Movie: "Judgment Night"
Genre: Action / Adventure
Directed by: Stephen Hopkins
Writing credits: Lewis Colick, Jere Cunningham
Plot: Four suburbanite buddies in a RV get lost in the one place they definitely don't want to be. After witnessing a murder, they have to hightail it on foot through the worst areas of the city in a desperate attempt to save their own lives.
Review: There were plenty o' fun movies that came out in 1993: Cliffhanger, In The Line Of Fire, The Fugitive, etc. For my money, however, it just didn't get any better than Judgment Night that year. It stars Emilio Estevez, Cuba Gooding Jr., Stephen Dorff, Jeremy Piven (before he was famous), and Denis Leary in a role that was absolutely perfect for him.
So when these four friends get lost in gangland and witness a murder, Fallon (Leary) tells his thugs to leave no witnesses. The four friends manage to escape at first, but it's not long before Fallon and company are chasing them through the city streets, train yards, apartment buildings, rooftops and even the sewers. Eventually, Ray Cochran (Piven) gets too exhausted and decides to stay behind and try to make a deal with Fallon. Piven is great as the scheming guy who thinks he can talk his way out of anything, but Leary's character is the exact opposite of him and doesn't want to hear another word. "Let me tell you something, Ray. You don't understand shit, OK? Nothing. Guys like you check to see if they got a dick. I got one. You and your friends are the kind of spoon-fed fucking fruit bait that I fucking HATE! Shut the fuck up. You speak when fucking spoken to, okay. This is not fucking high school, motherfucker. I'll eat your fucking friends for fucking lunch. You know who we are? You got no fucking idea, do you? No. Jerks like you sail through life, reading about people like me in the newspaper. HEY! You're in a different place now, motherfucker! $100,000 might buy you out of North Shore. Here, that means shit. This is my fucking world." Like I said, this is the perfect role for a ranter-extraordinaire like Denis Leary.
In the end, what it comes down to is whether or not the guys can keep running away from the relentless Fallon and his henchmen, or if they're going to have to just take a stand. What kind of chance do a bunch of suburbanites stand against hardened criminals who are heavily armed? While it's not too hard to guess the outcome, I guess you'll just have to watch the movie to see what happens exactly.
I also feel I should mention the soundtrack that was released in conjunction with the film as it was quite unique and one of the best soundtracks of all-time in my opinion. They basically got members from various popular rap and rock bands to get together and record completely new songs together. The result is combinations you'd never expect to see such as Slayer & Ice-T, Pearl Jam & Cypress Hill, Faith No More & Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E., Helmet & House Of Pain and more. As an interesting tie-in for the soundtrack, one of Fallon's thugs (Rhodes) is portrayed by none other than Erik 'Everlast' Schrody from the rap group, House Of Pain.
I gotta give kudos to the director too because the cinematography is fantastic in this film - a lot of unusual angles that help build the tension and, of course, the extremely dark & gritty style of the city setting. All in all, it's a great suspenseful action movie filled with lots of classic one-liners, really solid characters and a killer soundtrack. For some reason, it slipped under most people's radars, but trust me when I say it's absolutely worth checking out.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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