Picks and Pans Review: Fighting Back
"Enough is enough" is the credo of the hero of this nerve-racking film, which could have been called Cousin of Death Wish. Tom (Alien) Skerritt plays a South Philadelphia Italian grocer who is driven to establish a vigilante group (and thence move into politics) by a tidal wave of crime in his neighborhood. The man is provoked, make no mistake about that, and he is provoked early, often and gruesomely, so that the film can get on with the joyous and cleansing motif of a righteously indignant man exacting revenge on "punks and dudes." Patti LuPone, Broadway's original Evita, is wasted as the grocer's wife. She abhors his vindictive confrontations until, in an infuriatingly gratuitous scene, she discovers their house ransacked and the family dog hanged in the shower. That tears it for her. Now everybody is into wanton violence. But the damage has been done, especially to any intelligent viewer's sensibilities. Yaphet Kotto is an implausible black community leader, and Michael Sarrazin is ludicrous as a sympathetic policeman. The director, Lewis Teague, who did the good-natured horror film Alligator, has made of this movie an endless muddle. Long before Skerritt's character has reached his boiling point, the audience is more likely to want to seek revenge at the box office. (R)
On Newsstands Now
- Angelina: Inside Her Brave Choice
- New Details on the Ohio Three
- Prince Harry Takes America!
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine