Bullet Points: Martial Law II: Undercover
Action fans across the United States are looking forward to the 4th of July this coming weekend. But, on July 1st our neighbors to the north will be celebrating Canada Day.
Now when I think of Canada in the pro wrestling sense I think of Bret “Hitman” Hart and Trish Stratus. In the sports sense hockey is the first thing that comes to mind. In the world of comedy, I think of the late, great John Candy. In the world of TV shows produced in Canada, I think of Friday the 13th: The Series and in the world of action movies I’ll always associate Canada with Toronto born action star, Jeff Wincott.
In honor of Canada Day this week, I sat down and watched another Jeff Wincott movie. This time out I selected Martial Law II: Undercover, which also stars Cynthia Rothrock.
- The Premise: Wincott and Rothrock play cops, Sean Thompson and Billie Blake. The movie kicks off with this crime fighting, karate chopping dream team busting some bad guys who were about to sell some illegal arms. As a result of the bust Thompson gets promoted to detective. (Billie does not get a bump, this is exactly what Patricia Arquette was talking about at the Oscars). The dream team is split up, as Thompson is assigned to another precinct where he’ll report to Captain Krantz (Billy Drago). I won’t lie there was an immediate red flag when I saw that Drago was playing a cop. Another red flag comes quickly after we meet Captain Krantz. Thompson bumps into an old Police Academy buddy named Borelli. The two exchange pleasantries but when fellow detective Frank Dobbs strolls by, there is some noticeable uneasiness between Dobbs and Borelli.
- Dirty Cop: We quickly learn that Borelli suspects Dobbs of being dirty. Borelli follows Dobbs and he pays for it with his life. The bad guys that Dobbs is working with make it look like a drunk driving accident, but when our hero Detective Sean Thompson hits the scene, something doesn’t seem right. He doesn’t believe Borelli’s death was an accident. Thompson discovers a Club Syntax matchbook in Borelli’s pocket… could this be a clue to what really happened to his old friend?
- In Da Club: Thompson goes to Club Syntax to check things out and ends up getting in a bar fight. As you can imagine, this is Jeff Wincott we are talking about so you know he kicked major ass and got the better of the exchange, but he also drew a lot of attention to himself and the fact that he’s a cop. How is he going to find out what is really going on at this club? He calls his old partner, Billie Blake and Billie agrees to take some vacation time and assist Thompson by going undercover as a bartender at the club in question. Sacrificing her vacation time to help a friend? Billie Blake is a friend of the highest caliber!
- Our Villain: The owner of The Club is Spencer Hamilton (Paul Johansson of Berserker: Hell’s Warrior Fame). Just the name Spencer Hamilton seems to ooze arrogance and Johansson does a fine job at playing the arrogant, egotistical, power hungry Hamilton. Hamilton wants to start promoting fights, so he targets the current big fish in that world, Frank Jones. He bets Jones that his fighter Tanner (Evan Lurie) can beat two of Jones’ boys. You could say that Spencer Hamilton declared war on the Jones Boys if you’d like. Anyway, if Tanner wins… then Jones will agree to sell his promotion business to Hamilton. If Jones’ two guys win, he gets Club Syntax. Tanner wins the fight, but now Spencer Hamilton needs to come up with the moolah to complete this deal and he doesn’t have long to do it. His plan to raise the money does not involve putting on a break dancing show with magicians and jugglers ala Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, it is much more nefarious and it is going to take a crime fighting, karate chopping dream team to beat him.
I am happy to say that I am 3 for 3 with Jeff Wincott movies this year. I am beginning to wonder if the man can make a bad action movie. The involvement of Cynthia Rothrock gave this one a different vibe than the previous Wincott movies I’ve reviewed for the site. I enjoyed the chemistry between Wincott and Rothrock, so it was no surprise the producers wanted them both back for Martial Law 3. Part 3 ultimately became Mission of Justice after Rothrock pulled out of the project.
And now for some bonus Bullet Points….
- If You Ever: …wanted to see Jeff Wincott disguised as a bum or Cynthia Rothrock disguised as a hot dog vendor then this is the movie for you.
- Good Morning Montage: The music featured during the martial arts class montage sounds like it belongs on a local television station’s morning show instead of an action movie.
- Rock, Paper, Scissors: At one point in the movie, one of Spencer’s information gathering ladies named Tiffany finds herself in danger, but fortunately for her Billie comes to the rescue. One of the thugs decides to grab The Club from a car, but it is no match for Billie and her baseball bat. It was like some modified game of rock, paper scissors… Bat smashes Club!