|Index||6 reviews in total|
"Redemption" marks the welcomed return of three action movie icons
Richard Norton, Cynthia Rothrock, and Don Wilson - in an L.A.
drama about a SWAT cop (Wilson) who strays. Wilson acts recklessly on
the job, endangering his partners, and rubs rulebook cop Norton the wrong
way. Wilson's cowboy attitude causes the death of a colleague.
He loses his LAPD job and resorts to the underworld and a mob boss (Chris Penn) for the income he needs to stay afloat. Inevitably Wilson's lapse into crime collides with his former life and his friends on the Force. The movie's best heroic support comes from Norton, who effectively balances his character's integrity with the jealously he harbors for Wilson's higher rank. "Cybertracker" was the last Norton- Wilson pairing, in which they played adversaries, and this picture demonstrates that a movie can always use two great screen heroes. Though the screen time shared by martial arts legends Norton, Wilson & Rothrock is brief, "Redemption" will get an extended cheer from fans.
Don "Jocky" Wilson is back! This time, he's brought some arse-kicking
nineties actions stars with him
to not do much at all. These include
Cynthia Rothrock (from Godfrey Ho's mental Undefeatable and Godfrey
Ho's hilarious Honour and Glory), Richard Norton (from Sword of Boshido
and he's somewhere in Mad Max Fury Road) and Sam Jones (from Jungle
Heat and One Man Force
not much of an action star there). You'd think
with an ensemble like that we'd have a huge limb flinging crunch fest
like Ring of Fire 2, right? Wrong. This one is more like Ring of Fire
1, what with the drama and inner turmoil and stuff.
It's not too bad though. Don "Harold" Wilson is a cop in charge of a raid but is making rash decisions that fellow cop Richard Norton doesn't approve of. Once some drug dealers find out one of their own is a cop with a police issue ghetto blaster stuffed up his jumper, the cop gets chibbed and Don orders the raid too late. Vowing revenge and with the help of hooker Lara (or Tara maybe), Don tracks the dealers down and ends up getting some else killed. Thrown off the force, can Don find redemption by working for gangsters Chris Penn in order to get a mortgage? And win back his ex-wife and child? And help Tara stay on the straight and narrow? And win back the respect of his fellow cops? And help Chris Penn leave the business and stay on the straight and narrow? No wonder he's hardly got any time to kick anyone's teeth out.
Even though the film is full of missed opportunities (Cynthia only gets one fight, Norton doesn't do much of anything, Tara never gets her boobs out) I couldn't help but like it anyway, because it's full of likable actors and does have some action, just not much by way of kickboxing. Here's to Don "Wilson Not" Wilson and his cohorts.
Don (The Dragon) Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock, Sam J. Jones, Richard
Norton, Chris Penn and James Russo are ultimately wasted in this failed
cop drama which finds Wilson as a disgraced cop who ends up switching
alliances to a mobster (Played well by Penn) after Wilson is out of
work due to a mission that went awry and cost the life of one of his
teammates. Redemption proves that Don Wilson is no longer the fierce
martial artist that ruled the low budget martial arts scene in the
Bloodfist movies, in fact Wilson has softened his approach and has
tried to use his typically wooden presence to make the stretch as a
corrupt cop. Wilson is somewhat effective in his performance although
he ends up being too sympathetic and the movie needs an actor who isn't
so goody-goody. Chris Penn and James Russo bring credibility to their
performances and come off rather likable. The problem is that Penn and
Russo have such little screen time that the movie has no impact outside
of their sequences. Richard Norton, Cynthia Rothrock and Sam J. Jones
are completely wasted in roles that could have been populated with
wallpaper for all the affect they have. Plus there is hardly any
martial arts fireworks one would expect from such an ensemble. Indeed
one questions the approach taken with Redemption, since it aims for a
police drama like Cop Land but ends up more like a hack version of
clichés that repeat over and over again. The action sequences which
would normally bail out the movie, are unexciting and stilted. Also the
movie has a deadly dull subplot involving Wilson and a high class call
girl which just consistently slows the movie down, movies like
Redemption need first of all fleshed out characters and lots of screen
time for the important characters to the plot, however because the
movie treats the main story like an afterthought the movie fails on its
own ambitions and satisfies no one in the process.
*1/2 out of 4-(Poor)
Tom (Richard Norton) and John (Don 'The Dragon' Wilson) can't decide
who is the better leader, when a police squad is fighting drug dealers.
The decisive moment is when Murphy (Cynthia Rothrock) is killed - John
was responsible for putting her in danger, so he has to leave. He makes
a new girlfriend, a high class hooker, and being out of work, the
rather desperate John joins the bad guys for a 'job'. Ultimately he
wants to redeem himself - as the title says, 'Redemption' is what it's
all about. But that's a long way to go...
Great cast including Sam 'Flash Gordon' Jones, Chris Penn and James Russo and basically a good genre movie with not much action, but more attention to the characters. They are not simply good guys and bad guys, everyone has their shades of gray. Tom and John put their personal rivalry over the safety of the team sometimes. However, 'Redemption' doesn't manage to avoid the majority of clichés, you know: failed cop who drinks too much, hooker with a heart of gold etc, so I voted an undecided 5 of 10.
If you need a good laugh, you will find the opening scene very amusing.
The scene opens with a guy who is very sweaty and nervous sitting in on a drug deal in a crack house. If you do not find humor here. You probably don't have much of a sense of humor.
Here's a little story about me. I love my B-movies. I like to watch and
laugh. Don Wilson amuses me it has to be said. He has starred in some
great movies, Cyber Tracker, Lion Strike, Out For Blood, Bloodfist,
Fist Of Blood, Bloody Death, Black Blood, Dragon Blood and Blood. Not
to mention 10 sequels to each film. Okay so I made some up. Now the
newest Don fist fest I had seen before this was, Batman Forever but his
voice was computer enhanced and he was in it five seconds. Other than
that the most modern Don film was Lion Strike from 1994. This is
basically because Don films are hard to come by in England, on DVD at
least and I'm not one for raiding the states or Ebay for these sorts of
movies. I wanted to see this movie for one reason or another but
figured I'd need to wait ten years for it to come out here. I was
wrong. While perusing a local store that is selling B-movie DVD's for
1.49pounds. Then I saw it! Boy did I see it! It took me by surprise and
I was giddy with excitement.
Now the film. It is the best Wilson film I have seen. That means little in all honestly because it's not exactly great stuff but it is not hilariously bad. It is not totally inept and Wilson has improved a lot in ten years with his acting. He looks tougher too. I know he's king of all kickboxers but he never looked menacing to me. With his increasing years he looks tougher and more weathered. As well as Wilson the film star other B-movie stalwards like Cynthia (kill me now please!) Rothrock and Rihard Norton as well as Sam Jones, that's Flash Gordon that is! FLASH GORDON!!!!!!!!!
Anyway this is all directed by another B-legend, Art Carmacho. The story has all the clichés you expect from a B-movie and it has Don as a cop so inevitably his partner gets killed and he gets fired. What does alter is that he gets involved with a druglord, albeit a nice druglord by Chris Penn (damn I didn't mention Chris!). Wilson actually stretches a little and even though he's not very good he doesn't embarrass himself like I have seen for example Gary Daniels do when stretching. There are needless fights, however no gratuitous nudity which is a let down.
As for the aciton. Well it's pretty generic. Wilson gives some of his best fights but for me still doesn't fight convincingly on screen. This is dues to him pulling his punches and the very basic choreography. Rothrock doesn't get much action however she does unleash her trademark scorpion kick.
All in all this was surprisingly better than expected. It's not great but is at least watchable. **
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