"Road House" meets "Stone Cold" on the way to the cutout bin
He's a two-fisted, slow-talking drifter who's just blown into town and taken a job as a bartender at the local roadhouse. But he's really a lone government agent under deep cover (don't worry; this is established in the opening scene) who's out to bust a small-town arms dealer. I think the idea behind "Radical Jack" was to make Billy Ray Cyrus an action hero, like "Road House" did for Patrick Swayze, or "Stone Cold" did for Brian Bosworth. If you're thinking, "But Swayze and Bosworth are not exactly the guys at the top of my list of action heroes," well, draw your own conclusions about Cyrus' action-hero future.
"Radical Jack" isn't a bad movie. It's an adequate straight-to-video flick, with good-looking actors, atrocious dialogue, cheesy action, and attractive scenery. I just wish it didn't seem as if everyone were taking it so seriously. The movie's set in Vermont, but the script contains references to "rednecks"...c'mon, how seriously can you take that? Lighten up, everyone. This isn't a Steven Seagal movie!
Here's an example. A character has been savagely kicked and beaten, and was nearly killed. He's being nursed back to health by an attractive woman. One thing leads to another, and suddenly she's on top of him, kissing his chest. "I...I can't," he says. "Why," she asks. And he goes off on some long tale about his tragic past. A more clever screenplay would have had him reply, "Because I have a few miles of bandages around my broken ribs, and you're sitting on my chest, that's why!"
But the movie's worth a rental, I think, as long as you're in the right mood. If you think you're getting a high-quality action thriller, you'll be miserable. But if you're the type to talk back to your TV, a la "Mystery Science Theater 3000," "Radical Jack" will have you howling.
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