Down 'n Dirty (2001)
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Let's not overlook that this is Bubba Smith at his absolute best. His line deliveries are priceless, he's a giant man who wears a short tie that only reaches to about his sternum, and his hair is just...inexplicable. It looks like as if the top of his head - which doesn't match the sides, mind you - is a cross between Frankenstein, Alfred E. Neuman and a black lacquer floor. Moving on, fan favorite Sam Jones makes a very brief (one scene) appearance, and looks highly uncomfortable. He also has an unexplained bearded biker dude as his sidekick. So many questions, so few answers. There's minimal Jones, minimal Divoff and minimal Carradine. Carradine does a "sit-down" role and both he and Busey don't appear until 51 minutes in.
Nick Gleem, as the sidekick, and who adds "like the toothpaste!" every time he introduces himself, ends up being called simply "Toothpaste" as his nickname. Not to be confused with "Speedboat" from Snake Eater II (1989). In the "awesome urban compound word nickname" awards, Toothpaste has the wackier hat, so we'll give him the prize. And, unrelated to Mr. Toothpaste, as in Direct Contact (2009) when someone says "What if he goes AOL?" here, in Down N' Dirty, someone says "Get it to me SAP". Either this guy is REALLY in a hurry, so much so he has no time for the initial "A", or maybe he wants to use his TV remote to watch his favorite shows in Spanish, but like a lot of things in this movie, it remains unexplained.
Besides Fred's screen presence and a cast of familiar faces, the other thing that keeps this movie afloat is the music. By Johnny Ross (some songs are credited to J.R. and Li'l Big - we assume J.R. is Johnny Ross), the standouts are the main title theme and "Come Back Dak". It sounds like it could be the same singers who sang "Dakota Smith - You're 12 Steps Away", from Night Vision, but we're not sure. We love the idea that Fred Williamson has his own personal singers who are on call for him at any time. Hopefully that is the case. Supposedly, the legendary Volt label released the soundtrack, and the main title features the line "If you're on the take, you made a big mistake", so it might be well worth finding. You don't hear lyrics like that every day. More top 40 hits should be about systemic inter-office police corruption.
There plenty to enjoy here for Fred fans such as ourselves...and for non-Fred fans: what's wrong with you? Become a Fred fan.
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