Watch out for the Maximum Force!
Back of DVD:
Captain Fuller (John Saxon) has been haunted his entire career by the most powerful drug lord L.A. has ever seen (Richard Lynch). One day he unite three renegade cops (Sam Jones), (Sherrie Rose) and (Jason Lively), each with their own deadly skills.
Their mission: Infiltrate the crime underworld and destroy it from within. Working as a team, the cops become a well-oiled machine, declaring war on both the corrupt Chief of Police (Mickey Rooney, star of 46 films) and the crime lord's deadly minion (Jeff Langton).
Well I made it to ten reviews - going well so far! What more fitting movie to review on this mini-celebration than a real PM Entertainment explosive action movie, and with a title like Maximum Force could it really be anything but awesome?
The movie starts with Rick Carver (Jason Lively, from Night of the Creeps and not much else) an undercover cop on a rooftop doing surveillance work. He is watching a gun deal going down when a homeless guy interrupts him to ask for spare change. He tries to shut the guy up by giving him a few bucks but the homeless guy gets interested in all the weaponry that Rick is carrying (this bum knows far too much about military hardware). The bums antics caused them to be spotted by the people Rick is watching and next thing you know a helicopter sides up along the building and takes out the bum. Rick runs while being fired at, grabs a grenade launcher and takes the freaking chopper out in a massive fireball. This is only five minutes into the movie so we are going well so far.
Next we watch another cop, Michael Crews (Sam Jones, from a truck-load of bad action flicks) bargain his way into an illegal kickboxing club. He watches for a while before the security try to throw him out - apparently the sign on the door says 'no pigs' and he should have paid attention to it. Not being appreciative of the security he gets into a rumble and punches them out, also getting thrown on stage with the fighters. Fighting a losing battle he fires his pistol into the air and says "I'm a police officer!". We are still only ten minutes into the movie.
Lastly we follow Cody Randal (Sherrie Rose, the girl from King of the Kickboxers), a female cop posing as a hooker on the streets. She tries to get picked up by a passer-by in a convertible but instead she hand-cuffs him to the wheel. A pimp who didn't see the arrest but did see Cody suggests that she become one of his girls and that he should "sample the merchandise first". Cody plays along but the guy she arrested in the car yells out and breaks her cover. The pimp pulls a gun on him but Cody gets in first and blows him away. Too bad really as the pimp was Sonny Landham - Billy from Predator. I was hoping to see more of him in this.
So far we are off to an awesome, action filled start, but often with movies like this the start is all you get. Luckily the movie keeps the pace up pretty much the whole time. Interjecting the three scenes mentioned above is dialogue being served from a true b-movie veteran, Richard Lynch (playing the movie's bad guy Max Tanabe), who does a similar role he did in Chuck Norris' Invasion USA. He's a rich German who made his millions providing services (as he refers to them) to the community. These services include drugs, gambling and prostitution. He's annoyed at his board members (re: other gangsters) for failing him and to prove his point has one of them clingwrapped to death. Tanabe has a hilarious aide that seriously says nothing more than "Yes Mr. Tanabe" the whole frikken film. His lead henchman Ivan is pretty funny too.
Anyway, each of the three cops get a fax/phone-call/letter from a stranger telling them to meet at an abandoned warehouse that night. Captain Fuller (John Saxon, another veteran, who among other things was in the fantastic Italian poliziotteschi, Blazing Magnum; expect a review of that soon) has been after Tanabe for years but he always slips away due to lack of evidence. He believes that only the combined forces of Cody, Carver and Crews can finally bring him down for good, and as he is up for retirement soon wants to go out with a bang. For some reason he thinks this plan will only work if the three cops live and train together in the warehouse. They agree and get down to some serious montage training - Crews skipping rope and boxing, Cody doing kung-fu and meditation, and Carver failing at all of the above so instead making bombs and shooting shit. The montage is hilarious and played over by cheesy 80's electro-pop, just as it should be. Fuller thinks the three cops are slacking off too much so sends in some ninjas armed with raver glow-sticks to do battle with them. They've come right out of a dubbed 70's ninja movie complete with "fwaaaaaar!!" squeals.
This movie has some tasty bad lines. Crews cracks on to Cody with "What is a nice lady doing in a place like this?" but Carver does one better with "If you won't date me you can at least shoot me!" (he wants to test his new body armour). When trying to get information from the doorman at the kickboxing club, Crews does the old trick of handcuffing the guy to the car and making him run along side. After dodging police cars and causing chaos on the streets Carver says "I think this pig is about ready to squeal!" Crews, Carver and Cody then proceed to make Tanabe's life hell by taking away his income by arresting all prostitutes and shutting down the kickboxing club.
This is a superb bad action movie that has everything you want to cure your 3am insomnia. There's plenty of explosions and gun fights with automatic weapons, car and helicopter crashes with bad models and bodies flying through the air. When a bunch of Tanabe's men try to infiltrate the warehouse, Carver takes them out by driving remote controlled toy cars at them and detonating them! If that wasn't enough, he then flies a remote controlled plane into some dude. Which then blows up. Fantastic! It's the worst prop plane ever as well.
There are two more awesome things I have to mention. The corrupt chief of police who tries to sweep the whole thing under the carpet is none other than Mickey Rooney. I don't know how he got in this movie but he NEVER leaves his seat in his limo, not even once. He also gets the best line in the movie, which you can see in the trailer below. The other awesome thing is towards the end when the Three C's finally take on Tanabe's office building. Crews brings one of his buddies along to help - a 6" 6' beefcake named "Bear" (I shit you not) - who helps out by cutting the power to the building, beating up some security with terrible mullets and breaking some guys back over his knee.
You have to check this out. It would do well at a bad-action themed movie night (are there any other kinds of movie night?) with your mates. It's the right length at under 90 minutes and doesn't let up except for a few 'moving' moments between Cody and Crews, but that's okay because there's boobs in that scene. PM Entertainment, you've done it again! And I'll see you all at review number 100.
I reviewed the R2 DVD and it was fine enough for what it needed to be. Picture and audio quality were up to the usual PM Entertainment TV standards and did a very good impression of a 1980s film; overall it had a charming quality. Presented in 4:3 fullscreen.
$5 from eBay UK + shipping