Punchy comedian plus pumped-up kickboxer if even an action-movie convention needed abandoning, it's this one. Hired by rich witch Patricia Van Lier (Claudia Christian), taciturn soldier of fortune Hawk (muscle-bound Olivier Gruner) attempts to retrieve her accomplice, Charlie Love (funny man Robert Townsend), from the clutches of drug-lord Capt. Holden (John Dennis Johnston) in Mexico. But Charlie doesn't want to be rescued, and soon Hawk and his compatriots, Ray (Nicholas Turturro) and Camera-Man (Sam Bottoms), are caught in a crossfire between Holden and Patricia's henchman Chamaro (Tom Towles). Ultimately, Hawk figures out that Patricia wants Charlie killed in a botched rescue, because he interfered with her acquisition of property rights by killing peasant landowners. To keep Charlie alive, Hawk tricks most of the ornery supporting cast members into battling each other. Is there anything more dispiriting than watching professionals who don't even have the energy to go through the motions? In his worst vehicle yet, imported he-man Gruner has too much dialogue and too few athletic showboating scenes. Relying on Gruner and Townsend's ODD COUPLE squabbles in the wilderness, screenwriters Steven Hartov and Patrick Highsmith stretch a half-hour's worth of jungle treachery to the breaking point. The versatile Townsend is insufferable as jive-talking businessman Love; his hyper-badinage with poker-faced Gruner and company makes him look like a smart-ass nightclub comic bombing before a convention of humorless Marines. This addled sequel to the faster-paced MERCENARY (1997) is directed by genre veteran Philippe Mora with the uninspiring competence of a filmmaker who knows more about visceral cutting than character development.
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- Released: 1999
- Rating: R
- Review: Punchy comedian plus pumped-up kickboxer if even an action-movie convention needed abandoning, it's this one. Hired by rich witch Patricia Van Lier (Claudia Christian), taciturn soldier of fortune Hawk (muscle-bound Olivier Gruner) attempts to retri… (more)