This action picture can't be faulted for lack of combat energy: its biggest set pieces flow through the story line like production numbers in a musical. If anything, the film has too many fight sequences. And packing so much mayhem into the movie's climax makes SWEET JUSTICE undeniably
exciting, if lopsided as far as the narrative is concerned.
Suzanne (Cheryl Paris), a beautiful small-town mayor, may not be above taking kickbacks, but she draws the line when her business partner, Rivas (Frank Gorshin), dumps toxic waste into a mine that feeds into the town's water supply. After confiding in ex-husband Sheriff Steve Colton (Marc
Singer) and confessing in a parcel (also containing kickback funds) left for her estranged sister Sunny Justice (Finn Carter), Suzanne is killed by a German shepherd dog. Although she left town after Suzanne stole Steve from her, kickboxing champ Sunny returns after Suzanne's funeral. Getting wind
of Rivas' strong-arm tactics in real estate development and shocked by Suzanne's admissions, Sunny decides to vindicate her late sister for finally having the courage to be a whistle-blower. Retired from the Armed Services where she was part of an all-woman elite task force, Sunny now recruits
former comrades Chris (Catherine Hickland), M.J. (Marjean Holden), Josie (Patricia Tallman), Heather (Kathleen Kinmont), and Kim (Michelle McCormick) for the kind of dangerous clean-up mission with which Uncle Sam never entrusted them.
Ridding the town of corruption proves perilous when Rivas solicits Mob muscle and firepower. Underestimating Sunny's team, Rivas' men are routed on several occasions. At the winner-take-all showdown, Kim and Josie bite the dust along with dozens of Rivas' hired killers. Although Sunny readies
Rivas for a body bag with relative ease, she's nearly killed by Steve. However, after revealing that he murdered Suzanne to protect the status quo, Steve falls victim to his own killer canine.
Although the cancerously corrupt small town is a revenge drama staple, SWEET JUSTICE pumps it with fresh life by incorporating the maximum number of expertly staged special effects explosions, neatly choreographed gun battles, and viscerally effective martial arts displays. If it can't wipe out
the sense of deja-vu, the film doesn't provide much breathing space for viewers to criticize the formulaic action and plotting either. Carefully, SWEET JUSTICE sets up a gutsy heroine and provides her with ample motivation for her anti-crime clean-up. It also creates a charming villain in Sheriff
Steve whose last-minute admission of guilt is a true shocker. The real kick here, however, is watching the skilled women athletes bust the bones of big bruisers who condescendingly underestimate their power, stamina, and emotional fortitude. For once, female action afficionados needn't shrink from
the sight of ex-Las Vegas showgirls jiggling their way through combat.
On the minus side, ham Frank Gorshin demonstrates that his unique mimicry skills don't carry over into capable acting. Neither divertingly campy nor straightforwardly forceful enough, Gorshin's performance leaves a vacuum in the successful execution of this storyline: in this sort of revenge
payback plot, the protagonist must be pitted against an equally commanding foe. Even with its liabilities, SWEET JUSTICE keeps the action coming fast and furious. Without stinting on the commando action, it also does dramatic justice to its timely saga about small town virtue triumphing over
venality masquerading as progress. (Graphic violence, profanity, nudity.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: NR
- Review: This action picture can't be faulted for lack of combat energy: its biggest set pieces flow through the story line like production numbers in a musical. If anything, the film has too many fight sequences. And packing so much mayhem into the movie's climax… (more)