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Over-The-Top-But Entertaining Revenge Flick
ccthemovieman-113 February 2006
Hey, I enjoy a good revenge movie as well as the next guy, even though I know forgiveness is the better way. Revenge films satisfy base urges in all of us. But, holy smokes, this crosses the line a little bit with the glorification of least with the ending (which I won't give away but involves Sharon Stone's character).

Along the way is a fun ride as the revenge-obsessed Stone hires Sylvester Stallon (The Specialist, a term for his bomb-making talents) to kill all the people responsible for her parents' murder years earlier.

The villains are over-the-top, to say the least. One almost has to laugh out loud at one of them: James Woods. Few people in his era (70s and 80s mainly) were better at playing despicable villains than Woods, and in this film he plays that role to the hilt. He also rattles off the best line in the movie when he tells some tourist to "get a new shirt, too."

The other villains are played by Eric Roberts and Rod Steiger. Roberts is nasty and arrogant all the way and Steiger - as he has so often since the 1970s - appears cartoonish in his over-acting.

The film moves quickly which means it's very entertaining and some of the bombing scenes are quite memorable, such as a chunk of a condo building falling into the ocean.

Even though the villains are really nasty, there are no "good guys" here, either. Everyone is seriously flawed, as is the message of the film. I guess this is one of those "guilty pleasure" movies they talk about, because I still enjoy watching it every five or so years.
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James Woods Steals The Show
slightlymad2229 January 2016
Continuing my plan to watch every Sly Stallone movie in order, I come to 1994's The Specialist.

Plot In A Paragraph: Sylvester Stallone is Ray Quick, a freelance bomb expert who lives off the grid. (Don't worry he is a good guy underneath, it is Stallone after all, he won't kill innocent people, takes in stray cats and gives up his seat to pregnant women on buses) May Munro (Sharon Stone) contacts him and wants him to kill the three men who killed her family years ago, who work for the Leon crime family, headed by Joe (Rod Steiger) and his son Tomas (a fun Eric Roberts) Their head of security Ned (A brilliant scene stealing turn by James Woods) Just happens to be Ray's former partner.

Ray Quick has to be the blandest and dullest character had played at this point. I'm not sure if he was bored in the role, but he sleep walks his way through the movie. Like with 'Cobra' we get shots of Sly looking mean and moody behind his shades, or intense and moody as he works on a bomb. Lots of posing as he listens to Stones voice over and over as he stalks her. Lots of posing not much actual acting.

Sharon Stone does, what Sharon Stone did at that point of her career, look good and take her clothes off. Eric Roberts (how did this man not have a bigger career?? I'd much rather watch him on screen than his sister) is a lot of fun, and actually under used. Steiger is surprisingly under whelming, which is a shame. But it's James Woods who this movie belongs too!! He is simply fantastic, and the movie is s lot poorer when he is not on screen.

So once again, for the second movie in a row, Stallone is completely overshadowed by his costar. Like Wesley Snipes in 'Demolition Man', James Woods not only steals every scene he is in, he walks away with the full movie!! You could argue three with John Lithgow in Cliffhanger

As with Nighthawks and Demolition Man, Stallone had scenes cut featuring the villain (This time Woods) and more shot with himself (the scene with the thugs on the bus, and the one where Roberts threatens Sly with a knife) at the last minute. It made no difference, Woods still stole the movie.

Despite a relatively short running time, it actually feels a lot longer than it is.

An interesting note on this is David Fincher was set to direct this at one stage. Stallone liked Fincher, and wanted him, but he was overruled by the producers, because of the failure of Alien 3. Instead they went with Luis Llosa, who had directed the straight to video 'Fire On The Amazon' with a Sandra Bullock and Sniper with Tom Berenger in 1993. Whilst Llosa's career went nowhere (he only directed 2 more movies after this) whilst Fincher made the mega hit Se7en a year later.
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Defending an underrated and misunderstood Stallone's Action Thriller!
ivo-cobra85 November 2015
The Specialist (1994) is the most underrated bashed hated Stallone action thriller flick from it's fans and critics! I grew up with the film and it is still one of my best favorite action Stallone films! People seriously,simply don't understand what the movie is about. It's an action thriller, revenge Flick! The film is misunderstood and it is different Stallone film than in any other action films he played. The Specialist is not a masterpiece, the greatest or the best action film, but it is solid and good. It is an Entertaining action thriller from the beginning to the end.

Stallone plays an trained Ex CIA agent who kills accidentally in Bogota, Colombia a wife and a kid and the bombing goes awry. I loved it how a CIA agent went trough hell, than he leaves the business and becomes a gun for hire. I love the character Ray Quick, I even memorize Stallone's Character! He is a trained henchman an Ex Special Forces The Bomb Specialist expert and Ex CiA Agent turned mercenary for hire, I love that! In this movie Stallone doesn't use a hand gun or any machine guns trough whole film, but he uses his expatriate, high explosives and hand to hand combat to kill a mobster and corrupted cop who was once a promising CIA agent but killed an innocent people and set up Ray!

Stallone's character is well done written, he has a heart. He refused to kill innocent people, women and children, when he set up the bomb in Miami to kill Tomas Leon, inside was May and the bomb explodes, Ray cared and run to stop the bomb but he was too late. Stallone goes to the funeral of the woman identified as May Munro, he mourns and he is filed with quilt with killing an innocent person again. On a bus ride, Ray gets out of his seat and offers it to a pregnant woman. The people haven't see that or noticed, how a good hearted person the character is. He even took a cat under his wing. I love Ray Quick I don't care what anyone says! This movie has always been flawed with it's screenplay, a powerful score, lush cinematography and a solid cast. It has plot holes, but I still love it.

I love the twists, the action sequences, the erotic's sex scenes in the hot tub, this scene really never bothered me. The special effects were great, the bomb explosions. I absolutely love this movie. It is very stylish, sexy and explosive. Stallone and Stone were perfect together. The Miami scenery was awesome. The music score was amazing. And the action was intense. Sylvester Stallone is truly an amazing actor and a truly a great talent. Also James Woods gave a powerful performance as Ned Trent a vengeful a hired assassin and a corrupt cop! Sharon Stone did a wonderful performance as a drop-dead beauty! I love the bus ride scene! Ray Quick gets out of his seat and offers it to a pregnant woman, only to have a young hoodlum take the seat instead. Quick calmly beats the crap out of the hoodlum and all his friends, throwing one of them out a window (not open), and then re-offers the seat to the woman. This scene has no bearing on the plot, but helps us get to know Quick. It is awesome powerful scene!

Why I love this movie? I love it because in this movie Stallone doesn't use gun or machine guns but he uses his expatriate, high explosives and hand to hand combat. The Specialist is the most Underrated Action Thriller. I love Sharon Stone from Basic Instinct to another action thriller The Specialist and I love James Woods playing a villain in this movie. This was the only action movie that Stallone made in 1994 it was success but it turned in to one of very underrated movie and honestly I don't care.

This movie is, apart from the film music, as a whole a must-see for action movie lovers with erotic scenes, built in smoothly. The double role of May makes the movie richer: there IS a plot possible in these kind of movies!. Action abound and well distributed over the time. Eric Roberts and James Woods play their roles at the same high level as Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone. I see originality, in the sense of action: the highly developed explosive devices-do hey really exist? CIA will know.. A flaw ,which I do not understand up to now, is that the getaway boat from M&M seafood seemed to be so readily available. The goofy trick with the telephone in the Fontainebleau Hotel as well, but those are not disturbing details. The movie has a steady pace and ends with the Miami Sound Machine!. Best scene is of course , the intimate scene in the hotel. Superb entertainment!

Two of Hollywood's biggest stars combine fiery action with steamy sensuality in The Specialist. Sharon Stone, a drop-dead beauty with a fatal past. She's sworn death to the mobsters who murdered her parents and she's decided the method of their disposal: blast 'em- one by one- to kingdom come. She also knows the right man for the job: cool-fire ex-CIA explosives expert Ray Quick (Sylvester Stallone). That is your basic plot!

I am giving this film a 8, because what the hell, this film deserves it! I love this film it is my best Stallone fifth favorite film!

The Specialist is a 1994 American action film directed by Luis Llosa, starring Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone and James Woods.

8/10 Grade: B Studio: Warner Bros Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, James Woods, Rod Steiger, Eric Roberts Director: Luis Llosa Producer: Jerry Weintraub Screenplay: Alexandra Seros Based on The Specialist novels by John Shirley Rated: R Running Time: 1 Hr. 50 Mins. Budget: $57.000.000 Box Office: $159,055,768
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Some more support
SCHAGELA18 January 2002
Although I'm not really a Sly-fan I found this movie highly entertaining and it made me laugh quite a lot. I totally agree with the comment of bensonl who, in my opinion understands the value of entertainment. Right you are, mate! I think it's silly to look for a good plot (is there one?) in an action flick like this. Anyway, who cares? If you're in for a plot go see 'Usual Suspects', I'd say.

By the way, if you're being led by all the negative comments, you'll miss the chance of (yet again) seeing Sharon without clothes.....mmmm! 8 out of 10 to push up the score.
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Hardly Stallone's worst, but it's not worth mentioning.
Li-129 July 2003
* 1/2 out of ****

Arguably Sylvester Stallone's last box office hit (unless you count Cop Land), The Specialist is not the typical Stallone testosterone fest. In fact, it remains a fairly atmospheric thriller revolving around obsession and revenge. But it's not as interesting as it may sound, thanks to the generally lackluster script and mostly unlikeable characters.

Stallone plays Ray Quick, an ex-bomb specialist who works for hire. After the movie's requisite prologue, he's in Miami working for May Munro (Sharon Stone), who wants him to kill three mobsters, especially the head mobster's son, Tomas (Eric Roberts), because they murdered her parents when she was a little girl. Quick contacts her only by phone, they are to never meet, but he's admittedly intrigued by her and vice versa. However, she's actually working for Ned Trent (James Woods), Quick's former colleague who's out for revenge.

Action fans expecting bombastic and over-the-top action sequences should steer clear, this movie will be too sluggish for them. The Specialist has no desire to function as a typical Stallone actioner. There are no large-scale gun battles, fisticuffs, or car chases. In fact, I gather Stallone received the role purely on the basis of his box office clout (and perhaps also his ability to brood and act generally depressed fairly well).

So what is The Specialist, then? Is it a thriller? Yeah, sort of, there are a few suspenseful moments, mostly pertaining to Stallone using his bombs to knock off the mobsters. Surprisingly enough, the twist of having the hero kill the bad guys with explosives (Speed and Blown away came out the same year) works well enough, mostly because the villains' impending doom bears a certain inevitability that plays to the movie's advantage.

But there's little else about the movie worth recommending. The story doesn't make much sense; as soon as it's revealed Roberts' murdered Stone's parents when she was a child, I scratched my head in confusion. He couldn't possibly be more than a year or two older than Stone, meaning he committed the murders when he was about, what, ten or eleven? More likely, it appears the filmmakers are trying to pass off Stone as a twenty-year old bombshell. Sure, Stone looks great (and I do mean great) in this film, but she can't even pass for thirty.

The romance is unsurprisingly perfunctory and generic. As soon as the hero and heroine meet, they almost immediately tear their clothes off and go at it. This is neither romantic nor sexy, even with the undeniably hot Sharon Stone as part of this tryst. I've always kind of liked Stallone, subpar an actor as he may be. He's always had a fairly commandable screen presence, though he has yet to translate that to genuine charisma (which is what puts him considerably behind that other big lug, Arnold Scwarzenegger).

Neither suspenseful nor exciting enough to recommend, The Specialist is of little interest to anyone except for Stallone and Stone fans (and maybe James Wood fans, who will either delight or wince at his maniacally over-the-top performance). I'm still waiting for Stallone to revive his career with a big-budget action blockbuster, but I don't see it happening. Hey, I'm one of the few guys out there who actually liked D-Tox, so I wouldn't necessarily say his career has gone down the drain.
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James Woods is the best actor, the movie it self is weak, lazy, cheesy but decent 90's revenge Stallone flick
NightmareOnElmStreetFan26 October 2019
This is the weakest Stallone performance I have seen in a cheesy, lazy but decent revenge 90's erotic thriller I LIKE IT! This is a missed opportunity for Sly. This movie could have been a lot of better. It could have made with better script, better story, no plot holes. Sex scenes could have been delete it. It did not got any bond or relationship between Stallone and Stone. I like the film, in 2015 it become my favorite Stallone film, today I change my opinion. I love Sylvester Stallone to death, he is an underdog actor to me. The Specialist is cheesy, weak lazy movie from Sly but it is better than Assassins (1995) Stallone did a year later. I like The Specialist more than Assassins it is better than Assassins (1995).

The movie starts in Bogota, Colombia 1984 when two CIA explosives experts mine the bridge to blow off a drug dealer on a bridge. When Ray Quick (Sly) sees a young girl and an innocent mom in a car he try's to stop the explosion but his partner betrays him. So Ray reports Ned to CIA and they both got kicked out of the agency. Now present day May Munro (Sharon Stone) is a drop dead beauty with a fatal past. She somehow finds Ray Quick trough email and she sends him a messages and hires him to kill three mobsters. Because when May was a kid she saw the murder of her parents by three sadistic mobsters who torture and kill her mom and kill her dad. Ray at first is carefull and does not want to do anything with it. The woman twists his head around, so hard that he accepts the job and kills all three mobsters only he realizes that he was set up by Ned wonderful James Woods. That's mostly the plot.

The best thing, the only thing that is good about this movie is James Woods his phenomenal acting performance. Watch his acting ability, watch his lines. James Woods is one of the best actors I have seen on a movie screen. This movie reviewer who wrote James Woods steal the show is right a vote to him by me. I have nothing but praise for James Woods. In my opnion James Woods should be the good guy and not Sly cause Sly sucked in this movie I will explain why later. The Specialist is the first Sylvester Stallone / Eric Roberts collaboration. They both reunite 16 years later in The Expendables (2010). The Specialist has some good soundtracks in the movie. I like Sly with a cat. I also like when Sly beats those thugs on a bus, when they mock him and they took his sit that was for a lady. I like that in the movie. I like that Sly's character protects innocent people I like that. I like when Sly throws a knive in a killer in the kitchen that is a good thing. Those things I like in the movie. It is not that bad of a movie, it is not the worst Sylvester Stallone movie he did. For the 90's cheese action revenge film I like it. Rod Steiger wasn't believable as John Leon the mobster other than that it is a good movie.

I got it now why this movie got Razzie Awards for one of the worst stinker movies of all time. Stallone's acting is the weakest of the movie. He gaves one of the weakest performances as the hero I have seen. He still try's to be a good guy and he try's his best. I did not felt nothing for Ray Quick he is not a hero to me. 4 years ago I loved this film I change my mind now. Sharon Stone's horrible performance I don't care about her stupid lazy character. The chemistry between Sly and Stone is god awful it was not believable enough.

The plot holes: May Munro was seting up Ray from the beginning and trough whole movie Ray did do nothing except falling in love with May, yes it is wrong. It is not the worst Stallone movie I have seen. I don't like Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot that movie I regret buying it for Stallone collection on Blu-ray disc. The Specialist I like for the Stallone I like as a time waster. Come out the same year as did Blown Away (1994) with Jeff Bridges and Tommy Lee Jones about bombs. Just that movie is not about revenge this movie is. Awful acting from both of the leads Stallone and Stone. We don't need sex scens!!! How much Stallone and Stone were paid for been naked in the bathroom for the sex scens? The sex scens in my opinion compeletly weakened the film.

On The Specialist cover James Woods should have been on a cover, but Stallone arranged that James Woods did not appear on the cover. Sly was scared that Woods will took all his fame and publicity and the credits for acting in the film. I think it is ridiculous and Sly was jealous on Woods.

Te action scenes ar average they could have been much better filmed, they are special effects practical but they are not top notch. The movie has plot holes. May Munro saw a murder when she was little girl and she saw Eric Roberts killing her parents, now adult May seeks revenge against the killers. Tomas Leon did not age he was still young after 10 years and the same person. There was no twist in this movie and action scenes are laughable. I still don't know why Leon order a hit on Munro's parents did they see something they shouldn't or what? The plot makes no sense to me.

The Specialist (1994) I like it more than Assassins (1995) that come a year later after this movie was released that Stallone made. The Specialist to me is much better fast paced action film than Assassins because that movie was boring, but this movie wasnt. They re both average cheese movies. I also like it a lot because of James Woods and it is not a bad flick, it is a solid flick at best. It is a time waste at best, it is not my favorite Stallone flick. I like this film even with negatives in the flick I like it for 90's revenge thriller movie and I think Stallone did his best that this movie would work. I have this film on Blu-ray disc for the Stallone collection. In 2015 it was my favorite Stallone movie. P
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Don't listen to anybody else
Cross1827 May 1999
I know, if you read some of the other comments people have posted, they say that The Specialist is just a lame action movie. Well, they're wrong. IT WAS A GREAT ACTION MOVIE. But then again, what else would you expect from Sylvester Stallone, the most entertaining actor in history. Sly stars as an ex-CIA agent who is hired by a mysterious women (Sharon Stone)to blow up the men who murdered her parents. The explosions are awesome, and the fight scenes are great too. Sly and Sharon both give great performances, and so does James Woods. Woods plays a phsychotic hired gun with a personel vendetta against Sly. All in all, The Specialist was a very entertaining movie. But don't take my word for it, go see it for yourself. Trust me, you won't be disappionted.
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A terrible 'action' film that is more accidentally humorous than seriously suspenseful.
johnnyboyz9 December 2006
Although Stallone was already a big budget Hollywood star with many a title under his belt with Sharon Stone who also had a few films (most noticeably 'Basic Instinct') going for her and James Woods, again, with some reasonably successful outings (most notably in my opinion a 'Simpsons' episode), 'The Specialist' fails to live up to its talent hype and attempt as a film noir come action film.

What struck me upon looking this film up after seeing it was the director. He'd had hardly any experience previous to this film and thinking back to the film itself; it's no wonder it really turned out the way it did. A big budget and a big cast with a screenplay that wasn't terrible probably demanded a bigger and better director. I could kick around a few names like 'John Woo' but I won't get too into that.

Fatally, The Specialist doesn't do right what it's supposed to do right. The camera work is bad (I actually spotted one instance of camera shake in this film), the fight scenes are poorly choreographed and badly executed, the dialogue is a bit iffy at best and is rather clichéd at times and the stereotypes of Colombian drug lords are laughable. With the action scenes, the extras just sit up waiting to be hit and are poorly put together in a way that you can see Stallone's next move as he wins the punch-up from a beaten position. The dialogue put across via the recorded phone messages feels forced and they snap back at one another too quickly. The character played by Rod Stieger is a little too stereotypical and his pronunciation of the word 'you' like 'jew' can only be taken seriously for so long before a serious scene involving intense dialogue is broken up by a smirk here and there.

What makes the film also rather cheesy is the editing at some points. Early on in the film, a character threatens Stallone at knife point and asks him a question. Cut to a reaction shot of a silent Stallone and immediately, the character asks the question again – not even giving Stallone the time it takes to blink to reply. This was very noticeable and good editing, as they say, is un-noticeable. One other incident is where Stallone sneaks up on a pistol wielding guard during a hotel evacuation and knocks him out from behind in the lobby area. We keep on the same camera and pan as he runs away. From this, we see that for the entire time, people (extras) have been running right past, merely feet from the assault and don't even batter an eyelid at what just happened as Stallone runs off in the OPPOSITE direction.

Every action film has its effects and this films' was poor. The blatant blue screen effect of the water getting closer and closer via the window as the suite breaks off the side of the hotel and falls to the sea as a guy waves frantically at the camera crashing towards him without trying to get away really brought out a long shake of the head from me. The fact when one of the bombs went off in the room, one guy fell down before the other was also laughable. These are the action scenes of the film and should be suspenseful and nerve-wracking – not humorous, instead.

If you're looking for a decent Stallone action-based film from the mid-nineties, avoid this and see 'Assassins' instead. That film's particularly large cast rivals this one and the direction and script are a lot better.
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Very Good, Underrated Action Movie
Adam E13 December 1998
People have been saying this is a terrible movie and it does have a few flaws in it, but its a fun, exciting action film with plenty of action for fans and good performances from the cast, especially James Woods, who is a terrific villain. I think it's worth a look and is Sly's best movie in a long time.
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Bronco2213 November 1998
I for one thought that this is an effective action movie that was really entertaining. I don't know what people's problem is that they have to dump on this movie so bad. It was good. -*** stars!
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Push a button .... blow it up
merklekranz8 September 2019
This movie makes very little sense, with it's brainless script. The revenge plot has been seen a thousand times and then some. The big difference is instead of guns to bring down the bad guys, here we have cartoon like explosions. If it weren't for James Woods, Eric Roberts, and Rod Steiger, "The Specialist" would be complete refuse. Woods especially, carries the film, as the smarmy evil enemy of Stallone. Speaking of Stallone, both he and Sharon Stone have a believability factor deficiency of monumental proportions. In fact the entire movie has a believability factor of less than zero. I've seen cartoons that made me think more than this does. Push button, blow it up, push button, blow it up. That's all there is to this "bomb". - MERK
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Mediocre revenge thriller made watchable by Woods's performance and John Barry's score
TheLittleSongbird1 July 2014
The best thing about The Specialist is the performance of James Woods, who really sinks his teeth into his villainous role and is enormously entertaining. What he also does that is good is making his material more interesting than it deserved to be, much has been said about the scene with the shirt and for good reason. Eric Roberts is pretty good also, he doesn't have anywhere near as much to do and his character is rather one-note but somehow Roberts does bring some intensity and menace whenever he appears. The scenery is lovely too, the sex scene was appropriately steamy and John Barry's score is the other of the two assets most worth noting about The Specialist. Barry was one of the all-time great film composers and I have yet to hear a bad score from him, and the music for The Specialist has his typical lushness, beautiful harmonic writing and moodiness, these things may seem out of place for a film such as this but actually it works. Unfortunately very little else works. Sylvester Stallone is not the best of actors but as an action star he showed great charisma. Here he is very wooden and mumbles his way through his lines. Sharon Stone also flounders, Stone has shown she can be good(she is brilliant in Casino) but she does look awkward and there is the sense that her heart wasn't really in it, which makes her character's predicament difficult to engage with. Regarding the chemistry between them too, the only time where it works is in the sex scene, everywhere else you'll struggle to find any kind of passion. Coming off worst was Rod Steiger, giving a performance so embarrassingly over-the-top it was like watching a cartoon, which was completely out of kilter with the rest of the film. The characters have no real depth and personality, the most colourful character was James Woods's and his performance itself has a lot to do with it. The dialogue has its moments, all of which with Woods again, but on the most part it's very weak, often lacking sense and flow and often aimless with far too much talk. Story-wise, the lack of originality concept-wise can be forgiven(revenge thrillers often have that but it's not always a bad thing) but for it to be plodding, laughably implausible and at times incoherent is less forgivable, as well as parts being so predictable any suspense and tension is severely diluted and having parts that have little to no relevance. Other than revenge, you don't have a clear idea as to what the heroine's motivations are. The action sequences lack any kind of momentum or excitement and just looks so awkwardly staged and passionless, a few are so ridiculous that it brings unintentional laughter. The direction is flat and with the vibe that he didn't know how to direct a thriller, and visually only the scenery really impresses, some of the colours are nice but others are garish and the film in terms of photography and editing does often look like direct-to-video quality. Overall, Woods, the shirt scene and the score are great, Roberts, the sex scene and scenery are good but the script, story, leads and Steiger are just bad and the film on the whole is mediocre. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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Nice sense of irony, blowing up the bomb squad unit.
Fella_shibby5 January 2020
I first saw this in Sterling theater South Mumbai in the mid 90s. Man, it was the only theatre in India with Dolby sound during those days. The film is about a hot babe (Stone) who takes help from a bomb expert (Stallone) to eliminate fellas who killed her parents. While at the same time, the bomb expert's senior colleague (James Woods) who was fired from the CIA cos of our guy wants to take down our guy who is into hiding. The film became a lil talk of the town those days due to the sex scene. I enjoyed the film then but after revisiting it recently, found it to b a lil lengthy.
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Support for the "The Specialist"
bensonl20 May 2000
An entertaining film. The 30% of people who voted 1, 2, or 3 have no sense of what entertainment is! I guess they think the "Postman" or the "English Patient" are better films! But they have to be the most boring ever!
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Where do I start?
Rusty-619 July 1999
Well, let's see. Just off the top of my head, here are some of the features of this turkey. Sly Stallone mumbles so badly that only about 5% of his dialogue is intelligible (though this is probably a plus, given the quality of the writing).Sharon Stone is nice to look at but her acting starts off bad and gets worse in a hurry. Her character is so unlikeable I cheered up when Woods slapped her around. Rod Steiger's accent, which I believe is supposed to be Cuban because he pronounces "you" as "chew" a la Scarface, comes and goes. James Woods plays a parody of himself (this was actually the most entertaining thing about the movie). They show Sly working out, and all he does are ballet-like stretches to show off his bod, and it was not a pretty sight. He is so over-pumped that there are alarmingly bulging veins on every inch of his body visible. Stone and Stallone (has a nice ring to it, huh?) have no chemistry--during their big sex scene, they look extremely bored instead of aroused, as if they are about to doze off but the only thing keeping them awake is to make sure their buff bodies are displayed carefully so they look their best on camera. Continuity is terrible-Sly's character adopts a fluffy grey kitty, which I guess is supposed to make him sensitive (I was just worried he'd crush it accidentally) but in a scene towards the end, the cat is dark brown. I give a grudging point towards the kitty not being killed by the Columbians or Woods--the one thing that I didn't see coming, because every time Sly came home looking for his cat I expected him to find it nailed to the wall or something equally hideous. Woods does have a great scene (a couple, really) where he does a little trick with a pen and some plastique to frighten his office staff. I also laughed at the way he'd constantly be yelling "Shut up!" to characters who hadn't even said anything yet.The movie is, I have to admit, one of those that is so bad, it would qualify as one of those 'love to hate it' movies that you sit around with your friends with to watch and make fun of. Worth renting if 1. you are a Woods fan and find him entertaining in any movie no matter how terrible it is or 2. you have a free rental coming at the video store (or both of the above, like me). If you can't stand all three of the principal stars, skip it by all means.
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A Big Disappointment All the Way Around
Uriah4314 May 2017
This movie begins in Colombia with two men named "Ray Quick" (Sylvester Stallone) and "Ned Trent" (James Woods) getting ready to blow up a car being driven by a drug lord when Ray spots a child in the backseat and tells Ned to abort the mission. But when his partner refuses--and the bomb subsequently explodes and kills both passengers-a fight ensues which results in extremely bad feelings between them afterward. The scene then shifts to Miami where a beautiful woman named "May Munro" (Sharon Stone) has requested that Ray kill three men who murdered her parents when she was a child. The problem is that Ray is an explosives expert and doesn't feel comfortable with the job at hand. But after following May in order to gather more information concerning the task at hand he reluctantly agrees. Yet, even though his assignment is certainly difficult, what he doesn't know is that Ned has formed an uneasy business partnership with these men and he has been forewarned that Ray might be coming after them. Needless to say, Ned would love another opportunity to get back at Ray for what happened earlier. At any rate, having reviewed the basic plot I must admit that, in spite of the solid cast, this film turned out to be more than a little disappointing. For starters, it appeared that neither Sylverster Stallone nor Sharon Stone really cared that much about this film and simply went through the motions. Be that as it may, while those who like pyrotechnics might enjoy this film, I must say that-given the quality cast--I don't think it lived up to its potential and I have rated it accordingly. Slightly below average.
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Stallone + Stone = Fireworks!
dtrent-228 July 2000
This seems like a film tailor-made so Sly & Sharon can 'strut their stuff' in the coupling dept. Sharon vamps, Sly warbles thru his lines. Yea, he's got a deep & sexy voice but you can only pick up on what he's saying to her on the phone if you got close-caption on your set! Anyway, they both look VERY fine in this film. James Woods is the pest you'll love to hate being the back-stabber that he is. "Slime" is the only word to use for Eric Roberts role & Rod Steiger's Hispanic accent is fun! See the edited version of this one. It's got a slick color to it that's quite appealing being that it was shot in Miami where everything's bright pink & green.
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James Wood is outstanding
sarwatesm28 March 2012
Full of entertainment. Nicely paced with minimum of dialogues and full of action. The muscles of Sly and beauty of Stone work well. But for me James Wood is simply superb and somewhat stole the show with witty performance.

Sly is as usual as is Sharon Stone, however Eric Roberts did justice to his role. Plot was almost non existent but you don't need it in such a fast movie. And yes, don't miss the opening shot of Sly and Wood. It is vary good

The fight scene in the bus with Sly saying "I hate knives" was a good piece of direction. Don't miss it just sit back and enjoy. You might want to see it one more time, maybe.
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Nothing "Special" About It
zkonedog10 March 2017
The first five minutes of this film give the impression that, unlike many other Sylvester Stallone action movies, it might have a bit more depth and a bit of an interesting plot. Talk about false advertising.

For a basic plot summary, "The Specialist" focuses on the theme of revenge. When a woman (Sharon Stone) whose parents were killed by a mob broker (Eric Roberts) wants revenge, she draws out a former CIA bomb squad specialist (Stallone) to do the deed. Trying to disarm the conflict (but also holding a personal agenda) is the head of the local police department (James Woods).

To put it bluntly, this is a terrible movie in so many different ways:

-The plot never finds an identity, trying to switch from thriller to cop drama to mob flick and never succeeding at any of them.

-The acting is absolutely terrible. Stallone's character has no depth, James Woods is, well, James Woods, and Eric Roberts is annoying to the point of just wanting to flick the whole TV set off.

-Also, we get it that Sharon Stone is hot. But, does that really need to almost completely dominate the second half of the film?

Overall, I was originally intrigued by this movie's concept in the early goings, but by about the 30 minute mark is had completely unraveled and never gets wound up again. If you like this fare, watch Assassins or Tango & Cash instead. Those aren't great movies either, but at least they do some things right, which is more than can be said about "The Specialist".
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This explosive action drama is a dud.
Cinemaniac198411 February 2015
I'm surprised that The Specialist was a box office hit, despite all the negative reviews. The Specialist is a movie to forget for all the cast involved, particularly Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, James Woods, and Eric Roberts.

Sylvester Stallone is former CIA bomb expert Ray Quick (a laughable name for a character) troubled by a past mission from 1984 which involved the bombing of a South American drug dealer. In the bomb blast a young girl is killed, but his partner Ned Trent (James Woods the only film's saving grace as the villain) is determined to see the mission through. Following a violent confrontation between Ray and Ned, Ray vows to end Ned Trent's career in the CIA. Ray makes good on his promise to have Ned dismissed from the CIA, and Ray later resigns and disappears.

Fast forward to Miami 1994, where a mysterious woman named May Munro (Sharon Stone) hires Ray who is now a explosives hit man to kill Tomas Leon (Eric Roberts), his father Joe Leon (Rod Steiger) and other members who murdered her parents years ago. Ray reluctantly agrees but finds himself attracted to May. After Ray kills one member of the Leon family, Ned Trent resurfaces to help Tomas Leon in tracking down his former CIA partner Ray.

The Specialist is one of Sylvester Stallone's disappointing movies. He is very wooden in this movie. Sharon Stone seems to be replicating her past roles from Total Recall (1990), Basic Instinct (1992), and Sliver (1993) as the mysterious but sexually charged woman but here she wasn't anything special. James Woods was the movie's only saving grace as the unhinged ex-CIA bomb expert looking to seek revenge on Ray. James Woods' Ned Trent oozes nastiness at every turn, aggressively threatening people at gunpoint and being extremely rude and abrasive. Eric Roberts did a decent job as the creepy mafia thug Tomas Leon.

Considering this movie was a box office hit, I ignored the negative reviews and still decided to give The Specialist a go. The reviews were spot on, this movie was a dud. Save for a few good scenes here and there, this movie was nothing special.

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A speciality of different sorts
videorama-759-85939111 June 2014
The Specialist is one of those underrated movies, and I'm talking from a critic's point of view. It's a super exciting flick, cause it's different from a lot of other sorts around that time, the thrilling climax almost bringing shades of the finale in The Professional. Stone, a woman controlled by a mafia family, responsible for killing her parents, enlists the help of CIA bomb specialist, Stallone to take them out one by one, Steiger saved for last. This is perfect for Stallone, playing another loner type character who's methods of assassination are dangerously impressive, Roberts demise for one. Woods who used to work alongside Stallone in the bomb disposal business had a falling out, when Woods went AWOL on a job. Woods, sacked from the agency is now working for Steiger as well as the police department recognizes the work where the scene is set for the re acquaintance of two arch rivals. Featuring some nice broads in lingerie, The Specialist is fun all the way, where it's great to Stone as a revenge driven woman, who falls for Stallone, the chemistry between em, almost void. Stallone, might as well been a mummy in that briefly erotic sex scene. The baddies are great, Roberts almost mirroring that scene in Final Analysis, when he confronts Stallone, only he isn't smiling. God knows why this film got so much flack. Director Luisa followed this up, with the blockbuster Anaconda.
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If not for James Woods, this movie about bombs would have BEEN a bomb!
coverme619 October 2001
Let's face it, Sly Stallone can never be a romantic actor, no matter how hard the poor guy tries. He attempted to be suave and sophisticated in this movie, THE SPECIALIST, but alas, thanks to his rough and

tumble, RAMBO image, Sly fails. Maybe it's just his performance here, or perhaps by the others, especially Sharon Stone, Eric Roberts, and Rod Steiger (Oh God, he was a riot in this movie!). The actors mentioned probably gave their murkiest, most career-ruining roles of their lives, and for what?? The only reason why I found this movie interesting are the action sequences, and my favorite actor of all time, James Woods. Why he decided to be in a cheap flick like THE SPECIALIST is beyond me, but Woods manages to shine as the sleazeball thug who wants Sly's character's head on a platter. Apparently, Woods was the only enthusiastic thespian that walked in this movie's set; about everyone else looked bored. The same goes mostly for the viewer.
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Mob, revenge, and lots of pyrotechnics in this crime film
SimonJack22 April 2017
Miami mob rule, revenge, and a contest between two former CIA demo experts make up "The Specialist." James Woods is especially good as Ned Trent, the former CIA assassin who enjoys killing and brutality. Sylvester Stallone is Ray Quick, the former sidekick who brought him down in the CIA and now confronts him in the mob rule of Miami. Sharon Stone is May Munro who seeks revenge 15 years after she witnessed the Leon family killing of her parents.

Rod Steiger is Joe Leon, the head of the family. He has hired Trent to update security of his operation. Leon's son, Tomas (Eric Roberts) was one of the three killers of May's parents. He and Trent despise one another. "The Specialist" may have more explosions in it than any other film – surely any one that's not a war movie.

Viewers can enjoy the sly Sly Stallone in his craft of rigging every kind of explosive device imaginable to take down the bad guys. But, overall this is a crass and rough film with lots of brutality, violence and yes – a very long scene with full nudity of the two leads, back and sides in the shower. Definitely not a family film – and not a good one at all beyond all the pyrotechnics.
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Vartiainen17 December 2016
Sylvester Stallone plays a former CIA bomb expert turned hit man, who gets hired by a beautiful woman to take out the crime boss responsible for the death of her parents. He plans the hit, gets pulled in by the feminine wiles of his employer, meets a nemesis from his past, things get blown up, the usual.

It's a passable film by most standards. Stallone doesn't bring as much ham as he usually does, which is a shame, but the explosions themselves are pretty neat, especially the end scene in a house filled with things designed to go kaboom. But, as you've probably already guessed, the characters are utterly lifeless, the plot is paper thin, the dialogue is laughable and the story telling is something that could be topped by a kindergartener.

Still, there's something about Stallone and his particular style of action films that makes this a watchable movie. Nowhere near one of his better films, but I in no way regret seeing it.
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special kind of comedy
SnoopyStyle13 December 2015
In 1984 Bogotá, Columbia, CIA operatives Ray Quick (Sylvester Stallone) and Ned Trent (James Woods) plan to blow up a bridge to take out a drug lord. Ray notices a girl in the car at the last minute but Ned blows up the car anyways. Ray leaves in anger. Today, Ray is in Miami as a contract hit-man who uses specialized explosives to minimize innocent losses using a messaging board to find clients. May Munro (Sharon Stone) wants to kill three men who murdered her family when she was a child. May infiltrates the mob by dating the drug-lord Joe Leon (Rod Steiger)'s son Tomas (Eric Roberts). Ned Trent is now a security expert working for Joe Leon and made a consultant to the police.

This is so over-the-top and overwrought. It almost works as a comedy. Woods is working so hard to be a cartoon character. Sly is deliberately intense and Sharon Stone is soaking in sex. There is a lot of sexual posing. Eric Roberts is sleazy and even Rod Steiger reaches back to go over the top. The plot is tortured and so is everything else. It could have been fun except it takes the story so seriously.
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