* * *1\2
Directed by: Rod Hewitt
Starring: Robert Davi, Michael Pare, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Joel Grey, John Savage, Saemi Nakamura, Sven-Ole Thorsen, Paula Barbieri, and Elliot Gould
When their sister is murdered while doing an expose on drug dealers (never a good idea), her brother Kon Seki (Tagawa) and her sister Akiko (Nakamura), a team of sibling ninjas, snap into action and start killing drug goons all over New Orleans. Cop Random (Pare - his name in the movie is Random, just for clarification) is assigned to the case - but for some reason that isn’t quite clear, he’s assigned a non-police, motorcycle-riding, rogue badass named Davalos (Davi) to be his partner. While Davalos and Random hire local weirdo Flea (Joel Grey, not the bass player) to help them out, the baddies also hire a knife-wielding killer named Lautrec (Savage) to do their dirty work. Will the forces of law and order learn to co-exist with the secretive ninjas in order to fight the baddies? Find out today!
The Dangerous. It seems like that title should have another word or two in it...but despite the seemingly-truncated title, the movie itself is really cool and surprisingly good. It boasts an interesting idea, a top-notch B-movie cast, and is competently written and directed. It’s hard to ask for more.
It’s truly Robert Davi at his absolute best. When we first see him, he’s out in the desert and looks like Walker Texas Ranger-era Chuck Norris. Then, mere seconds later, he’s on his chopper, sporting a half-beard and strongly resembles Renegade-era Lorenzo Lamas. But regardless of who he happens to look like, here Davi is tough, witty and gets all the best lines. He even speaks Japanese. He and Pare make a great team. The movie was even smart enough to ensure there was none of that annoying bickering that goes on between partners with different attitudes. That sort of detail shows us that The Dangerous is a cut above the rest. It’s really surprising there were no sequels - the 90’s were full of apparently unnecessary sequels: if there can be three Snake Eater movies, and three Crackerjack movies, why not at least one more The Dangerous movie?
Speaking of the 90’s, The Dangerous is pitch-perfect for 1995. For those that remember going to your local video store around that time period, this movie will stand out as highly typical of that era. “1995” exudes from every frame of film. That’s a good thing, by the way. There’s a lot of solid action, from the Louisiana graveyard shootout, to the pre-Hard Target (1993) action scene in the warehouse where they keep all the Mardi Gras floats. Naturally there is the fruit cart car chase/crash, among other favorites. But Michael Pare’s car has cool stripes on the door. So there’s that.
Besides the aforementioned Pare, Davi, Tagawa, Grey and Savage, it’s certainly worth noting that none other than Elliott Gould is also on board. For some reason he has a cameo as a projectionist in the scene at the movie theater (another cool action setpiece and sports some interesting posters in the background to boot). The filmmakers could have gotten any actor for this part, but getting a major star like Gould must have been a coup. Not quite on the same talent level as Gould, Ron Jeremy also does a one-scene cameo as a porn director. And Sven-Ole Thorsen appears as a bodyguard. So everywhere you look in The Dangerous there is a familiar face.
Featuring some hair metal-type songs from a band called Skindiver, The Dangerous is an enjoyable movie that delivers what you want.
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett
Note: Robert Davi contacted us via Twitter and here are his tweets about The Dangerous:
"THANKS FOR REVISIT ON THE DANGEROUS !! 1 thing the Mardi Gras warehouse was a location I picked and Hard Target COPIED US."
"We actually shot the dangerous before hard target !!! it was made in 92 released later"