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Review Joshua Tree a.k.a. Army of One (1993): An average nineties flick with some exceptional moments!

genre: action, bullet ballet, gun fu, crime






Joshua Tree is one of the titles that pops up when you are searching for gun fu titles. Director Victor Armstrong even apologized to John Woo for copying him to which Woo replied that he had been stealing his ideas for years. So that sounds promising right? Before you get too excited you need to be prepared though.

While there is some outstanding action especially in one scene particular the rest of the film offers pretty minimal and generic stuff. The focus seems to lie on the plot where you never quite sure what the deal is with Santee (played by Dolph Lundgren). They take their time to give you the full picture. But to be honest that should have been already clear in the opening scene. In essence Joshua Tree is a chase movie after Santee is forced to take Rita Marek hostage when he tried to steal a car and flee from the scene. If Rita Marek looks familiar then you might have seen her in the soap opera Days of our Lives which she still stars in. Kristian Alfonos is not your typical damsel in distress. Actually she never is. But due to this being part of the plot I won't spoil it for you. Now the dynamics between Dolph and Kristian is not that good. I mean it's not bad but to say that there is sexual tension between them, no! Come to think of it I don't think I have ever seen Dolph in a believable looking romantic scene. And this is a shame since it would have made you root for them even harder. But not to fret George Segal is here and he is completely enjoying himself as the super shady Lt. Franklin L. Severence. It is heavily implied that his wife has sex with everybody but him. But he is fine with that since that is their thing. Yes, Severence is a cuck. I don't think I have ever seen this depicted in a non erotic film before so that is pretty edgy if you ask me.

So is that one big action sequence worth it? It might lack the finesse and sophistication of John Woo's choreography. It definitely will get your adrenaline pumping. One fun moment is how one goon thinks Santee is a joke and that he is very convinced he is going to beat Santee to a pulp. I'll give you a hint. He fails! And if all that gun fu is not to your liking there is another element that surely will. Exotic cars!  A Ferrari F40 and Lamborghini Countach. Or at least that is what they want you to think. They are basically kit cars built on Pontiac Fiero shells. But damn if the end result doesn't look cool.

Overall Joshua Tree might seem underwhelming. But the big action scene at the garage alone will make it worth your while.




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