|I'm Jackson... ACTION JACKSON!|
What do you get when you mix Beverly Hills Cop with Raw Deal? You get the blaxploitation film Action Jackson starring Carl Weathers as Jericho "Action" Jackson, a celebrated cop that crossed paths with Peter Dellaplane. a business man who basically ruined Jackson's career and marriage because Jackson believes that Dellaplane is a corrupt individual who isn't above anything to grab more money and power.
Carl Weathers was great in the Rocky series as Apollo Creed, as well as in Predator. But thinking about making him an "action" hero along the lines of Schwarzenegger or Stallone (or even Willis) is just not realistic. Weather's isn't an action movie hero. He's not believable as a leading man or even as an actor. That last one is a bit harsh, but most of the movies that I've seen Weathers in, he's just a wooden actor, his acting just isn't believable.
But it's not just him. It's most of the cast (Bill Duke aside). Even thought Action Jackson is considered an independent movie, it just feels like it was rushed together to capitalize on Weathers being the next Stallone or Schwarzenegger because of his muscular build.
The movie is awful. It's so bad, it's actually fun to watch if you do it MST3K style. We have a celebrated cop, who is so bad ass that the other police officers make up stories about him to scare the local criminals. Then, at some point during the movie, when Action Jackson is investigating the same person that caused all the misery in Jackson's life (Dellaplane), the entire police force that admires him, suddenly hates him and Jackson is now a fugitive. That "some point" was when Jackson was framed for killing Dellaplane's wife.
How convenient. Even though he's a tough guy with a heart of gold and a celebrated cop, no one believes his side of the story when it comes to being framed for murder. Even though his investigation into Dellaplane shows enough evidence, circumstantial as it may have been, to bring him in and question him. Of course, following police procedure really doesn't make for a good movie, just TV shows.
I get what they were trying to do with this movie. It's a blaxploitation film, like Shaft or any of the other 70's movie of this genre. They were trying to revive a genre that should be revived. These are the types of filmmakers that Hollywood needs but, sadly, they are quite often overlooked. The problem is, they tried to revive a genre of film with a bunch of bad actors, they also seemed to not want to take the entire blaxploitation film seriously. It's not just the actors, the direction, the sets, the action. It's all terrible and not in a good way. The converse side of the argument is the remake of Shaft, great actors, and director, but they took the genre of the blaxploitation film way too seriously.
When it comes to movies like this, there's a fine line between parody and serious movie and Action Jackson seems to fall more on the parody side, like I'm Gonna Git You Sucka and not on the serious side like Dolemite or Shaft. It's pretty sad too. If they had done this movie right, instead of trying to Miami Vice it up, who knows what types of cool movies would have come out of the Hollywood machine.
Action Jackson (1988)
R | 1h 36min | Action, Comedy, Crime | 12 February 1988 (USA)
Vengence drives a tough Detroit cop to stay on the trail of a power hungry auto magnate who's systematically eliminating his competition.
Director: Craig R. Baxley
Writer: Robert Reneau
Stars: Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, Vanity