Action fans who prefer their onscreen heroes awake will be underwhelmed by Jeff Wincott's stoic posturing here. Despite his impressive choreo-chopgraphy, STREET LAW is one long losing battle fronted by a star who's only alive when kicking--and barely even then.
Hard-pressed to make ends meet while defending various politically correct causes, activist lawyer John Ryan (Jeff Wincott) borrows money from friendly loan sharks like Larry (Doug O'Keefe). Unfortunately, John's one-time friend, Luis Calderone (Paco Christian Prieto), buys up his markers from
Larry, and wants more than money. Luis wants revenge for a childhood incident in which Ryan fled a crime prank, but Calderone was arrested, setting the two on paths to opposite sides of the law. Ruining John's reputation and credit rating with an assist from his boss, Sam Armstrong (Raymond
Marlowe), Luis implicates John in the murder of a sleazy client, Carruthers (Dennis O'Connor). Roughed up by suspicious cops and booted out of his home, John agrees to expunge his debts by toiling as a kickboxer in Luis' sadistic employ. But he refuses to turn criminal and kill two of Luis'
double-dealing drugsters. With John's fingerprints on the murder weapon, however, Luis smugly assumes he has his old buddy behind the 8-ball. Luis pushes John to the edge by killing his client, Michelangelo (Richard Yearwood). A one-on-one fight between the two of them leaves Luis dead and John
under police orders to leave New York City.
Just because the streets of New York are mean doesn't necessarily mean they're interesting. Hobbled by flat-footed direction, formulaic screenwriting, and trite tough-guy dialogue, STREET LAW is a literally lame crimeworld thriller. Compounding its weaknesses is Wincott's grunting star turn. On
TV, this once personable actor seemed to have a future. But in his direct-to-video flicks, he's nothing more than a big lug with a few judo tricks Sometimes, you can see the energy drain out of Wincott's acting right before your eyes. Martial arts stars need shrewd showcases to downplay their
debits and emphasize their skill; Wincott's films work in reverse. Aside from Christina Cox in a heart-of-gold hooker role, the motley supporting cast members phone in their performances. STREET LAW is so indifferently created, it seems to ring a little bell while crying, "Hear Ye, Hear Ye,
Generic Action Movie." (Graphic violence, extreme profanity, extensive nudity, substance abuse.)
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- Released: 1995
- Review: Action fans who prefer their onscreen heroes awake will be underwhelmed by Jeff Wincott's stoic posturing here. Despite his impressive choreo-chopgraphy, STREET LAW is one long losing battle fronted by a star who's only alive when kicking--and barely even… (more)