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Rental Review: Eye for an Eye (1981)

August 2, 2011

I sat through this motion picture with the assistance of Bustin Darns, who was utterly astonished and moved by the picture. As you will see, I was not quite as enthused.

  • Dir. Steve Carver
  • Released by Embassy Pictures
  • Produced by Frank Capra Jr.
  • Rating: *

Embassy Pictures once released Godzilla, King of the Monsters! Embassy Pictures once released The Graduate. Embassy Pictures once released The Producers. Embassy Pictures also once released the Steve Reeves Hercules films, and perhaps they are the motion pictures that I should be comparing this film against instead. After all, this film is from the director of Big Bad Mama, and it stars the lead actor from The Octagon and the Total Gym commercials, so any pretensions should be dropped immediately.

Nearly a decade after losing a fight to Bruce Lee in Way of the Dragon, and over a decade before gaining television superstardom in Walker, Texas Ranger, Chuck Norris was just another low-budget action flick star in yet another renegade cop flick, one that makes even the weakest Dirty Harry entry look as high-brow as Milton’s Paradise Lost by comparison. (Am I implying that Satan was the first renegade cop? You decide.) Subsequent to this lame thriller, he would become one of Cannon’s main action stars (when Charles Bronson wasn’t in the mood to crank out yet another Death Wish), appearing in one forgettable film after another.

The plot almost does not require explanation. A police officer loses his partner in a failed drug bust, quits the force, loses some other friends in the aftermath, practices some martial arts, snags a love interest, learns of police corruption, fights countless henchmen, and brings down a corrupt businessman while simultaneously regaining the respect of the police chief. The story is so predictable that it might as well be a silent film, although that might take away from its laughability factor.

The only redeeming factor might be the supporting cast: the partner is Terry Kiser (the titular character from Weekend at Bernie’s), the police chief is Richard Roundtree (the titular character from Shaft), the corrupt businessman is Christopher Lee (the titular character from The Man with the Golden Gun), and the martial arts trainer is Mako Iwamatsu (the subtitular character from Highlander III: The Sorcerer). This is not the greatest performance from any of them, to be sure.

Bustin Darns (imitating Mako): There are five ninjas in this room, and four of them are turtles! Where are they, Walker?

Sorry for the interruption. He does that a lot. The film is immensely stupid, quite predictable, and extremely unmemorable. Aside from the appeal of the cast lineup, there is nothing to be enjoyed here except for those who cannot get enough roundhouse kicks in other Norris productions (although even they may be disappointed that the actor’s signature beard is absent here). Nothing better can sum up my immense disinterest in my film than this: whenever my Norwegian friend would speak over the exposition with his Mako impersonation, I didn’t even bother stopping him. Anyone who knows me would know just how out-of-character that is.

Oh, and Kegan Valyon wandered in to make a few Chuck Norris quips as part of his never-ending antagonism of me, to which I replied that when it comes to this film’s tough guys, I favor the bad mother–SHUT YOUR MOUTH!–I’m just talking about Richard Roundtree! I can dig him. That guy from Sidekicks, not so much.

Bustin Darns (imitating Doug Walker): Chuck a-Norriiiiiis!


From → Film Criticism

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