Blogs

June 15, 2017

Forgotten Gem: Extreme Justice (1993)

I hadn’t watched this movie for many years but it finally answered a question I’d asked a while back. If you’re part of The Action Elite Facebook Group you’ll remember a few weeks ago I asked if anyone remembered a movie where a cop busts another cop’s balls because he has a laser sight on his gun. For the life of me I couldn’t remember and then BOOM! There it was. Extreme Justice from Mark L. Lester, the director of Commando and Showdown in Little Tokyo. So now that we got that out of the way, let’s take a look back at one of the most underrated gems of the 90’s.

Extreme Justice has a great cast that includes Scott Glenn, Lou Diamond Phillips, Ed Lauter, Yaphet Kotto, Chelsea Field and Andrew Divoff who elevate it from being a standard police action drama.

Having genuine character actors in roles like this gives the movie more authenticity and there isn’t a weak performance among them. I’ve always enjoyed Lou Diamond Phillips and this is one of his better leading roles as a brutal cop called Jeff Powers who is close to getting the boot when he is taken on by Scott’s Glenn’s grizzled Dan Vaughn and asked to join their secret police group known as SIS. They deal with hardened street criminals but as Powers gets in deeper he realizes the group are really just vigilantes who don’t take prisoners.

I really liked how you didn’t hate the SIS guys but kind of saw their way of thinking even if it is a little harsh. You can see how the job would be attractive to someone like Powers who takes his work very seriously and even splits up with his girlfriend because of it. Admittedly she is kind of annoying and keeps asking questions when she should just shut up but she acts as the film’s conscience trying to keep Powers from going down the dark path.

Although you can tell which way the story is heading I really enjoyed how it ended and was really a morality tale about vigilantism and what separates the good guys from the bad.

There is a particularly tough rape scene which I could have done without but I understood why it was there and it remains the most disturbing part of the movie; it’s also when Powers discovers his co-workers may not be the good guys after all.

At 95 minutes it’s tightly paced and doesn’t go long before shots are fired, faces are punched and blood is spilled. It still holds up well too mostly due to the strong performances and engaging storyline so even if you were to watch it for the first time you’ll still enjoy the heck out of it.

So if you’ve never seen Extreme Justice I highly recommend tracking it down as it’s a quality cop actioner with plenty of action, a stellar cast and an exciting story.



About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.




 
 

 

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  • David Barber

    Lou Diamond Phillips was my brother’s favourite during that period after he’d seen him in Young Guns, Young Guns II and Renegades.

  • Mucho Macho

    Btw Action Fans if you like this movie by Mark Lester who collaborated with Scott Glenn in this picture, they also did another movie for the same movie company titled “Night of the Running Man” which premiered on HBO as well couple of years later.
    If you like “Extreme Justice” chances are you will like this film as well.
    Seriously HBO ..Fuck you!!? What happened to you!?

    👍📼https://youtu.be/zNfOLxcw5KI

  • Mucho Macho

    2 of the greatest channels when I was growing up our now crap, those are HBO and MTV.
    This is another movie I remember premiering during primetime on HBO back when the channel was worth a damn and it had some testosterone. I honestly do believe that today HBO would not even air “The Sopranos”. I mean this is a show where they killed Vito for being gay & if they did air “The Sopranos” today they’ll probably give Vito a medal for sucking dick.

    If I recall correctly this movie was supposed to get a theatrical release during the Spring of 1993, however due to the violence of the riots of Los Angeles, the studio decided to not show it in theaters and just have it go straight to HBO. So there you have it, looters not only stole television sets from RadioShack but they also got to watch a movie that was pulled from theaters because of their actions on their stolen televisions.

    This is a cool movie, Scott Glenn was the real hero of this piece. California feels like a different planet nowadays at times… the man is needed.

    By the way Lou Diamond Phillips was the bomb in “La Bamba”

  • Eoin Friel

    Yeah it kinda is.

  • David Barber

    Sounds like a ’90s Magnum Force.