Tuesday, December 28, 2010

#144. Wanted: Dead or Alive (1986)

DVD Synopsis: Nick Randall (Rutger Hauer) is an urban bounty hunter, a lethal professional who collects society's garbage for a living. Malak Al Rahim (Gene Simmons) is an international terrorist with a plan to turn Los Angeles into a bloody battlefield. But when the CIA uses Randall as bait to trap the madman, the hunter becomes the hunted. And when the violence hits Randall's home, the bounty becomes a mission of very personal vengeance. Robert Guillaume, William Russ and Mel Harris co-star in this action-packed thriller which features a final showdown that critics and fans alike called one of the most explosive climaxes of the decade.






Thus far, during this little experiment of mine, I've watched two films directed by Gary Sherman, Dead & Buried and Vice Squad, and was impressed enough by each of them to want to delve into some more of this clearly talented filmmaker's work.  With Wanted: Dead or Alive, Sherman once again delivers the goods.

A crime thriller with plenty of action. Wanted: Dead or Alive co-stars Gene Simmons, a founder and guitarist of the rock band KISS, who's very convincing as the middle-eastern terrorist who brings his deadly game of cat-and-mouse to U.S. soil.  But make no mistake; this movie belongs to Rutger Hauer, an absolute bad-ass in the role of bounty hunter Nick Randall (a supposed descendant of the character Steve McQueen played in the 50's television western of the same name). Hauer has always been an actor of exceptional abilities, especially when playing slimy criminals. In Wanted: Dead or Alive, he's on the right side of the law, but you'd never know it by watching him; he chases down some pretty rough scumbags in this film, yet none are as tough as he is (at one point, after getting the jump on a cop-killer wanted by the FBI, Randall puts the cuffs on the guy, breaks his arm, and throws him in the trunk of his car). 

If you ever get a chance to do so, I strongly recommend setting aside a weekend afternoon to watch this trilogy of Gary Sherman films: Dead & Buried, Vice Squad and Wanted: Dead or Alive. I guarantee you won't be sorry you did.


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6 comments:

Jump_Raven said...

The beautiful Dutchmen versus the rocker with a giant tongue. How can this be anything but fun.

I'm not sure if it was out in 1986, but did they use the Bon Jovi song of the same name as the title?

Dave Becker said...

@Jump_Raven: This movie is 100% fun...from start to finish.

The Bon Jovi song looks as if it first hit the charts the following year, in 1987, so it just missed out (but, despite the song's wild-west slant, it would've fit the movie well).

Thanks for the comment.

Yong said...

Welcome to LAMB!

Dave Becker said...

@Yong: Thanks! I'm happy to be a part of it.

Anonymous said...

One of the 80's action films I've been meaning to see. The film's poster is one of my favourites from that decade.

Dave Becker said...

Thanks for the comment!

Yeah, definitely check it out. It's well worth a watch (and I like the poster too!)