Leo Rossi hangs on to his action franchise by his fingernails, once more going through the motions of its conventional battles with psycho killers. After featuring a steady onslaught of nostril-flaring, scenery-chewing psychopaths in the previous three films--excitable boys Judd Nelson,
Ray Sharkey, and William Forsythe, respectively--RELENTLESS 4: ASHES TO ASHES breaks with tradition to focus instead on a beautiful woman psychiatrist.
This time out, beautiful, naked female victims are being dispatched by an assailant whose MO involves recreating notable sacrificial rituals throughout history--Egyptian, Tibetan, Incan, etc.--in a sort of all-time greatest hits of ceremonial slaughter. Detective Sam Dietz (Rossi) and his comely
partner, Jessica Parreti (Colleen Coffey), eventually find their way to Dr. Sara Lee Joffe (Famke Janssen), an esteemed clinical psychiatrist specializing in sexual pathology, who once treated all of the victims. Hiding behind doctor-patient privilege, she's of little help; but when Parreti
secretly rifles through her files, she finds crucial records missing. A little more police work establishes that all the victims had had near-death experiences. Then Joffee lets slip that both of her parents were murdered, and soon enough, fingers point to her brother, who has been in and out of
institutions his whole life. Eventually, the brother stakes out Dietz at his house and almost kills him, at which point Dietz undergoes his own near-death experience. At the final showdown, both Joffee and her brother die, neatly cutting off Dietz's flirtation with the doctor and clearing the way
for him and his partner to get together romantically, encouraged by his teenage son.
The straight-to-video RELENTLESS franchise is obviously running out of steam at this point; its owners have remade the same movie so relentlessly that it's difficult to distinguish one entry from another. This outing manages to bypass the real talents of its mainstay and current producer Leo
Rossi, whose forte is light comedy; he seems uncomfortable in these breathless environs. Perhaps it might be best for all concerned to shut this workhorse down. (Violence, nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: Leo Rossi hangs on to his action franchise by his fingernails, once more going through the motions of its conventional battles with psycho killers. After featuring a steady onslaught of nostril-flaring, scenery-chewing psychopaths in the previous three fil… (more)