Bullet Points: Killing Streets (1991)
There are some actors that we grow up watching who can seemingly do no wrong. Actors who can survive terrible film franchises, God-awful movies, abysmal sequels, and reboots that can almost make us puke. Michael Dudikoff comes immediately to mind for me. There was rarely a week that went by where I didn’t watch at least one of his early films and I still re-watch many of them to this day, regardless of how good they actually might be. Hell, a sweet-ass framed poster of American Ninja is sitting about 4 feet away from me as I type this right now and I’m not at all embarrassed by being a 33 year old man with a movie poster on his basement wall. Michael Paré is not an actor that I grew up with at all. I probably watched him in a couple of his movies but it wasn’t until recently that I really fell in like with him as a lead and most of that is from his phenomenal work in Streets of Fire. A quick search through VUDU introduced me to Killing Streets, and while it could have easily have been a sequel to Streets of Fire based on its title, it was something totally different but no less entertaining.
Synopsis: A young Marine working undercover in Lebanon is captured by terrorists and thought to be dead. His twin brother, frustrated with the inactivity on the part of the American embassy, travels to Beirut and works to rescuing his brother who he knows is alive.
- Twin Magic: Professional wrestling has been playing up the idea of “twin magic” for years but Killing Streets has all but determined to make the viewers believe that these two identical twins can “feel” each other. Even thousands of miles apart, they still have dreams and can sense whether one another is deep trouble. I don’t have a twin but I can guarantee you that it doesn’t work that way.
- Say What: Chris Brandt (the non-Marine Paré ) finds out about his brother and lets out a Loren Avedon level scream into the air. Cut a scene later and he’s arriving in Beirut, ready to find his brother come hell or high water. I have to give it to Chris. He doesn’t have any military experience like his brother. He’s merely a high school basketball coach in Dayton, Ohio. That doesn’t exactly scream hero but what Chris lacks in combat experience, he makes up for with heart….and twin magic!
- Bring out the Lamas: If you need to have an actor play an agent with a strong Texan accent, why not hire the all-American Californian boy named Lorenzo Lamas! His accent is laid on pretty thick, but not necessarily in a bad way. Lamas spends about half of the movie warning and chasing Chris until he realized that he may be the only chance of actually finding his brother Craig and joins him for the all important final battle.
- Terrorists: Despite getting his MBA in the great state of Ohio, Alon Boutboul’s Abdel is exactly the type of terrorist piece of shit that we’ve grown to hate even more the age of daily terror attacks. Just thinking about it makes me want to put my beer down and punch a hole through his face. Alon plays the role of the reserved psycho well and we’re even given a look into the mental games that he plays with both his hostages and his own men. He’s a real dog turd of a man.
- Hero Make-Over: Michael Paré might have had greater box office success with Killing Streets if he had been given a better set of threads to wear. Most of the movie is just him walking around in a white tee shirt and jeans. A smart man would have slapped some cowboy boots on him, a denim shirt, and maybe a freakin’ LEATHER JACKET! Real badasses wear leather jackets in the desert! Chris Brandt isn’t exactly the killing machine that we’re used to seeing in hostage rescue movies but it fits well with the type of actor and the physical presence of Paré. He obviously doesn’t have an imposing physique and his character isn’t supposed to be the type who could German suplex a Volvo.
- Unsung Heroes: Maybe Killing Streets deserves the Unsung Heroes treatment from Chris The Brain but I’m going to save him the time and tell you that the two men in this movie that deserve the most credit are Gilad the cab driver and Harold. Gilad spends the entire movie driving Paré around and even gets into the action at the end by being a vital member of the assault team during the rescue. He better get a damn good tip! Harold is the partner to Lorenzo Lamas’ awesomely named Charlie Wolff and does a Rambo level of killing in the end to help the heroes make it out alive. He’s essentially the only one of them that gets more than two kills and it’s a real shame that he doesn’t get his due. Seriously, that dude fires grenades, grappling hooks, and machine guns without even messing up his Donald Trump Jr. looking hair.
Get to the Chopper so you can make it home in time to read these Bonus Bullet Points:
- Hostage situation or not, you never pass up an opportunity to bang the hot blonde chick.
- The rescue gives the heroes an opportunity to blast away at the bad guys with a .50 cal but they instead decide to light the truck on fire. Rambo would have never done that!
- The only car chase the movie has is one that didn’t really make sense. It was Lorenzo and Harold chasing Chris and Gilad through some tiny streets that served no purpose other than to f*ck up Gilad’s ride.
- There is an excellent exploding brain through the skull effect. It came out of nowhere like an RKO.
The Verdict: I think it could have been a more action packed movie if the terrorists had accidentally taken Chris the basketball coach hostage instead of Craig the Marine. It would have played a little more into the whole “twin magic” idea and could have allowed Paré to use his fighting skills a little more than we get to see in the film. Overall, I liked the movie because the acting was good, the characters were mostly likeable, and Paré and Lamas are usually never terrible. The setting for the film and the final assault on the compound are probably the movies two biggest assets and they’re both very good. If you like that late-80’s terrorists were always from Lebanon or enjoy seeing stunt men getting blown from the top of buildings then you’ll be especially enthralled.