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Directed by: John Terlesky
Starring: Lou Diamond Phillips, Kari Wuhrer, Jack McGee, Edoardo Ballerini, Carmen Argenziano, and Steven Bauer
Jack Lucas (LDP) is an LAPD cop on the edge. Putting him even closer to the edge of the edge is the fact that a psychotic criminal mastermind is trying to frame him for a series of murders. The obnoxious and annoying Oliver “Ollie” Chadwicke (Ballerini) has it in for Lucas and is going to slyly and shrewdly send him up the river. Fighting for his life against the bogus charges actually perpetrated by Chadwicke, Lucas must use his wits to defeat him at his own game. Teaming up with a stripper with a heart of gold, Jessica (Wuhrer), as well as his father, Warren (Argenziano), Lucas must not only defend himself against Chadwicke, but from the mistrust growing amongst his co-workers. Especially with Captain Pruitt (Bauer) breathing down his neck. Will Lucas get justice?
Malevolent is a surprisingly solid and entertaining cop drama/thriller. It was smart putting LDP in the lead role, because he can easily carry a movie like this with his charm, charisma and acting ability. You could even say this is the continuing story of Jeff Powers from Extreme Justice. This isn’t really an action movie, in fact all of the action was edited in from The Corruptor (1999) and Marked For Death (1990). Anyone who has seen those movies will surely recognize the footage. But at least Malevolent is open and honest about it, in its own way: both footage sources get large, easy-to-read screen credits at the end of the movie. Other DTV items don’t do that. They try to hide their patchwork nature. So we give the movie credit for its openness.
You have to take this movie for what it is, it’s not going to change the world but it’s really not bad either. In its quest to be gritty, or perhaps different, there are some horribly (intentionally horribly) edited sequences that are trying to be “cool”. If the movie was just edited normally, that would have helped. Plus there are some highly cliched, even stereotypical characters, such as Lucas’ partner Carla, played by Gwen McGee. But Ballerini did a great job as the baddie, he really makes you hate him. It’s always nice to see Kari Wuhrer, we were happy she was on board. It was also cool to see Jack McGee, of The Quest (1996) fame as the bartender. Steven Bauer should have had more screen time as the captain. Also, Simon Rhee is credited as one of the stunt players.
LDP even wrote the lyrics for the movie’s most memorable song, “Pray For Dawn”, a bluesy-type number. He should get more credit for being multi-talented. Fans of any of the cast members involved, DTV cop dramas, or fans of stock footage (we know you’re out there), or anyone with some spare time on their hands might want to check out Malevolent.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty