Bullet Points: Substitute 3: Winner Takes All
Yesterday marked Treat Williams’ 63rd birthday and in honor of Mr. Williams we are taking a look at one of his forays into the world of action movies, The Substitute 3: Winner Takes All.
Williams would play the role of Karl Thomasson in all three Substitute sequels (taking over for Tom Berenger, the star of the original Substitute movie).
- Greetings from Kosovo: The movie begins with Thomasson and Macy, a fellow mercenary, imprisoned in Kosovo. When Macy is brutally tortured and left paralyzed from the neck down, he asks Thomasson two things, to give his medal to his estranged daughter so she will remember her dad as a real soldier and to mercy kill him. Thomasson takes the medal, kills his friend and escapes back to America.
- The Mission: When Thomasson returns to the States, he looks up Macy’s daughter Nicole Stewart, who is a college professor and as luck (or misfortune in this case) would have it, she is not seeing eye to eye with the football coach and his players. She believes that the players should not get a pass academically just because the team is having their first winning season in years. The football players STRONGLY disagree and they brutally beat her and put her in the hospital… which means we now have an opening for a substitute teacher. So the college gives Professor Thomasson the job… and not only will he be filling in for Professor Stewart he’ll be bringing the football program to justice too. Thomasson suspects “Roid Rage” is a big factor in the actions of the players, so his first goal, find out where they are getting the drugs from.
- The Team: Thomasson doesn’t do this all on his own, he assembles a team that includes Rahmel, a martial arts expert. Ed Lincoln, surveillance expert and food lover. And since it never hurts to have a tough chick on the team, Thomasson recruits Andy (Claudia Christian). Andy really is an essential piece to the puzzle since I don’t think any other team member could pull off the waitress disguise and go undercover at a Hooters like sports bar.
- Mafia Ties: As if running a dirty football program wasn’t bad enough, the team is getting the steroids from a former player, Tony Lo Russo, who is the son of a Mafia capo, Vincent “The Brick” Lo Russo. This ups the danger factor but that’s not going to scare away a soldier of fortune like Karl Thomasson.
I enjoy Treat Williams’ work in The Substitute series, he brings a calm, cool and collected approach to it much like Edward Woodward did in the The Equalizer TV series. The Thomasson character has both brains and brawn. I also like the effort that was put in to making each of The Substitute sequels a little different, you don’t feel like you are watching the same movie over and over again.
Here are a few more highlights from the film…
- Just Like Prison: To show what a bad ass he is, Professor Thomasson calls out the biggest football player in class and basically emasculates him in front of his peers to show that he is the alpha male.
- Dated Reference: How many people watching the movie got that Treat Williams was doing an impression of Fernando (Billy Crystal on SNL) when he tells Andy she looks “maaaahvalous”?
- If You Are A Fan: …of Wet T-Shirt Contests then this is the movie for you!
- Unexpected Quote: “We got a sex party inside.”
- Favorite Scene: Rahmel puts his ninja sword to good use when he chops a guys arm off! Easily my favorite scene in this movie.
- Maxx Payne: Wrestling historians may recognize the Muscle that Andy gets in a fight (and simulated sex) with as Maxx Payne from WCW or Man Mountain Rock as he was known in the WWE.