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First Action Hero (1994)

Il burattinaio (original title)
| Action, Crime, Drama
A maverick cop takes on the seedy criminal underbelly of Miami singlehanded.



(screenplay), (story)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Fierro
Marina Giulia Cavalli ...
Lori Fannon
Ben Costa
Tony Romeo
Ron Nummi ...
Hoagy O'Toole
Maria Grazia Nazzari ...
Katherine Rourke
Antonio Zequila ...
Alessandra Bellini ...
Paloma Fierro
Lino Patruno ...
Peter Castillo
Melchiorre Gerbino ...
Sam Chen (as Mel Gerbino)
John McCullum
Deborah Torchio ...
Santa Costa (as Deborah Di Maggio)
Tania De Nicola ...
Domenico Postiglione ...
Hiro Isami
Gaetano Capozzoli ...
Freddy Tylford


An unconventional, off-the-rails cop - the First Action Hero of the title - is transferred back to his old precinct, Miami, to prevent a gang war. He is forced to juggle his cop duties with the pressures of dealing with his troubled family life and a straight-laced DA. Written by RC Pinchey

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


First there was the last, now there is the... FIRST ACTION HERO





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Did You Know?


Fierro: If you ever want to sue me or take me on, call me.
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References Secret Agent Super Dragon (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

The final gasp of a dead genre... would be worth watching if it wasn't so awful
2 November 2007 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

I'm a big fan of the Italian crime cycle of the 1970's... which came to a crashing halt in the early 80's in favor of gory splatter and post-nuke films. When the Italian film industry finally ran out of steam and succumbed to the American Theatrical system and home video in the late 80's, they pathetically tried to come back with the odd retread with extraordinarily reduced budgets (often filmed in Miami, The Philippines, or the Caribbean where filming is cheap). This is no exception, other than having a little more polished of a cast than say, HAMMERHEAD or MEAN TRICKS. However, it's still just an awful 80's Italian Miami action movie with no style and a cookie-cutter cop vs. mobster plot.

It's nice to see Fabio Testi as a cop like in THE BIG RACKET or VAI GORILLA, but he's completely unbelievable as an American one. He here is back in Miami after a leave in Tampa to stop a gang war among local drug lords. He's friends with an old mob boss (Ferzetti) and mortal enemies with Orso Maria Guerrini (THE BIG RACKET) who plays an up-and-comer who is trying to rub out the competition. Also, he's sleeping with a lawyer (the woman from ALIEN FROM THE DEEP) and having trouble with his ex wife and estranged daughter running around getting into trouble. Oh yeah, he carries a desert eagle and gets in a slow motion fist fight with Giovanni Cianfriglia.

While it's nice to see these familiar genre actors (along with Vasili Karis and Massimo Vanni) together again, it's too bad they're saddled with a rotten script, dull music, uninventive camera-work, and boring direction. There's some shootouts, but not plentiful enough nor over the top enough to really give any life to this film. It feels extremely low budget, like just a step above a student film. Very little in the way of squib work, car stunts, or explosions... and in an "action" film, that is completely unacceptable. Only worth viewing (once) as a curiosity because it's on a bargain bin dollar DVD.

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