained military men of different backgrounds to rob the bank where Bailey holds his money and other conspicuous documents supposedly for the purpose of weakening Bailey's business, and that turns out in the end to be just a total cover up and lie manufactured by the Major himself.

Setting this story particularly in Texas adds more western feel to the movie especially in the use of that type of shotguns and Nolte's stern yet vulnerable portrayal of a man trying his best to do the right thing yet is often faced by his dark past. The action direction is quite fitting on behalf of Hill which has been his trademark in many hit movies like The Warriors, Another 8 hrs., Red Heat ,etc..
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Rousing, macho entertainment.
Scott LeBrun26 January 2014
A stoic Nick Nolte and a charismatic Powers Boothe face off in this Peckinpah-style serving of sordid melodrama and intense bloody violence. It's a fun action-Western from director Walter Hill, a filmmaker often at his best when portraying tough male milieus. With story credit going to Fred Rexer and the colourful John Milius, it deliberately makes its way towards an exciting confrontation when bullets fly and countless squibs go off. This will mean that some viewers will be turned off, but others will enjoy the visceral quality of this material. Certainly one of the movie's prime assets is a kick ass cast of cool actors, not just Nolte and Boothe.

The two leads play former childhood friends now on opposite sides of the law, a familiar enough premise. Jack Benteen (Nolte) is a Texas Ranger and Cash Bailey (Boothe) is a big time drug dealer, and Jack wants to give Cash every chance to surrender peaceably. While this is going on, they fight over the affections of a saloon singer, Sarita (the very sexy Maria Conchita Alonso) and a team of mercenaries led by Major Paul Hackett (Michael Ironside) has their own plans that involve a bank robbery.

You know you'll have a good time when you see that Hackett's comrades are played by (among others) Clancy Brown and William Forsythe. Rip Torn makes the most of his screen time as Jack's colleague Sheriff Hank Pearson. Other familiar faces in the cast include Larry B. Scott, John Dennis Johnston, Luis Contreras, Gary Carlos Cervantes, Tommy 'Tiny' Lister, Marco Rodriguez, Mickey Jones, and a briefly seen Lin Shaye. Forsythe in particular tears up the scenery. The sun baked cinematography (by Matthew F. Leonetti), Texas and California locales, and soaring Jerry Goldsmith music are all credits to the movie.

The audience should be able to enjoy the twisty plot, the interplay between the two main characters, and the big finish. All in all, this proves to be a solid outing for Hill and his cast & crew.

Seven out of 10.
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Criminally underrated action classic!
dworldeater28 May 2012
What we have here is one hell of a film. Which goes without saying when you have John Milius writing the script and Walter Hill directing it. Also an ensemble cast that includes Nick Nolte , Powers Boothe , Michael Ironside, Clancy Brown , William Forsythe, Maria Conchita Alonso, the dude who played Lamar in Revenge Of The Nerds and more. Extreme Predudice is pretty much The Wild Bunch set in the 1980's on the U.S./Mexican border . It is almost as good as The Wild Bunch also which is a huge compliment as The Wild Bunch is one of the best films ever made. The pacing on this is quicker. Expect lots of action , great dialogue and stellar performances . Most of Walter Hill 's movies are underrated in my opinion and this is one of his finest works. This is also my favorite western in a modern day setting . I also really like Lone Wolf McQuade, which John Milius wrote also( and is my favorite Chuck Norris film). If you are a fan of action films or westerns this is one movie you should check out.
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Modern day cowboys
Kroshe23 January 2011
I love all Walter Hill movies (including 48 Hours), because they all remind me old western movies.

Back in the 80's I was constantly looking for movies from Sam Peckenpaugh, Sergio Leone, John McTiernen, Richard Donner and of course Walter Hill. All of these movies delivered lots of entertaining action and Extreme Prejudice is one of them. There is nothing deep about it, but it works well on a basic level. I have to accept that there are some holes in the plot, but who cares... This is a good action movie and it delivers what it promises : graphic violence, bloodshed and lots of swearing.

Also, Rip Torn puts a great acting in this movie as well as Michael Ironside and William Forsythe; I would say they are all comparable to Nick Nolte.

Extreme Prejudice is a good flick for the ones who like action and blood. Get your popcorn ready and enjoy.

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Action-Packed Macho Cinema With A Good Cast
Witchfinder General 66625 January 2008
"Extreme Prejudice" of 1987 may not be one of director Walter Hill's best films. but it certainly is a highly entertaining and action-packed piece of 80s macho cinema, that friends of diverting stories about loyalty, violence and tough guys should like. Other than many movies of the kind, "Extreme Prejudice" has an excellent cast. The story is not more promising than your average action flick, but this movie scores with good, violent action and great performances from actors such as Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe and Michael Ironside.

Jack Benteen (Nick Nolte) is a tough Texas Ranger who does his job near the Mexican border with a great sense of duty. His major ambition is to take down a drug cartel run in Mexico by the American Cash Bailey (Powers Boothe), and he has dedicated himself to this goal, irrespective of dangers or fatalities. Not only is Cash Bailey a drug-lord, however, he is also Jack's best childhood friend and the former lover of Jack's sexy Mexican bar singer girlfriend Sarita (Maria Conchita Alonso). Apart from Jack, a bunch of former soldiers lead by a mysterious Major (Michael Ironside) also have some task to carry out in the desert borderland...

The story is OK, but nothing spectacular, and the film's major qualities are the violent action, the characters' macho attitude and tough-mindedness, and, especially the great cast. Nick Nolte is excellent in his role of the silent tough-guy Texas Ranger. Powers Boothe also delivers a great performance as the unscrupulous drug-lord Cash, and beautiful Maria Conchita Alonso fits in her role very well. Michael Ironside is a great actor, and his specialty is playing tough guys or sinister characters. Both attributes apply to the his role in "Extreme Prejudice". The cast furthermore includes Rip Torn as a Sheriff as well as William Forsythe, Clancy Brown and Tommy 'Tiny' Lister in an early role. All things considered, "Extreme Prejudice" is certainly no masterpiece, but friends of tough-minded action flicks should be highly entertained! 6/10
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Pure 80s genius
Francoesque-26 October 2007
Sure, it's not art. It's Walter Hill remaking The Wild Bunch with a Special Forces black ops team tangled up with a Texas Ranger who has feelings for his old buddy and CIA-agent- gone-drug-lord enemy.

It has gunfights, some in slow motion. It has William Forsyth and a spec ops team full of cool characters. It has the spec ops team introduced along with brief summaries of how hard-ass they are and how KIA they are supposed to be.

It is Lone Wolf McQuade with bells and whistles.

It is very entertaining. And in Nolte-Boothe-Ironside it has three of the top action icons of our time battling it out over nothing much in particular, but it's damn good whilst it floats through the eye balls and past the brain.
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a feast for lovers of '80's film
movieman_kev17 March 2007
A group of soldiers believed to be dead by the public at large, try to ferret out Cash Bailey, a drug kingpin who was a childhood friend to the local sheriff (Nick Nolte) who's also after him in this '80's great action film. Every major actor in this film is extremely recognizable to anyone, like me, who loves the '80's and picking them all out during the first time you watch this film is almost as fun as the film itself (Look there's Kurgen from Highlander, Hey isn't that Lamar from Revenge of the nerds?, Wow Officer Dan did stuff before Married with Children, etcetera) Of course then you have the big stars Nolte, Torn, and Forsythe all of which do a great job. Of course both Walter Hill and John Milius are highly regarded by me and any movie either has a hand in is always highly watchable (Milius's 1941 being the only exception). So if you love you action heavy, your men manly, and your explosions huge, you'll love this film.

My Grade: B+

Eye Candy: Maria Conchita Alonso show's T&A (she's stunning)
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Great despite a few minor weaknesses!
John Jennings5 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS! This film has a lot going for it. While limited in duration, this is my favorite Rip Torn role. His classic line:

"I always figured pigshit like you for pearly grips."

The love triangle between Nolte, Boothe, and Alonzo really works, very credible. And the film gets the weapons right, an oddity for Hollywood at that time.

Great performances by all. I am from Texas, and this film gets Texas right.

My biggest gripe is that the covert soldiers spend a lot of time talking about how great they are, which I don't think real soldiers would do. They would just demonstrate it. Some of that dialogue is over the top. Other than that, this film is solid gold all the way.

The "Wild Bunch" finale is an obvious homage, but I can live with that.

Lots of great one-liners.
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One of the coolest action movies of the 80s!
kimnil8017 June 2006
Yes, it is. I do not kidding. There aren't that much people that has heard of this little gem from master action director Walter Hill, but is is HIGHLY recommended. If you like John Woo's early Hong Kong efforts, you will LOVE this movie... It has a great story for an action western, and terrific actors: Michael Ironside, Powers Boothe, Rip Torn, William Forsythe and Clancy Brown. All some of the coolest actors ever committed to screen, if not in ONE movie. I was completely blown away by the scenes and the staging of them in this film, so I wonder why has so few heard of it? It's a shame, this one ranks alongside the most stylish films ever made. It's comparable to some of Hill's best movies: "The Long Riders, Trespass, The Warriors" etc. Nick Nolte is a god, and so is this movie. Don't let the rating fool you. For an action movie, this is a 10. Buy it, like me. And watch it on a widescreen with surround! Lovely.
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