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Extreme Prejudice
cast: Nick Nolte, Powers Boothe, Maria Conchita Alonzo, Michael Ironside, and Rip Torn

director: Walter Hill

100 minutes (18) 1987
widescreen ratio 16:9
Momentum DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 2/10
reviewed by Paul Broome
Extreme Prejudice is a fitting title for this slice of undiluted machismo fluff from the mid-1980s, if the prejudice involves sexism, racial stereotyping and animosity towards decent dialogue, that is. This thinly veiled remake of Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, it features Nick Nolte and a host of B-movie stalwarts (Michael Ironside, Powers Boothe, Clancy Brown, Rip Torn, William Forsythe) shooting it out in the deserts of Texas and Mexico.
   Local Texas Ranger Jack Benteen (Nolte) is trying to convince his ex-best friend, and now local drug baron, Cash Bailey (Boothe), to stop running drugs across the border, and raining violence down upon the inhabitants of his sleepy little town. Meanwhile, Major Paul Hackett (Ironside) leader of a small (and incredibly secret, not to mention violent) band of special government operatives is trying to infiltrate Bailey's operations and 're-appropriate' some of his assets. Eventually, everybody comes together, they sort out their differences in a hail of gunfire and monosyllabic dialogue, and Nolte gets the girl. The end.
   Hill is a director with quite an illustrious history (48 Hours, etc), but here he really scraped the bottom of the barrel in every respect. The script is atrocious, the plot - largely stolen from the Peckinpah film - is good, but the dialogue is laughable. Nolte walks around as though he has chronic constipation, and exhibits all the human qualities of a brick. Boothe and Ironside do a little better, but with very little to work with they both end up succumbing to the mediocrity of it all. The violence is gratuitous, overlong, and entirely unrealistic. The only women in the film (largely Maria Conchita Alonso, as Nolte's wife, and Bailey's ex-girlfriend) are treated as little more than filmic meat, with a couple of unnecessary tit-shots, and emotional outbursts more suited to an episode of The Bold And The Beautiful. The only saving grace, and it's a small one, is some of the humour injected by Hackett's motley gang of servicemen.
   In short, this film really brought rushing back to me everything that was so bad about the 1980s - and shows just how far we have come in such a short space of time. Avoid at all costs - unless you're the kind of man who keeps his woman in the kitchen, and watches movies with a beer in one hand and manhood in the other (and you've worn out your VHS copy of Rambo).
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