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STUDIO: New Line Home Entertainment
RUNNING TIME: 88 Minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: Trailers
“Excessive Force was excessively forceful, but what if we forced some more force into it? It’s so crazy it just might work!”
Stacie Randall (Trancers 4 & 5), Dan Gauthier, Jay Patterson (McBain) and John Mese.
Special agent Harley Cordell and Frank Lydell were both lovers and partners in the Gulf War, but Harley refused to join up with Frank’s murder for hire business after the war ended. Frank felt that Harley’s decision was too much for their relationship to handle so he broke up with her by putting a bullet into her head.
Miraculously, Harley survived the attempted murder but still carries a few shards of the bullet in her skull. These shards have a tendency to move around and give her headaches in the middle of gunfights so the film can have some cheap dramatic tension. These headaches also allow Harley to put on her best impression of a blinded Jean Claude Van Damme at the end of Bloodsport.
That’s right, I’m putting a hit out on the punk. He sang out of tune.
Frank manages to set up his assassination squad with some other Gulf War veterans. They make good money shooting people with crossbows and blowing up random vehicles. For some reason Harley still holds a grudge over being shot in the head and pursues Frank around town, taking out all his cronies one by one. The final showdown takes place as Frank mounts an offensive against a police station and Harley is the only one who can stop him, mostly by default since the entire police squad reacts by standing still and being shot by the assassins.
Excessive Force II: Force on Force is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. New Line made a wise decision to release the film in widescreen since the legions of Excessive Force fans would have mounted a massive letter writing campaign otherwise. The transfer is washed out and grainy in a few portions, but that’s probably because the forcefulness of the film is so excessive that it damaged the film. Sometimes you just need to tone down the force.
Extras include trailers for The Corruptor, After The Sunset and the original Excessive Force. Many critics credit Excessive Force for launching Thomas Ian Griffith straight to the top of Hollywood’s A-list. He recently shared top billing with Jason Scott Lee in Timecop: The Berlin Decision. Griffith’s star is red hot right now. If things keep up he may just land a part in the next Prophecy sequel.
With Bradford Tatum out of the way, the only Down Periscope cast member left on Harley’s hit list list was Toby Huss. Soon the world would be forced to recognize McHale’s Navy as the superior late ’90s naval comedy.
This film is another in a long line of Death Wish knockoffs and a watered down one at that. It can’t even come close to the original Excessive Force, let alone the legendary Charles Bronson series. Revenge movies are supposed to be about brutally exacting a painful retribution upon your most hated foes, not gently karate kicking them onto a plush sofa. If you promise excessive force you need to deliver upon it. Instead the film’s protagonist acts politely and seems more inclined to have a soul searching chat with the villains rather than kill them.
Everything about the movie promises action but it’s a cunning deception. The action scenes are reserved for the very end of the film and even then it’s the same slow, painfully choreographed karate action from earlier. A few explosions and a couple of squibs aren’t worth sitting through seventy minutes of melodrama. Next time, keep your contrived romantic subplot and your painfully obvious corrupt cop plot point in another film, preferably one that doesn’t promise force on force.