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Review Excessive Force (1993)

genre; action, crime, martial arts




After watching Crackerjack I was ready to see more of Thomas Ian Griffith. Other than his role as villain in The Karate Kid Part 3. As much as I loved the original Karate Kid and it's sequel. The third one was pretty bad and the only highlight was Thomas. With his martial arts skills and presence I would have expected to see him star in more action vehicles. Upon reading on Thomas I discovered that he liked to mix up the genres and did not want to stick to the martial arts genre. And also from his background as a trained opera singer you can assume that his interests were different than say actors like Jean Claude van Damme or Steven Seagal. Like he also has written scripts for Grimm. Well, my search for his best movies lead to Excessive Force. And I have to admit, it had the potential to become a really memorable action flick. However it never succeeds in being memorable. Whatever there is action wise it's solid to good. Thomas has some impressive moves but feel a little out of place since he is the only one displaying them and his opponents are never a real match for him. Now this is not really that big of a deal if there were more action scenes where he kicked the hell out of bad guys. Instead we get a lot of focus on corruption and all that which for me personally is not that interesting in movies any more unless something fresh is added. Here all of if it is very predictable and told in such a slow pace that the 90 minutes seem much longer. For a cop who is guilty of excessive force, the force never really gets that excessive. The title is begging for over the top violence and action and instead everything is pretty reserved and by the numbers. A real shame if you ask me. The movie still remains moderately entertaining because of the charm of Thomas Ian Griffith and the supporting characters. Somehow they managed to get James Earl Jones in there. And Lance Henriksen was kind of the guy to use for the role he portrayed back then. Charlotte Lewis is a nice distraction but that is all she is, a distraction. Thomas who also wrote the script tried to add some depth to the relationship his character has with her but to be honest that was incredibly weak since whatever issue they had gets solved in a few seconds. A little more back and forth would have been nice. Overall I think Excessive Force is a nice little movie to watch on rainy days. As a martial arts and action movie it falls a little short but it does show that Thomas could have been a major contender in the genre if he wanted it too. And for this reason it does not feel like it's a waste of time. Even if it does get close to it many times. 


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