5 Questions: Action Jackson
There is one question that always comes to mind when I think of Action Jackson… why didn’t Carl Weathers get the opportunity to reprise the role of Jericho “Action” Jackson?
Action Jackson was an opportunity for the charismatic Carl Weathers to make the move from a supporting player to the star of the show. The movie had all the elements of a successful 80’s action flick. A fantastic hero, beautiful women, a villain who was easy to hate, a cast of colorful supporting characters, a great soundtrack and action on top of more action… including a memorable scene featuring Action Jackson driving a car into a mansion, up the stairs and into the power hungry villain Peter Dellaplane’s master bedroom!
The answer to why the world did not get an Action Jackson 2 is all about dollars and cents. There were simply not enough people who went out to see Action Jackson when it was released theatrically on February, 12, 1988. Was it lack of interest? Was it poor marketing? Were people just not willing to give Carl Weathers a chance as THE guy? Whatever the reason, it turned out to be an unfortunate situation for Carl Weathers and fans of the film.
As a huge fan of the film, I believe there are even more questions to be asked where Action Jackson is concerned…
1. Is Bill Duke’s Captain Earl Armbruster the most subdued police captain in action movie history?
When you think of police captains in action movies, they are always ranting and raving and get all tied up in their underwear when a maverick cop or cops under their command live up to their maverick reputations and throw the book out the window all in the name of getting results.
It feels like Bill Duke realized this trend when he went into play Captain Earl Armbruster and decided to play this police captain much differently. Armbruster is a refined individual, he is not a fan of vulgar language and while he does speak forcefully when he needs to, you will never hear him screaming at the top of his lungs until his blood pressure goes through the roof.
2. Did Vanity demand to take her clothes off in all her films?
I am in no way protesting as Vanity was a true beauty, but with the exception of The Last Dragon, I can’t recall seeing Vanity in a movie where she did not shed her clothes. 52 Pick-Up, Never Too Young To Die and Action Jackson all feature Vanity in various stages of undress. In Action Jackson, Vanity’s Sydney Ash basically takes her top off on command when Peter Dellaplane asks his mistress Ash to give him two good reasons why he said he would get her a recording deal with Motown.
Of course all those movies pale in comparison to one of Vanity’s early film roles where she exposes everything including the beav in the bizarre flick, Tanya’s Island.
3. Why did things escalate so quickly at the pool hall?
Jackson goes to a pool hall where an old informant of his named Papa Doc used to work in hopes that Papa Doc has some information about the evil plans of Peter Dellaplane. Jackson asks the bartender if Papa Doc is there but instead of simply telling Jackson that Papa Doc no longer works there or telling Jackson the truth that Papa Doc had passed away, the bartender chooses to take Jackson to a private room where Papa Doc’s balls are now stored in a jar of formaldehyde. The bartender is then joined by a bunch of other guys who are really, really, really into castration and it looks for a moment like Action Jackson will suffer the same fate as his former acquaintance Papa Doc.
Thanks to Sydney, Jackson and his balls remained intact and The Castration Club got their asses handed to them. Again, if the bartender had simply told the truth things would not have gotten so ugly and so painful.
4. How many “dee” words did Dee manage to use in her one and only scene in the film?
Since Papa Doc could not help, Jackson’s friend Kid Sable (played by the luminous Chino “Fats” Williams) points him in the direction of the Deluxe Barber Shop and its proprietor Dee. Now I could ask how the hell Dee the barber has so much information about Peter Dellaplane and his fiendish plots, but the more pressing question to me was how many “dee” words she manage to work into her conversation with Action Jackson!
I counted no less than 25 and they are as follows… deviant, defense, demonic, undetected, demise, deployed, demotion, undeniably, decapitated, defenestrated, debris, Detroit, defy, devise, determined, department, delivery, details, deceived, delighted, detective, defiantly and last but not least… indefatigable!
5. How did our heroes get into Peter Dellaplane’s private party?
The movie’s finale takes place at Peter Dellaplane’s palatial estate where Dellaplane is throwing a birthday party for Raymond Foss, the head of the Auto Workers Association. Dellaplane’s plan for the evening is to orchestrate a failed attempt on his own life, that will actually kill Raymond Foss instead. With Foss dead, Dellaplane can insert his hand picked stooge to run the AWA. Did I mention the shooting will all be pinned on Jericho Jackson because a Jackson lookalike (played by Bob Minor) will be seen firing the shot?
Well some how, some way… even with all the security measures in place and Dellaplane’s employees like his butler Cartier (Nicholas Worth) and his personal driver (Al Leong) walking around none of them seem to notice that Action Jackson, Kid Sable and even Sydney’s 270 lb. bodyguard Edd all managed to crash the party. I guess hiding in plain sight really does work.