Ray Quick is a bomb expert who worked for the CIA along with a guy named Ned Trent, who's extremely demented. When they have a falling out, Ray becomes a freelancer who lives off the grid. A woman named May Munro contacts and wants him to kill the three men who killed her family years ago, who work for the Leon crime family. Ray does it and after killing the first one, the Leons need to find the one who did it and it turns out Ned is now working for them and they task him with finding the bomber. The Leons get him to work with the police and he looks for the bomber. In the meantime Ray, while working on getting the others, can't help but follow May wherever she goes. Written by
"OK. Let it be known, I didn't want to do this scene because Sharon was not cooperating. We get to the set and she decides not to take her robe off. The director asks only a few of the crew to remain, and she still won't take it off. I promised her I wouldn't take any liberties, so what's the problem? She said, 'I'm just sick of nudity.' I asked her if she could get sick of it on someone else's film. She was having none of it, so I went down to my trailer, brought back a bottle of Black Death vodka that was given to me by Michael Douglas and after half-a-dozen shots we were wet and wild." See more »
The letters on the hotel room door change size and style when seen from the inside after the door is opened. See more »
[to old couple trying to get on elevator; the old man is wearing a colorful shirt]
Where are you going? Hey, use the stairs, this one's full. Get outta here! Get a new shirt.
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Hardly Stallone's worst, but it's not worth mentioning.
* 1/2 out of ****
Arguably Sylvester Stallone's last box office hit (unless you count Cop Land), The Specialist is not the typical Stallone testosterone fest. In fact, it remains a fairly atmospheric thriller revolving around obsession and revenge. But it's not as interesting as it may sound, thanks to the generally lackluster script and mostly unlikeable characters.
Stallone plays Ray Quick, an ex-bomb specialist who works for hire. After the movie's requisite prologue, he's in Miami working for May Munro (Sharon Stone), who wants him to kill three mobsters, especially the head mobster's son, Tomas (Eric Roberts), because they murdered her parents when she was a little girl. Quick contacts her only by phone, they are to never meet, but he's admittedly intrigued by her and vice versa. However, she's actually working for Ned Trent (James Woods), Quick's former colleague who's out for revenge.
Action fans expecting bombastic and over-the-top action sequences should steer clear, this movie will be too sluggish for them. The Specialist has no desire to function as a typical Stallone actioner. There are no large-scale gun battles, fisticuffs, or car chases. In fact, I gather Stallone received the role purely on the basis of his box office clout (and perhaps also his ability to brood and act generally depressed fairly well).
So what is The Specialist, then? Is it a thriller? Yeah, sort of, there are a few suspenseful moments, mostly pertaining to Stallone using his bombs to knock off the mobsters. Surprisingly enough, the twist of having the hero kill the bad guys with explosives (Speed and Blown away came out the same year) works well enough, mostly because the villains' impending doom bears a certain inevitability that plays to the movie's advantage.
But there's little else about the movie worth recommending. The story doesn't make much sense; as soon as it's revealed Roberts' murdered Stone's parents when she was a child, I scratched my head in confusion. He couldn't possibly be more than a year or two older than Stone, meaning he committed the murders when he was about, what, ten or eleven? More likely, it appears the filmmakers are trying to pass off Stone as a twenty-year old bombshell. Sure, Stone looks great (and I do mean great) in this film, but she can't even pass for thirty.
The romance is unsurprisingly perfunctory and generic. As soon as the hero and heroine meet, they almost immediately tear their clothes off and go at it. This is neither romantic nor sexy, even with the undeniably hot Sharon Stone as part of this tryst. I've always kind of liked Stallone, subpar an actor as he may be. He's always had a fairly commandable screen presence, though he has yet to translate that to genuine charisma (which is what puts him considerably behind that other big lug, Arnold Scwarzenegger).
Neither suspenseful nor exciting enough to recommend, The Specialist is of little interest to anyone except for Stallone and Stone fans (and maybe James Wood fans, who will either delight or wince at his maniacally over-the-top performance). I'm still waiting for Stallone to revive his career with a big-budget action blockbuster, but I don't see it happening. Hey, I'm one of the few guys out there who actually liked D-Tox, so I wouldn't necessarily say his career has gone down the drain.
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