Wow... what can I say? I wasn't much a fan of Don Johnson and didn't really care for the TV series "Miami Vice" (give me "Magnum P.I" any day). However John Frankenheimer seemed to be on somewhat of a run through the 80s with "The Challenge", "52- Pick-up", "Holcroft Covenant"... ah scrap that one. I guess he wasn't on much a run, but "Dead-Bang" surprised me just how much fun this durable, if offbeat pulp was. Predictable, but bold and ultra-fun law enforcement thriller. This was mainly due to Johnson's hard-nosed performance. Looking bemused and rather scruffy with a very witty script to work with as there were some hilarious lines of banter. The highlight would have to be Johnson's vomit sequence on a suspect after an exhausting chase and the unorthodox methods in getting the job done.
Jerry Beck is one burnt out L.A detective whose personal life is on the skids, so he lives for his job. Looking on a case involving the murder of a convenient store owner and cop, leads to something much bigger when he finds himself tailing a gang of murderous white supremacists to Colorado.
In all; it's dumb, crude, snappy and loud while containing white supremacists using automatic weapons but like a good Frankenheimer feature the violently hard-hitting action was well-staged, well-framed with its camera angles and it moved at a fast clip. The story is taken from Beck's true-life exploits of his novel, where we are taken for one hell of a ride as Frankenheimer really pushes it to the brink. When it came to showing off the film's firepower, it's an outrageous assault and ballsy in its execution.
William Forsythe can be just as amusing playing uptight, than say crazy (watch "Out for Justice" for that) as the FBI agent who gets on the wrong side of Beck. Penelope Ann Miller also seems to walk onto set; sweet talks Johnson and beds him to suddenly disappear. Was I missing something there? Quite an unnecessary sub-plot involving her character. Also making appearances are Bob Balaban, Tate Donovan, Mickey Jones, Brad Sullivan (the exchanges between him and Johnson were a treat "You don't need a gun chief. Just tell them who you are."), Tim Reid, William Taylor and Michael Jeter finding himself at the end of a Woody Allen joke.
"F**k you Sheriff! And your french fries"