Release year: 1988
Director: Craig R. Baxley
Screenwriter: Robert Reneau
Starring: Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, Vanity, Sharon Stone, Thomas F. Wilson, Bill Duke, Robert davi, Roger Aaron Brown
After being demoted from lieutenant to police sergeant after being too rough to son of car tycoon Sean Dellaplane (Nelson), Jericho ‘Action’ Jackson (Weathers) has every reason to wish vengeance over the arrogant business man. So, when a series of murders is linked to Dellaplane, Jackson goes against orders and starts investigating.
Action Jackson is the directorial debut of Baxley (Dark Angel, 1990) and the first starring role for Weathers (Predator, 1987). A typical 1980s action flick complete with one-liners and exploding stuff, it introduces its main star well and is entertaining enough to make you just a little bit sad it wasn’t made into the planned Action Jackson-franchise. Weathers does a good job looking intimidating and furious, the two most important parts of his performance and Nelson (Poltergeist, 1982) convincing as the mean business tycoon. Bringing the female characters to life, Vanity (52 Pick-Up, 1986) does a decent job while Stone (Basic Instinct, 1992) plays a more timid and innocent role as what we later got to know her from. The introduction of Jackson is brilliant, and leaves promise of a better movie than what this is, but it is still good dumb entertainment and any fan of the action flicks from the era will find some enjoyment watching Weathers building up a rage.
Carl Weathers came up with the idea for the film on the set of Predator (1987), during conversations with producer Joel Silver about their shared love of 1970s blaxploitation films. The title was born after Weathers spoke to an Australian crew member about the project. To indicate his interest in working on the film, the crew member said, “I’m in like Action Jackson.”
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Picture copyrights: Warner Home Video