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Back to Even (1998)
If you're looking for a good martial arts movie-you better keep looking !
AKA "THE DEBT". This role is the farthest reach you can imagine for Lorenzo Lamas. It is definitely not his usual fare BUT it is a great performance by both him and Michael Pare. They play childhood friends/current antagonists. 15 years ago they got in trouble together. But Mitch (Lamas) got out, went straight. Boyle (Pare) never forgave him for deserting him and vowed to pull him back. Now the squeeze is on Boyle and Mitch will come back or die! It is hard to picture Lamas as a victim until you see him play this role. He makes you uncomfortably aware that each person has within him the capability of being the victim and/or the hero. So much depends on what life does to us at an early age. When people make us afraid of who we are the outcome is sad. There is a difference between redirecting energy and breaking someones spirit. There are many stories here and each time you watch it you see another dimension. But for all that I still prefer Lamas as the action hero with a large smattering of high kicks to keep the excitement high.
Take Down (1979)
In Lamas' first big movie role he is vulnerable,sensitive and endearing
This is Lamas'( Falcon Crest, Renegade) first big role in a movie. He gives us his most sensitive performance. He even pens a song for the movie which he performs. You also see Maureen McCormick acting her most Marcia Bradyist and an early performance by Stephen Furst(St Elsewhere, Babylon5). It is the story of a down and out town. The people have been down so long they don't even try to get up. Just before graduation a small group of kids decide they want one win before a life of defeat and they give it everything. Their great hope is Nick(Lamas) who has enough problems of his own( a drunken father who he covers for at work so often that he will probably not graduate). Can one 18 year old boy with the world against him find the courage in himself to succeed against all odds?
Shooting Stars (1983)
Good Story, Good Stars - Why doesn't it work??
They say movies are magic. It must be true. There must be a magic ingredient beyond script and actors that make movies work. This movie does not have the magic! Parker Stevenson and Billy Dee Williams star as TV detectives that get cancelled and decide to try it for real. On their first case they have to use a movie prop as a gun ( There is a waiting period to buy a gun). It should work. You are rooting for it to work! But it never does. It reminds you of a pilot for a TV series. Maybe that's what it needed. A little more time for the characters to grow and the plot to develop.
Mask of Death (1996)
Fast Paced and Violent - There are NO good guys
Lamas has dual roles as Det Dan McKenna and Russian Mafia liaison Lyle Mason. An FBI surveillance gone wrong gets McKenna's wife killed but not before she takes Mason with her. FBI agent( Billy Dee Williams) notices that Mason and McKenna look alike and with a little help from plastic surgery McKenna becomes Mason. Pain killers that seem to have the side effect of causing McKenna to become violent help to keep the charade going. The violence is never ending - the story line takes a back seat - and Lamas shows off all the right martial art moves.The ending looked like they were hoping for a sequel but it never happened.
NEWS FLASH: Lamas plays anti-hero!
Mike Aguayo(Lamas) is a strange combination of naive friend and ex-cop,ex-con. He's got a good heart but he's a little weak on the moral issues. There is the friend(ex-partner) who is setting him up for the second time. There is the girl who loves him and the woman he is being paid to seduce but who he would willingly follow on his own without any kind of encouragement. In fact, the harder time she gives him the more he has to have her. But she is the one who has him just where she wants him. Thank God for a fair minded police detective with even better instincts who is willing to put himself on the line to find the truth! It would be wrong not to mention bedroom scenes with both women. I'm still trying to figure what it is they are doing in the first one!
The Rage (1997)
Originally titled "In Pursuit Of Honor"- the name change was a mistake
The first in a new style of films for Lamas- no tattoo's, motorcycles or karate. I, for one, miss them. But this is a serious movie. He plays a FBI profiler who has lived so long with the bad guys in his head that he no longer trusts anyone, including himself. Gary Busey is either a great actor or somebody I wouldn't want to meet in broad daylight on a crowded street. Kristen Cloke pursues Lamas as doggedly as she pursues the serial killer. There is one surprise after another as the story unfolds not the least of which is the ending. It seems to never come - there is always one more layer to the story. Cloke and Lamas start out as the good guys, turn into the bad guys and somehow end up the heroes. But it's definitely worth the rental price. For maximum enjoyment throw in a candy bar,a bag of popcorn and a soft drink. You're going to the MOVIES!
Black Dawn (1997)
Good Movie, Bad Movie
This movie was released in the US under the title Good Cop, Bad Cop. It should have been called Good Movie, Bad Movie.When it is good it is unbeatable when it is bad it is horrid. You start off with action scenes that you have no explanation of and characters that you don't recognize even after they explain who they are (until you've watched the movie at least three times). Then you stop the action completely to take the time to explain everything you didn't get before as well as the motivation for the main characters. I don't know who bought this script or WHY? Lamas shows off his comic flare-great timing and a natural acting style that makes you believe he IS every character he plays. Catherine Lazo is great! Tony Colitti is so real he literally leaps off the screen.Patrick StEsprit makes me believe that he is really hurt by Jakes(Lamas) defection and Jerry Hardin is the sidekick that really comes to life. I haven't been this taken with a character since the old cowboy movies,He reminded me of the guy who drove the jeep in the old Roy Rogers movies!
Bounty Tracker (1993)
It's not RENEGADE - It's meaner,sharper, more slick!
Lorenzo Lamas plays a long haired bounty hunter. Sound familiar? (Renegade) Well that's where the similarity ends. His rich brother is dead and he is on the trail of his killers in his brothers porsche. He hooks up with three home boys out to avenge the death of their mentor. Together they kick ass. There is a major martial arts scene where he takes on the whole dojo only to find the master waiting to do him in. Between barbs he catches his breath before taking on the master. It has got to be the longest stretch of karate footage in any of his movies(5 min.)and he shines. As he picks up a pole he gives out a deep "kiya" but doesn't get hurt till they turn to swords. This only gets you ready for a rough action scene at the end with Mathias Hues. The actions great. The double meanings come at you so fast you have to watch it a dozen times to make sure you got them all. And you'll enjoy it more each time you do!
The Swordsman (1992)
A great movie with lots of action.
The legendary sword of Alexander The Great has just been unearthed. It is said to have been blessed by Apollo. Stolen before it can be made the focus of a museum exhibit it is now being used in illegal swordplay exhibitions and Det. Andrew Barrett is on the case. Det. Barrett has been having strange dreams and visions. Julie Wilkins the archaeologist who found the sword believes it is because he is the reincarnation of Alexander The Great. But can she convince Andrew before it is too late? Lorenzo Lamas makes both a believable haunted detective and a vengeful Alexander. A pre-Renegade Lamas is unbelievably masculine in straight black hair that hangs half way down his back. Michael Champion as the long lost cousin is the perfect foil for Lamas.
Gladiator Cop (1995)
Gladiator Cop:The SwordsmanII- more popular then the original.
He is good with a sword and has weird dreams but is he Alexander The Great? The sword is missing again and Barrett is unofficially on the case. But this time he may be in over his head. A reincarnated general he executed has taken his partner prisoner. Can he get his hands on the sword in time to save them both? The sword fights are excellent. Lamas as always is at his best. Nick Pasco's character is killed in the first movie and yet somehow turns up again here without explanation. My gut feeling is that this was one movie edited into two. But they are both so good. Who cares?