|Index||7 reviews in total|
Stephanie and I joined our friends, Mr. and Mrs. Shade, in a game of
"let's test our threshold of pain" as we got together to watch the
malodorous waste of celluloid known as "Killing Streets." As soon as
Lorenzo Lamas appeared on screen with a HORRIBLY FAKE Southern accent
we knew it was go time. "Whatchu doin' here, boyeee?" The moment he
uttered his first line all four of us burst out in laughter. It was
I must say this is one of the best "high school basketball coach travels to Lebanon to save his twin brother" movies I've ever seen. Oh wait, it's the only movie of that nature I've ever seen. Can you believe it?
I'm sorry to say that my plot description is completely accurate and not a figment of my imagination. This movie is all about originality! Honestly, how many other movies can you name that involve a high school basketball coach and his Lebanese cab driver taking on a huge armed-to-the-teeth terrorist group? What's that? You can't think of any? Yeah, that's what I thought.
I could go on and on about the aimless action, the stupid car chases, the implausibility of it all, the one-note "lead" actress whose function is to make out hot and heavy with the hero, but it'd be a waste of our time. I think a description of the end of the movie will sum up everything quite nicely:
One of the terrorists is holding a grenade in one hand and Paré twin #1 in the other. All of a sudden we hear the sound of a basketball being dribbled in slow motion. You read that right; there is actually an "action" movie out there that uses a dribbled basketball as a dramatic sound effect. Paré twin #1 then drops to the ground and Paré twin #2 blows away the terrorist. When Paré twin #1 asks Paré twin #2 how he knew which way he'd duck, Paré twin #2 (the basketball coach) responds with, "In basketball you always fake left and go right." Yeah.
If you're a masochist that, for some unknown reason, likes movies about high school coaches literally outsmarting a whole country full of Lebanese terrorists, then you might actually enjoy this movie. Otherwise, this is strictly for bad movie marks who want to get four or more friends together and create their own Mystery Science Theater episode.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Chris Brandt (Pare) is a high school basketball coach from Ohio. His
brother Craig (also Pare) is a Marine who was kidnapped by Lebanese
terrorists. Running into a wall of red tape from the government, Chris
travels to Lebanon to fight the baddies and rescue his brother. Once in
Lebanon, he teams up with the classic wacky taxi driver to get results.
He also finds time for a romance with government employee Sandra Ross
(Runyon). But Charlie Wolff (Lamas) keeps telling Chris to go away and
mind his own business. Will the Brandt brothers make it out of the
middle east alive? Here we have some classic Michael Pare woodenness -
times two! Anyone who's seen any of the five Van Damme movies where he
plays a dual role knows that it's done in the classic "Patty Duke Show"
way where you see the back of one's head, etc. Double Impact (1991) is
probably the best example of that. But like we said for that film,
"Double the Van Damme, Double the Running Time", and that's exactly the
case here. Killing Streets is way too long at almost two hours. This
extensive length not only tests the audience's patience, but we would
care more about the proceedings if it was at a sensible running time.
But our theory about this is, movies like Killing Streets are primarily
made for overseas audiences, especially in depressed countries. These
people don't want to go back to their miserable lives, so every second
counts when they're sitting in a darkened theater trying to forget
their troubles. So they demand longer movies as a longer escape. And
Golan (of Golan & Globus fame) certainly delivers that.
Pare looks like Michael J. Fox as Alex P. Keaton, Lorenzo Lamas doesn't do all that much but he has a spiffy haircut and an unnecessary southern accent, and the wacky taxi driver is a little less wacky this time around. The main baddie should have been MORE of a baddie, and he also should have been played by Adrien Brody. Killing Streets is an exact cross of two other Pare vehicles: Deadly Heroes (1993) and Instant Justice. It has the same middle east locations as Heroes but almost the same plot as Justice. In Instant Justice (1986) he's looking for his sister. In Killing Streets he's looking for his brother. Did they think fans wouldn't notice the difference? Interestingly, BJ Davis of Laser Mission (1989) and White Ghost (1988) fame was the stunt coordinator and 2nd unit director on this film. And what action there is, is good - there should have been more of it. But they should have cut a lot of other stuff to make room for it. Don't get us wrong, there are some cool parts in Killing Streets, but it's an 85 minute plot stretched out to the breaking point.
Killing Streets isn't bad, it's just too long.
For more action insanity, please visit: comeuppancereviews.com
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Michael Pare plays a dual role-Capt. Brandt who has been kidnapped by terrorists because he is getting to close to finding the hostages and twin brother Chris,a high school football coach who isn't buying the official story that his brother is dead. Lorenzo Lamas is the cold hearted state dept. official who wants Chris out of Lebanon. When he changes his silk suit for fatigues we begin to get a look at what is really happening. He intends to rescue the hostages but now he has two extra handicaps. Chris and a friendly cab driver who believes Lebanon can never be free til the Lebanese make a stand.He lets them go along for one reason. If anything goes wrong the US will claim Chris was on a private quest for vengeance.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***SPOILERS*** Having this gut feeling that his twin brother, CIA
undercover agent, Craig Brandt is in trouble and being held hostage in
Beriut Lebanon Dayton Ohio high school basketball coach Chris Brandt,
both twin brothers played by Michael Pare, travels there to rescue him.
Knowing that the odds are against him, even the US Embassy refuses to help, Chris goes solo and later recruits the both friendly and wise-cracking Lebanese taxi driver Gilad, Gabi Amrani, and US Emesssy secretary Sandara Ross, Jennifer Runyon, to assist him. It doesn't take long, with him killing one of the bad guys in a ferocious knife-fight, for Chris to track down his twin brother Craig and a number of US hostages in this hideout in downtown Beriut. Trying to be a Rambo Chris is a bit over-matched and sadly comes up short in the hero department.
As you would have expected Chris messes up royally in not only having his brother re-captured but those who are holding him and the US hostages, The Kashmullah,take them out of the city. The entire group of US hostages, including Craig Brandt, end up being held in the Kashmulla stronghold fortress of Bakarbadeh some 20 miles outside of Beriut. It's then when the US government get's involved in that Chris had made a mess of everything that they were trying to do, free the hostages and Craig Brant, with their top honcho in Beriut Charlie Wolff,Lonenzo Lamas, and his sidekick the grenade packing and rocket launching expert Harold, Michael Downs, going into action.
Overlong action film that just goes on and on with a number of totally unnecessary sub-plots that includes a ridicules kidnapping of Sandra Ross by non other then her contact in the Lebanese Secret Government Emile, Menahem Einy. There's also the head of the Kashmullah US educated Abdel, Alon Abutbul, who seems to be more interested in playing a silly cat and mouse game with both Chris and Craig Brandt then getting on to business and freeing 25 fellow Kasumullah members held in US and Israeli prisons.
The two really stand-out performances in the movie has to be the taxi driver Gilad who at least makes things interesting, compared to the brain-dead-like Chris & Craig Brandt, with his both wise-cracks and Steve McQueen and Gene Hackman-like action driving sequences and young and confused Kashmullah member Yahzi, Ishai Wureit. Yahzi in fact stole the acting honors in the movie with the most realistic and moving scenes in it.
Having his whole family massacred by the hated Phalangists in 1982 Yahzi was torn between leavening his war torn country of Lebonon for the USA where he wanted to start a new life. In the most telling sequence in the movie, besides the big shoot-out in the end, Abdel really gets to Yahzi in how the US mistreated both him and his family as well as his country Lebonon. This made the murderous Abdel & Co. for once seem human, to the audience watching the film, in explaining his hatred of the US and it's allies in what they did to his once peaceful industrious and neutral, of the violence in the Middle-East, nation. It's later that Abdel showed his true colors and feelings in what he really thought about the naive and impressionable Yahzi, as well as those Yahzi's who joined up with him, but by then it was a bit too late for Yahzi to realize that!
What a dog this one is! Poorly staged action sequences, lousy acting,
terrible dialogue - and it's racist to boot. A ridiculous simplification of
the political turmoil in Lebanon in the 1980s, this film would also have us
believe that one American high-school basketball coach can defeat a whole
army of Lebanese terrorists!!! And we are also meant to believe that the US
Government would recruit this same basketball coach (and his friendly
Lebanese taxi driver!!!) in an operation to rescue American hostages - a
four man operation against hundreds of armed-to-the-teeth terrorists. The
resulting rescue scene is almost as funny as the opening scene of "The Naked
Gun". This sort of nonsense certainly does nothing to help US relations
with the Middle East - and, as this was an Israeli-American co-production,
it does little to help Arab-Israeli relations either.
On the plus side there is some excellent male eye-candy. Lorenzo Lamas, an even worse actor than his father (if such a thing is possible), is pretty easy on the eye. But even better we have no less than two Michael Pares - he plays twin brothers, and neither brother seems to be too fond of wearing shirts! It's a shame that Pare ended up in this sort of z-grade rubbish, particularly after such a promising start in "Eddie and the Cruisers".
With the hunk factor so high, maybe you could watch "Killing Streets" with the sound turned down, put something sexy on the stereo, and simply admire the view!
This is the fourth Paré flick I catch, the others being Bad Moon(a crossbreed of Lassie and your typical sub-par werewolf story), Deadly Heroes(that reuses part of a so-so car-chase in this, and is pure camp) and Village of the Damned(where I must have been basically fine with him, as I don't recall him standing out as poor). Here, he's playing two(I think; it is difficult to determine, as the only thing that sets them apart... *at all*... is that one has a patch of blood over his left eye, as evidence that he's been tortured) identical cousins(they walk and talk alike)... no, wait, twins. Yeah, they feel each other's pain(well, once, when it's required for this thing's excuse for a plot)... has that *ever* been a compelling idea? Whether or not such a thing is just a little bit realistic, it is corny as all hell. Anyway, where Double Impact had split-screen shots, we don't even get *that* here. Chris Brandt wakes up one morning, certain that his brother(in Lebanon, engaged in the conflict) is alive(he dreamt it, you see; at this point, the producers remind the writers that they are, in fact, not currently doing a script for My Little Pony). There is relatively little action, and only near the end does it get to be at least decent. This is one of the stupidest protagonists I've encountered. For some reason, he sure can fight, in spite of being a mere basketball coach. This is not that exciting or entertaining. There is hardly any tension. It is definitely a B-movie, with the acting "talent" to match. The score is fine, nothing special. Same goes for the dialog, with the occasional exception that is concentrated pain in audio form. As another person already put it, this is put together by Americans and Isralies, and offensive to everyone but those groups. There is a little sexuality/eye-candy and moderate, bloody violence in this. Flat, one-sided, and will probably give you constipation... similar, I suppose, to a pizza, albeit without the appeasing scent and taste. Yeah, watch the JCVD film instead. I recommend this solely to those looking for a fix in the genre. 4/10
I was surprised that there was only one comment on this film. This is definitely another example of an American-Israeli co-production which is completely offensive to anybody other than Americans or Israelis! Stereotypes abound, historical inaccuracy, blatant racism, jingoism galore, this movie is painful to watch. Other than that, it's your typical low budget action film. Worth a watch on late night cable.
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