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"Hunter" The Legion: Part 1 (1989)

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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Another Brilliant Turn By Richard Lynch

Author: Jason Daniel Baker from Toronto, Canada
4 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

American Nazi leader Frank Lassiter (Richard Lynch) escapes prison but does not seek vengeance upon Hunter (Fred Dryer) - the cop who put him there. Instead he and some surprising accomplices heist $5,000,000 from an armored car.

Hunter's partner Dee Dee McCall (Stepfanie Kramer) reunites with her police academy mentor Andy (Claude Akins) - a lonely old man working as a security guard. Andy misses his days on the force and gives his unwanted advice to Hunter. Hunter captures Lassiter's younger brother after Andy's help/interference get in the way. Andy, feeling unwanted and superfluous, shoots himself in the head.

African-American characters were continually subjected to the kind of brutality that had become another trademark of the series. In the first episode the two-part "the Legion" storyline two Black guys are brutally slain. Criticisms of the tone the narratives of the show used in portraying Black people were pretty inexcusable and a major reason why the series was looked down upon.

But the biggest reason was the acting chops or lack thereof of ex-pro football player Fred Dryer who evidently thought of himself as the new Olivier just because his show found an audience.

Dryer actually appeared to be affecting an impression of Eastwood with an angry glare and clenched teeth sneering his lines early in the series. As the show progressed and Dryer gained greater control (as Executive Producer) he then tried acting the part instead of doing the Eastwood impression. It turned out to be a horrendous decision.

Dryer had a considerably higher opinion of his acting than anyone else. Of his contemporaries on TV at the time only Jan-Michael Vincent on Airwolf was worse and Vincent was power-drinking at the time unlike Dryer.

Helmed by Corey Allen - a director who couldn't be trusted to shoot a dog food commercial properly.

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