In an action pic bogged down with a domestic conscience, monolithic Brian Bosworth is wrenched from his loved ones only to gain a streetwise foster child.
Master Sergeant John North (Bosworth) is one tough Marine. When wife and daughter become crime statistics in a hostage fiasco following an illegal arms deal, North walks into the impasse, taking a few bullets while bringing the perps to justice. After recovering, North is unhappy to learn that
rogue FBI agent Karl Savak (Bruce Payne) has enrolled Marcus (Jeff Kober), the killer of his family, in a witness protection program. North goes vigilante to bring down a conspiracy that embraces Marcus, drug dealer Dexter King (M. C. Hammer) and a stolen-military-weapons mastermind, who turns out
to be Savak. Concurrent with this lawlessness epidemic, ghetto youngster Mikey (Dejuan Guy) steels himself to avenge the death of a schoolmate. Since North has a nodding acquaintance with Mikey's mom, he plays surrogate father figure while using the boy to penetrate the city's underbelly of drug
couriers. But when North finally gets scurvy Marcus in his gunsights, he can't bring himself to kill with Mikey looking on. Later Savak liquidates Marcus himself, and wipes out Dexter and his gang in a complex web of betrayals and reprisals. Before Savak can remove loose-end Mikey, North fights
him on a rooftop. Savak dies in a headlong plunge. Mikey adopts North as a role model of restraint.
ONE MAN'S JUSTICE plays like an infomercial for a militant wing of Big Brothers of America. The assorted double-crosses in triplicate are so clumsily scripted that viewers need a hand-out to explain the family tree of druggies, artillery thieves, and bent feds. Required to act bereaved, Bosworth
strains to appear tearful, as if his trainer had just added one barbell plate too many to his bench press.
In this condescending civics lesson Man and Boy reach out to each other and learn that dozens of wrongs don't make a right (or a good film). Never mind that Bosworth's many self-defense moves send the message that if we were all as fit as drill sergeants we could thrash our enemies with impunity.
That's a moral lesson genre buffs can dig; they don't want the pious frou-frou of a troubled African-American lad lectured by a self-righteous Caucasian super hero. (Graphic violence, extreme profanity, adult situations, substance abuse.)
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- Released: 1996
- Rating: R
- Review: In an action pic bogged down with a domestic conscience, monolithic Brian Bosworth is wrenched from his loved ones only to gain a streetwise foster child. Master Sergeant John North (Bosworth) is one tough Marine. When wife and daughter become crime stati… (more)