Depending on their susceptibility to muscular acting and fish-out-of-water adventure yarns, viewers may have a "G'day" at this CROCODILE DUNDEE in reverse. Although its plot has been handled so often it's liable to disintegrate from overuse, the Australian Gold Coast scenery, local color and snappy supporting cast combine to make HURRICANE SMITH look almost...read more
Depending on their susceptibility to muscular acting and fish-out-of-water adventure yarns, viewers may have a "G'day" at this CROCODILE DUNDEE in reverse. Although its plot has been handled so often it's liable to disintegrate from overuse, the Australian Gold Coast scenery, local color
and snappy supporting cast combine to make HURRICANE SMITH look almost second-hand.
Mourning his mother's death, construction worker Billy "Hurricane" Smith (Carl Weathers) flies down under to locate his missing sister, a playgirl with a weakness for drugs. His search takes him to the swank pad of a pimp, Shanks (David Argue), and whore-with-a-heart-of-gold, Julie (Cassandra
Delaney), who both knew his errant sibling. Unflappable even after being tortured by his sister's former employer, crimelord Charlie Dowd (Jurgen Prochnow), who's secretly waging a turf war against his partner Howard Fenton (Tony Bonner), Hurricane is not about to blow town without finding out
what Charlie did to his sister. He soon wins the support of Julie, her pimp and her Yank-hating grandpa (John Ewart) who helps Hurricane locate Howard. For abetting this big lug, Julie is nearly captured and sent to feed the sharks, the preferred method of dismissal among Aussie criminals.
Not only does Shanks endure a savage beating to help Hurricane, he also stops a few bullets for him when they storm Charlie's mansion in search of the now-kidnapped Julie. Ever busy Charlie has already blown up Howard in an explosion which almost kills Hurricane, and has murdered his own
girlfriend just to eliminate loose ends. With the SWAT team called in, Charlie uses Julie as a shield after his men are wiped out. Climbing onto the bottom of a chopper Charlie has comandeered, Hurricane battles the villain in a manner worthy of a 1940s cliffhanger, particularly since the wounded
pilot lapses in and out of consciousness. Once Charlie has been dropped into the maws of some hungry sharks (the same grisly fate that befell the hero's sister), Hurricane is free to make plans to bring Julie stateside, presumably where they will not run into any of her former customers.
Short on logic and long on punch power, HURRICANE SMITH capitalizes on its Yank-down-under motif so successfully that one wouldn't be surprised to hear that a sequel is in the works. While he may not be able to act rings around Wesley Snipes or Larry Fishburne, Weathers is the premiere
African-American action hero of our day. Improbably handsome and built like Schwarzenegger's trainer, Weathers saunters across the screen with classic movie-star assurance. Because of the low-key confidence he exudes, you have no difficulty believing he can strong-arm dozens of men and still have
energy to maul a few dozen more without seriously damaging that magnificent physique.
Although Prochnow provides his by now standard rip-off of Conrad Veidt, the other supporting cast members pitch in with full-bodied, lively characterizations, particularly Argue who emerges as a sort of overage Artful Dodger expanding Fagin's domain to include prostitution, and Ewart as the feisty
old innkeeper who damns all Yankees. With its stunning photography and equally colorful rogues' gallery of players, HURRICANE SMITH may not pack the punch of a hurricane but neither is it an ill wind blowing action fans no good. (Violence, profanity, nudity.)
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