25 user 21 critic

Excessive Force (1993)

R | | Action | 14 May 1993 (USA)
1:26 | Trailer
A group of Chicago cops are involved in a raid from which $3,000,000 disappears. The local mob go after them and the body count starts to rise. The new Chief of Police makes it clear to the... See full summary »


Jon Hess





Cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas Ian Griffith ... Terry McCain
Lance Henriksen ... Devlin
James Earl Jones ... Jake
Tony Todd ... Frankie Hawkins
Burt Young ... Sal DiMarco
Antoni Corone ... Fat Tommy
Liza Cruzat Liza Cruzat ... Hooker
Leon Delaney Leon Delaney ... Hitman #1
Danny Epper Danny Epper ... Hitman #2
Tony Epper Tony Epper ... Delivery Man
Christopher Garbrecht Christopher Garbrecht ... Red
Danny Goldring ... Lieutenant Landry
Ian Gomez ... Lucas
Paula Anglin Paula Anglin ... Yvonne
Bobby Bass ... Limo Driver


A group of Chicago cops are involved in a raid from which $3,000,000 disappears. The local mob go after them and the body count starts to rise. The new Chief of Police makes it clear to the last remaining officer that he will look the other way if he takes the law into his own hands. When the policeman finds he can't follow through on this someone else does and he finds himself and his girl are being hunted by more or less everyone for their own reasons. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language, and for sexuality and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


when first released on VHS in the UK in 1993 there was an urgent distributor recall a few days after release when they realized they had accidentally released a cut of the film that had not been certified by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification). Replacement tapes which had the cut certified by the BBFC had to be sent out to rental shops. See more »


When approaching the crime scene at the garbage dump, the coroner has already laid out a body bag next to the dead body. For the close up however, the same body bag is being placed next to the body. See more »


Terry McCain: Before they blew his head off, they smashed his knees. His knees, for Christ's sake.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK video was cut by 26 seconds with edits to kicks and punches, a man's head being pushed through a car window, a dustbin lid beating, and a man's legs being hit with a baseball bat. The cuts were fully waived for the DVD release. See more »


References Maniac Cop (1988) See more »


Opus 118 #2 for Piano
Written by Johannes Brahms (as Brahms)
Performed by Millerard Roth
See more »

User Reviews

Average `direct to video' action flick made slightly better by a good support cast
29 June 2003 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Terry McCain and his team of Chicago police officers bust up part of mob boss Sal DiMarco's operations. The trial falls through due to the use of excessive force, but $3000000 from the bust goes missing. When DiMarco kills both McCain's partners in an attempt to get the money back, McCain goes after him but decides to spare his life. The next day DiMarco is found dead and McCain realises that there are crooked people around him who are using him to do their dirty work and that they'll soon need to kill him to tidy it all up.

Seeing the cast list in my TV guide I assumed that this would be a classy little thriller so I decided to give it a go. When the opening credits made it look more like any one of a million `straight to video' martial arts films I realised that I had been duped a bit, but decided to give it a go anyway. The plot (written by Griffith himself) is basically the normal one for this type of thing – cop is framed and must fight an army to clear himself and take down the bad guy. It is delivered in quite a good way so it never feels as lame as it is if you actually think about it later. The `twists' are expected – or at least you know there will be twists as there always is in this type of thing.

For an action film I must admit that I found the action scenes to be quite workmanlike and even dull at times. It is evident that Griffith had been watching the films coming out of Hong Kong at the time and had wanted to try and emulate some of that. This can be seen in the two handed gun play he does as well as the scenes in the jazz bar (both of which show that he had seen John Woo's Hard Boiled at least). Sadly without the same style he never gets close and most of his fights are good but far from anything impressive or spectacular. Despite these influences the film still falls into the old clichés, so we have a few scenes of T&A (both actually quite nice – Lewis is better looking that she appears and Cruzat only input is to wear very small underwear and walk across a room - yummy!)

Griffith actually struggles to carry the film and I didn't feel that he had the screen presence he needed to do it. At the start of the film I didn't think he had the looks of a leading man and looked more like a support bad guy – nothing in the film changed this view, although he did do quite well with some of the more `emotional scenes'. Happily the support cast is full of familiar faces, although why they all signed up for this is beyond me! The famous support is split into two camps – those that make the film better and those who seem to be slumming it. James Earl Jones and Burt Young are definitely among the `slummers' and seem confused as to how they signed up for this. In the other camp Henriksen raises every scene and is better than his stereotypical role should have been, while Todd (Candyman) is lively and enjoyable. Charlotte Lewis used to be in Grange Hill as a youth but her English accent doesn't get in the way – and the T&A clause in her contract shows her to have grown up nicely! Sadly she has little to do but be naked or be saved by McCain!

Overall this is not an awful film but it is a very ordinary one. If you have a choice between a blockbuster and this then I'd be tempted to pass on this but, out of a like for like choice this is actually pretty much par for the course. Not great in any sense of the word but just about has enough going for it to justify watching it if there's nothing else on TV.

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Release Date:

14 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Excessive Force See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$308,499, 16 May 1993

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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