A fierce and often compelling actor, Nick Nolte usually creates a riveting character, and when that character is coupled with a good film, the end product is something worthy of watching. Such is the case with EXTREME PREJUDICE, despite its abundance of violence. Jack Benteen (Nolte) is an old-fashioned Texas Ranger working out of El Paso; across the border in a small Mexican village resides his one-time childhood friend Cash Bailey (Powers Boothe), who has become the district's drug-running king. The two men have another link in sensual Sarita (Maria Conchita Alonso), one-time mistress to Cash, now Jack's lover. Both men run into a CIA-backed paramilitary group headed by a cold and calculating army major (Michael Ironside) who plans to terminate Cash with "extreme prejudice." The plot isn't much, but director Walter Hill's stylized approach to his subject lifts this one out of the mire of mediocrity, and Nolte's direct and powerful performance as a man of the law is worth the film itself. Boothe and Alonso are good, and Rip Torn, as a broken-down sheriff with ancient ideas about honor and nobility, is exceptional. The production values are very high, but the violence tends to distract from the mannered tone of the film.