In his book Blacks in American Films and Television Donald Bogle regretfully writes off longtime action fixture Fred "The Hammer" Williamson as "a decent actor fighting to get out" who squanders his latent talent on unworthy schlock. That sounds like the cue for STEELE'S LAW, a
direct-to-video leftover starring, produced and directed by Williamson, the once-feared AFL defensive back.
Detective John Steele (Williamson) is a maverick cop assigned to thwart certainly one of the more memorable assassination plots of the year: a cabal of racist Dallas businessman who dress like singing cowboys have hired Joe Keno (Doran Inghram), dreaded international hit man and serial killer of
men, women, children and farm animals, to terminate the Iraqi ambassador, currently conducting a smashingly successful goodwill tour of the US. Against a pseudo-funk musical score that sounds like rusty playground swings, Steele chases Keno through the mean streets--or more precisely, the cheap
streets; the budget of this shoddily-shot opus was evidently too low to permit an onscreen car explosion.
Things get very dull very fast, as Steele repeatedly walks into stupid traps set by the stupid villains, who are too stupid to kill him, so he stupidly escapes. In the end one of the bigoted bad guys gets impaled on the Iraqi flag, but the tale's anti-prejudice pretentions ring hollow when a
limp-wristed homosexual stereotype sashays onscreen for some unwanted comic relief, or when filmmaker Williamson indulges in some gratuitous Japan-bashing.
STEELE'S LAW manages the tricky feat of being so bad that even the wealth of unintentional laughs can't make it fun on a camp level. (Violence, profanity, nudity, sexual situations, adult situations.)
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- Released: 1992
- Rating: R
- Review: In his book Blacks in American Films and Television Donald Bogle regretfully writes off longtime action fixture Fred "The Hammer" Williamson as "a decent actor fighting to get out" who squanders his latent talent on unworthy schlock. That sounds like the c… (more)