Wellman Santee (Dolph Lundgren) a former race car driver, whose livelihood is transporting exotic stolen super cars, is involved, with his partner Eddie, in shoot out, resulting in the deaths of his friend and a highway cop. Santee is framed for the cop's murder and jailed in a maximum security prison. A few months later, Santee breaks out after narrowly escaping an attempt on his life. He reaches a local diner where he steals a car, abducts the owner, Rita and flees, completely unaware that is hostage is a deputy sheriff. A massive manhunt ensues, spearheaded by Lt. Severance a tough, obessive cop. Santee leads the detective and his men on a dramatic high speed chase, from the desert wilderness to the streets of downtown Los Angeles. Santee's out to clear his name and when it comes to getting even, he's taking revenge into overdrive...Written by
This film has at least (possibly more) two different endings. At end of the second hour, the versions differ from each other:
The original version has Santee shoot Rudy with the Uzi from the top of the ridge many times. Severence grabs Rita and tells him to give it up. Santee appears and says 'I'm here, Severence. Let her go!' before stumbling down the ridge. But Severence overpowers him and kicks him off the edge of a cliff by stomping on his bloodied hands. As Severance is about to kill Rita he and Santee fight over a revolver. Rudy is still alive and they both shoot him before Santee pulverizes Severence with his fists. Just as he is about to crush his head with a boulder Santee says 'This is for Eddie', which is followed by a brief black and white flashback. Severence says 'Go ahead, kid. I'd do it to you' before Santee is interrupted by the police. Severence is then arrested by Sheriff Cepeda who claims he has seen the CCTV footage of him murdering Deputy Agnos back at Jimmy Shoeshine's warehouse. There is a denouement in which Santee is back at his dads ranch and Rita is in her Police Uniform. He mentions the fate of Eddie's wife and E.G. before kissing Rita goodbye.
The other ending of the film has an extra fight scene between Santee, Severence and Rudy. Santee only shoots Rudy from the ridge once and Rudy is knocked out as he hits his head on a rock. Santee's descent from the ridge is shorter. His fight with Severence is the exact same but as he kicks Santee of the cliff his hand doesn't have as much blood on it as it did before. Immeadiatly after landing on a ledge Santee starts climbing back up the cliff. Severence teases Rita about killing her but is interrupted by Santee, who is then interrupted by Rudy holding an AK-47 to his head. Santee gives up and is beaten down by Rudy and Severence. Just as they are about to kill him Rita intervenes and claims that if they do, they'll never get the money he took from Jimmy Shoeshine. Even though the suitcase is hidden under a low railroad bridge elsewhere, Santee pretends it's hidden nearby. This gives him a chance to get the upper-hand over Severence and Rudy and bushwhacks them. All three of them fight but Severence is the first to run off as it's clear he's losing. Rita then beats him with a stick. Santee and Rudy are still fighting but he gets Rudy in a headlock. Rudy's last words before Santee breaks his neck are 'Eddie was just a nigger.' With Rudy dead Santee rushes back to Severence to stop him from hurting Rita. He pulverizes him and is about to finish him off with a boulder but there is no flashback and no mention of Eddie. The cops arrive and Severence is cuffed by Cepeda who makes no reference to seeing the CCTV footage. Santee is handcuffed right away and the films ends with no denouement or any loose ends tied up.
A throwback to the 1980's style one-man-army films, and one of Dolph's best along with Universal Soldier the year before and as close as he would ever get to A-List status as a headliner before falling down to B and at times C grade (Pentathlon anybody?) action from then on. Unknown director and pretty unknown cast make this film stand by itself and being measured like that, it holds its own. The shootout in the car garage midway through is borderline-Commandoesque in the protagonists miraculous bulletproof invincibility. Recommended for car fans, or anybody who likes desert set movies. The Un- Rated version is king and has a much better ending, but R Rated version is not unwatchable.
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