Four friends on their way to a boxing match get caught in heavy traffic, so they take a shortcut in order to get there faster, unfortunately it leads to them witnessing a murder which leaves them running for their lives.
Four pals are on their way to a boxing match, but get stuck in heavy traffic. To get to the boxing match in time they take the first exit they find to find another way to the venue. As they are driving around lost in gang-land they get stuck and witness a brutal murder. The killer wants no witnesses and tries to kill them too. The four pals get away the first time, but the killer is soon back on their tail again while they are trying to find help in the middle of nowhere. Written by
Screenwriter Kevin Jarre was actually the one who wrote the first spec script for the movie sometime around 1989 or earlier, and producer Lawrence Gordon, who produced films like Predator (1987) and Die Hard (1988), bought it in January of 1990 but later his script was sold to other studios and by the time the movie was going to be made Jarre's original script was drastically changed to the point where only Lewis Colick, the writer who worked on re-writes, got the only writing and story credit. According to fans of Kevin Jarre who read his original script, not a single word from it stayed in the final film and his script was lot more darker and violent than the film. Same thing happened to Jarre's original scripts for films like Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) and The Devil's Own (1997). See more »
During the opening shot that pans from Mike's car to Frank's house, you can see trees that don't belong in the supposed location of Evanston, Illionois, including a very tall palm tree in a neighbor's yard. The scene was likely filmed in suburban Los Angeles. See more »
Francis Howard Wyatt! I used to have a girlfriend named Frances. She had blue eyes just like you.
See more »
Since seeing this film I've never been comfortable with Denis Leary as a comedian because he's so damn convincing as the cold-hearted bad guy in this. I think he's a great actor but this is the movie to see him in as it's A. His best performance and B. One of the best villains ever in movies.
Leary plays Fallon, a dangerous criminal from Chicago's bad side. And when four middle class pals from the quiet suburbs cross him and witness a murder a chase across derelict landscapes follows. The spoon-fed quartet are way out of their comfort zone and have no idea how to navigate the ghetto or deal with its dwellers. Peter Greene, an actor always like to see, plays Sykes, one of Fallon's cohorts as well as Everlast from the rap group House of Pain as Rhodes. They sure do make a threatening impression.
Judgment Night kind of comes across as a modern, urban Deliverance. There are many similarities between them but Judgment Night clearly has more excitement. Estevez (who was cast very late after Tom Cruise and Christian Slater turned down the lead role), Gooding Jnr, Piven and Dorff play well off each other and Piven especially seems to really get into the whiny runt of his character. Though the editors really should have cut down the in-fighting and petty bickering between the quartet as it often slows the film down to a complete stop.
Director Stephen Hopkins (who also did Predator 2 and Blown Away) uses creeping camera movements and neo-noir lighting to provoke multiple eerie moments as well as a great deal of tension. Slow-mo and warped sound effects are also used to great effect in the finale. Alan Silvestri's score is also one of his best, alternating between several different moods. His first score (electronic based) was rejected by Hopkins but that difficult decision proved be a good judgment (ha!) as the end result is one of the film's best features.
Judgment Night is certainly an overlooked tour-de-force and is a brilliant action film with fine performances all round, but Leary completely and utterly steals the show.
22 of 28 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?