Kudos to martial arts star Michael Dudikoff for dabbling in new genres, even if his acting elasticity doesn't stretch quite far enough. Having tackled everything from sci-fi pictures to war movies, this saddle-sore adventure marks his plunge into tumbleweed territory. While rescuing saloon gal Wendy (Valerie Wildman), gunslinger Michael Atherton (Dudikoff) kills her assailants, the sons of powerful rancher Jerry Krants (William Smith). Because the vengeful Krants has already run roughshod over their town, local merchants encourage Atherton to rid them of the pest. Krants kidnaps Wendy to lure Atherton into peril, then tortures Atherton and cripples his shooting hand. While recuperating from his injuries, Atherton trains himself to use his left hand instead and guns down Krants. Unfortunately, the town's Southern sheriff, Kyle (Randy Travis), has a grudge against Atherton dating back to the Civil War: Kyle did a stretch in a Yankee prison, and Atherton wa sone of the guards. Kyle murders the mayor and his wife, and frames Atherton for the killings. Now Atherton must expose Kyle's misdeeds, or else he and Wendy will pay with their lives. Instead of attempting the acerbic updating of genre conventions that Clint Eastwood pulled off in THE UNFORGIVEN, most contemporary filmmakers are satisfied with playing Western dress-up: They seem to define the genre in terms of boots and chaps, not iconic struggles. The actors in this incredibly brutal picture have their laconic drawls down pat, but don't seem to take those smile-when-you-say-that pronouncements to heart. As sniveling town-folk and baddies vie for his attention, Dudikoff seems less like a frontier Galahad than a movie star brushing aside autograph hounds, but he does bring a much-needed star's presence to these showdowns. Macho horse opera buffs who like their Zane Grey with a mean streak should come away satisfied.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1999
- Rating: R
- Review: Kudos to martial arts star Michael Dudikoff for dabbling in new genres, even if his acting elasticity doesn't stretch quite far enough. Having tackled everything from sci-fi pictures to war movies, this saddle-sore adventure marks his plunge into tumblewee… (more)