Bullet Points: Malone
One of the great things about being an action star is career longevity. Action stars continue to kick ass years past their prime.
In 1987, a 51 year old Burt Reynolds would star in the film Malone. Part of me feels like this was a strategic move by Orion to tap into the elder statesman action genre that Cannon and Charles Bronson had a grip on at the time. Although according to an interview with Burt Reynolds himself the role of Malone was offered to Christopher Lambert and Gerard Depardieu first, so maybe I’m way off.
- The Premise: Reynolds plays Malone, a CIA hit man that wants out. After years of assassinating targets for the government he has had enough. His now ex-superiors want to eliminate him because he knows too much, but that ends up becoming the least of his problems after the transmission on his 69 Mustang dies and he arrives in a small former mining community in the Pacific Northwest and encounters a town that is being run by a self-proclaimed patriot named Delaney (Cliff Robertson). Delaney is buying up as much property as he can in town as he wants to turn the valley into its own state of like minded individuals looking to take their freedom back and bring American back to its roots.
- Unfriend: I thought Robertson did a great job playing the Delaney character. In today’s world he’d have his own You Tube channel and he’d spout off his opinions about immigration, unemployment, welfare, etc. His videos would spark serious and heated debates on Facebook and cause friends to unfriend one another left and right.
- Our Hero: Reynolds is pretty low key in his performance of Malone. We do get to see some of his CIA training in action as he has a few run ins with the Ballard boys, two locals who do the bidding of Delaney. Big Dan Bollard is played by Dennis Burkley of Beyond the Law fame. He doesn’t piss his pants in this one but he does get his ample ass kicked and his swollen genitals may prevent him from creating any baby Ballards. Then there’s Calvin Bollard played by Tracey Walter. Calvin finds out you don’t bring a gun to a gun fight if the other guy in the gun fight is an ex-CIA hit man.
- Cradle Robber?: Malone get some help from Paul Barlow (Scott Wilson) and his daughter Jo (Cynthia Gibb). The Barlows own the service station in town and they also put Malone up in their home since the only motel in town recently shut down. There is a whole weird dynamic between Malone and Jo. To his credit Malone does not rob the cradle even though Jo is basically offering it up to him on a silver platter.
- An Offer He CAN Refuse: When Malone starts making trouble in his town, Delaney is smart enough to realize a man of Malone’s skill sets could be a useful ally, so he tries to recruit Malone to his new American Revolution… but when Malone refuses the fallout is pretty explosive.
Right before I started to watch Malone, I had the glimmer of hope that I might have another Eye of the Tiger on my hands. Was this another one of the 80’s action movies that got lost in the shuffle that will end up blowing my mind and make me question how I could have waited so long to see it… that was not the case with Malone.
Malone is a simple and solid action movie. Nobody has it listed in their top ten action movies of all time but nobody is taking the time to hate on it either. I wouldn’t tell anybody to go out of their way to watch Malone, but if you came across it on TV like I did, I would recommend it over an episode of Evening Shade.
Here’s a few more Malone Bullet Points…
- Happy Anniversary: Malone was released on May 1st, 1987. If you bump into Malone tomorrow be sure to wish him a Happy Anniversary.
- Seems Like Old Times: Lauren Hutton plays a fellow CIA agent and love interest of Malone. The two also worked together in Gator.
- Bicycle, Bicycle, Bicycle: If you like to see people riding bicycles getting hit by a car, then this is the movie for you.