Act Of Piracy (1988)- * *
Directed by: John 'Bud' Cardos
Starring: Gary Busey, Ray Sharkey, Belinda Bauer, Ken Gampu, Dennis Park, Nancy Mulford and Arnold Vosloo
All Ted Andrews (Busey) wanted to do was take his two children, some friends, and his new girlfriend (Mulford) on a nice cruise to Australia on his yacht. It was there that a wealthy buyer was going to buy said yacht. His ex-wife Sandy (Bauer) was against the trip, but Ted ends up setting sail anyway, and all hell breaks loose when the Andrews family and the whole crew of the vessel are victims of an ACT OF PIRACY.
A group of international terrorists (they're always international terrorists), led by Jack Wilcox (Sharkey), Sean Stevens (Vosloo), and Herb Bunting (Gampu) kill everyone on board, and kidnap the children. What they didn't count on was that Ted Andrews survived the massacre and is an ex-military mastermind out for revenge. He and his former wife team up to get the baddies and save the children. Their journey takes them from Zimbabwe to Greece, but will the Andrews parents take back their children and stop international terrorism once and for all?
Act of Piracy is standard fare. Busey, surprisingly, doesn't go over the top in his trademarked fashion. Maybe because it was 1988 and that was before he really went insane, but he doesn't spout any wacky sayings, he doesn't really scream or make funny faces at people, and he never calls anyone a "butthorn" or anything of the sort. By Busey standards, he's actually kind of restrained here.
Arnold Vosloo, his then-wife Nancy Mulford, and director John "Bud" Cardos quickly reunited in the same year - '88 of course - after Skeleton Coast to do this. While we certainly enjoyed seeing Busey, Vosloo, Gampu, and Mulford all together, the movie itself is middling, middle-of-the-road and has no surprise twists and turns that keep audiences hooked. There's a dearth of action throughout most of the running time and fans likely won't be satisfied by that.
Ray Sharkey looks like a cross between a young Hugh Jackman and a young Steven Bauer. He has a knock-down, drag-out fight with Busey at the end, but this old tub of a movie is pretty waterlogged.
If any movie was shot at this time in South Africa (as plenty were), Ken Gampu had to make an appearance. If anything, Act of Piracy could have used more Gampu. Also, during the opening credits, we see "introducing Dennis Park as Dennis Bryant". Not only was Park in some things before this, including No Retreat, No Surrender (1986) as "Karate Fight Referee", 'Piracy was his last movie role to date. He obviously wanted to end his movie career with a bang.
In the end, Act of Piracy is video store shelf-filler that doesn't exactly scream "see me now!" - really we would only recommend it to die-hard Busey fans.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty