'A Vietnam vet, unable to adjust to normal life, takes on the drug-running Vietnamese mob in Southern California'
With tag-lines such as 'The War Didn't End For John Steele, It Just Changed Locations' and 'You Don't Recruit John Steele, You Unleash Him', what could possibly go wrong ?
Well, let's just say Steele Justice didn't turn out to be the forgotten 80s action spectacle i was hoping for.
Martin Kove is no 80s action star. He just attempts to play one.. and not particularly well. Don't get me wrong.. i love the guy, and i thought he was just perfect in The Karate Kid, but he can't carry a full-blown action spectacle. Ronny Cox and Bernie Casey provide supporting roles (without a whole lot to do either), Soon-Tek Oh is the bad guy, Al Leong is an Asian henchman (of course), Sela Ward plays the love interest, and even Shannon Tweed pops up too (for about 2 min).
The only attempt at emotional depth and to further underline the motivations of John Steele's actions are provided through the lyrics of an ultra cheezy 80s pop song, that goes like :
,..deep in my heart is a vengeance.. the fury still burns in my mind.. the only way out of this nightmare, is laying my life on the line.. just like i'm back in the jungle, where only the strong can survive.. they're trying to break the will of a man, but the law's in my hand, and i get out alive..'
How does a story continue after this, you ask ?
By breaking into an army depot and stealing some of the largest firearms on the planet, of course !
The problem with Steele Justice is that it sometimes feels like an action spoof instead of the real thing. It rips off First Blood (obviously), and certain scenes seem to be copied from Code Of Silence (1985), Raw Deal (1986), and numerous other 80s action flicks.
Steele Justice is still a fun time-waster if you've got some 90+ minutes to kill, but it's no classic, and probably only of interest to people old enough to remember what it was like going through the action department at the local video store.
Steele Justice has recently been released on dvd and blu-ray in the US through Kino Lorber. The theatrical trailer, plus bonus trailers for Avenging Force, Assassination, and The Hero And The Terror are included.
[ 19. June 2016, 06:59: Message edited by: Johnny Roarke is reckless ]
Posted by the young warrior (Member # 9554) on :
Martin Kove is pretty great especially in Rambo 2 and the Karate Kid's but I can't see him either as a main action lead,the film does look fun from the trailer and Soon - Tek Oh always makes for a decent bad guy (who can forget his one on one fight with Chuck Norris in Missing In Action 2) but like you mention Johnny it does come across more like a parody of those action classics that came before it!
Still like to check it out though,that song LOL
Posted by aTomiK (Member # 6575) on :
Sounds like an honest review, Johnny. But like warrior said, i´d also still like to see it. I guess i´m old enough
Posted by Johnny Roarke is reckless (Member # 9826) on :
I'm pretty sure the two of you will still find plenty to enjoy in Steele Justice.. Just don't expect it to be on the same artistically high level as your average Cannon Group production.
Oh, by the way.. i didn't even mention John Steele's pet snake which he carried around his neck while on duty in Vietnam (and somehow still owns the same animal twelve years later in the US).