An ex-cop finds himself caught up in a battle between Japanese mobsters and local gangland thugs and discovers that he was framed for wrong-doings by a corrupt cop.Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
TV movies are sometimes bland, this one is well worth seeing
"Back to Back" didn't stun the world with its market impact when released. Watching it five years later there doesn't seem to be much wrong with it, there's sufficient action and plot to stop most people falling asleep on the sofa. It has an "R" rating, but for me the violence is in context and doesn't detract from the entertainment value of the movie.
The director, Roger Nygard, obviously knows his job. As a piece of film making, "Back to Back" is well put together. The cast and crew do a good job with a neat script. Admittedly, coincidence does have a field day in the story line. The script boasts two yakuza hit men (one a disciple of Elvis), suitably evil mafiosi, a disgraced ex-cop, his much exasperated daughter, a mad bomber bank robber and, last but not least, an obnoxious, corrupt detective who you just know has been responsible for everything that has gone wrong for years.
The cast is definitely above average. Some of the names are regulars among the ranks of supporting players featuring in bigger budget movies. There's Michael Rooker (Bob Malone), who I last saw making a fair job of Stan Zedkov in "The Replacement Killers" (1998). Sci-Fi enthusiasts will I'm sure be pleased to spot Stephen Furst, Vir Cotto from "Babylon 5", in the minor role of Jimmy, one of two no-accounts planning to sell Hideo back to the Mob. Also, a real inspiration in the casting of "Back to Back" has to be offering Bobcat Goldthwait the part of the psycho bank robber. Villainous and comic, he's great!
Danielle Harris is much more than eye candy as daughter Chelsea Malone: wayward fathers need a firm hand! It is entertaining to see the changes brought about by advancing years (at least in this young lady's case it is!). I remember DH as little Melissa, the younger daughter of the Crandell family in "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead" (1991). By 1996 she certainly had looks and screen presence aplenty. I recently spotted her again in "Urban Legend", dating from 1998, a movie in which costume and make up render her almost unrecognizable.
I have not seen the two Japanese actors before who play Koji and Hideo. The mentor and his pupil scenario is nicely done. If I didn't know from experience how difficult it is to find the work of Japanese actors, it would be interesting to see other things they've done. Look out too for the enjoyable cameo from Leland Orser as the Wheelchair Guy. His brief screen appearance is a realistic peek into the precarious existence of someone surviving on the street.
TV movies are sometimes bland, this one is well worth seeing.
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