This above average follow-up to 1991's action release MARTIAL LAW finds undercover partners Jeff Wincott and Cynthia Rothrock out for new adventures in the underworld as chief proponents of "Martial Law," the LAPD's elite, urban-warfare martial arts unit.
Sean Thompson (Wincott) is transferred to a new precinct, headed by Captain Krantz (Billy Drago), to teach "Martial Law" techniques to a new group of police, which includes his old police academy buddy Danny Birelli (L. Charles Taylor). When Birelli gets his neck broken in a drunk driving
accident, Thompson is suspicious, but he's warned not to pursue the case by Krantz. In Birelli's demolished car Thompson finds a matchbook for the upscale Club Syntax, run by young crime mogul Spencer Hamilton (Paul Johansson), who had the upright Birelli eliminated for getting too close to
Hamilton's crime organization. Thompson calls in Billie Blake (Rothrock) for help; she takes an undercover job as bartender in the club and befriends Hamilton's girlfriend Tiffany (Sherrie Rose), whom Hamilton has ordered to sleep with the crooked Krantz. Another corrupt on-the-payroll cop, Dobbs,
is murdered just as he's about to inform on Hamilton and Krantz. Blake and Thompson kill Hamilton and his chief bodyguard Tanner (Evan Lurie) when they interrupt one of Hamilton's drug deals. And Krantz blows his own brains out just as Blake and Thompson arrive to arrest him.
This sequel was made by the same producing-directing-writing team that made MARTIAL LAW, and it's a better movie, chiefly in its deleting Chad McQueen (son of the late Steve McQueen), who embarrassingly had no screen presence or acting skills whatsoever. His character, Thompson, is ably filled by
Jeff Wincott, who also starred in 1992's DEADLY BET. The equally cliched plot, as devised by Richard Brandes and Jiles Fitzgerald, is less unwieldy, as is the direction by Kurt Anderson. In an oddball, hey-it's-Hollywood switch, MARTIAL LAW's producer, Anderson, and director Steve Cohen have
traded functions for the sequel; they've finally got it right.
The fist- and footicuffs are well choreographed by Jeff Pruitt; they are, after all, what makes these pictures succeed or fail. Former martial arts champ Rothrock, reprising her role from the first film, is still on the verge of genre stardom, although she has no other female competition as action
heroine. Rothrock is all over the video store shelves (the CHINA O'BRIEN movies, FAST GETAWAY, the very good TIGER CLAWS), but her acting skills remain troublesomely less fluent than her martial arts expertise. Made in Canada, this film was released direct-to-video. (Violence, profanity,nudity.)
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- Released: 1992
- Rating: R
- Review: This above average follow-up to 1991's action release MARTIAL LAW finds undercover partners Jeff Wincott and Cynthia Rothrock out for new adventures in the underworld as chief proponents of "Martial Law," the LAPD's elite, urban-warfare martial arts unit.… (more)