Bullet Points: Deadly Impact
Sean Patrick Flanery is probably best known for his work in the Boondock Saints movies or his time playing a young Indiana Jones. But he’s also starred in a few direct to video action movies like Con Express with Arnold Vosloo, Lone Hero with Lou Diamond Phillips and the subject of this edition of Bullet Points, 2010’s Deadly Impact with Joe Pantoliano.
- It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: If Die Hard and Lethal Weapon have taught us anything it is that it is never a bad idea to have your action movie take place during the holiday season. So kudos to the producers of Deadly Impact for making that call. The movie opens up with our hero Tom Armstrong hanging out at his place with his buddy Ryan and Ryan’s teenage daughter Amy. Ryan is decorating a Christmas tree, while Amy sets the table for dinner… Tom’s wife Kelly is still not home from her last minute shopping. The mood is so warm and festive, at this point I thought I was watching a Hallmark Movie, but things take a disturbing turn…
- Boom Shake the Room: I failed to mention that both Tom and Ryan are in law enforcement, so their Christmas festivities are put on hold when they receive an emergency call. A hired assassin, known as The Lion, that Tom and Ryan have been investigating is upset that Tom has interfered in his business and cost him money, so just to eff with Tom, The Lion kidnaps Tom’s wife Kelly and has her tied up in a basement. When Tom and his team arrive at the home where Kelly is being held, Tom receives a call from the assassin and is given a no win ultimatum, if he or any member of his team try to leave the house, it will blow up and they will all die… the only way out is to hit the kill switch, which just so happens to be strapped to Kelly. The only way to activate the kill switch is to shoot Kelly. The clock is ticking as Tom has to decide if he wants to save one life (his wives) or multiple lives (his team). The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and Tom shoots his wife. Merry Christmas!
- South of the Border: After the horrific events of that fateful Christmas in Albuquerque, Tom retires and moves to Mexico where he apparently spends a lot of time in a bar… at least that is where FBI Agent Isabel finds him 8 years after the death of Tom’s wife. The FBI had intercepted a phone call between The Lion and one of his clients and Tom is asked to verify that it is indeed The Lion’s voice on the recording. Isabel asks Tom if he’d like to join the operation as a consultant, but Tom plays hard to get and refuses at first… but he doesn’t play hard to get for long as the lure of bringing The Lion to justice is too strong and Tom is back in action.
- The Lion Sleeps Tonight: I was surprised with just how well Joe Pantoliano did in the role of The Lion. When I think of Joey Pants, I think of the exasperated police captain in the Bad Boys movies or as the weak link in the Fratelli family in The Goonies. I do not think of a criminal mastermind, but to his credit Pantoliano pulls it off and then some. Not only is The Lion a remorseless killer, who is always one at least one step ahead of the authorities, he is also a master of disguise. He poses as a number of characters to carry out his ultimate revenge plot against the entire city of Albuquerque. Side note: I would not be surprised to learn that Pantoliano was inspired by Dennis Hopper’s work in Speed.
I would categorize Deadly Impact as an average action flick with an above average performance by Joe Pantoliano. I also believe that Sean Patrick Flanery is one of the unsung heroes in the action genre. Flanery is not one of those larger than life action stars, but he’s perfect for roles like Joe Armstrong… a good, honest cop who is haunted by a mad man and the decision he was forced to make. But Armstrong turns the negatives into positive motivation to beat The Lion at his own game.
It is just another argument for how crucial casting is to any movie and Deadly Impact definitely made the right choices in casting its two leads.
Now it is time for you to make a choice… to read or not to read these Bonus Deadly Impact Bullet Points…
- If You Ever: …wanted to see Joey Pants piss in a fish bowl, then this is the movie for you.
- Familiar Face: Amanda Wyss plays TV reporter Julie Mulligan. She serves as a conduit between the viewers at home and The Lion after The Lion basically takes a hotel hostage. You may remember Wyss from Strategic Command with Michael Dudikoff, Digital Man with Matthias Hues or Bloodfist IV: Die Trying with Don “The Dragon” Wilson.
- Get It?: Joe Pantoliano’s character is credited as Kaplow. Get it? KAPLOW!! Like a comic book explosion! I’m glad they opted for Kaplow and didn’t go with The Bomb Dot Com.