Monday, 14 April 2008
STREET CRIMES (1992)
Written & Directed by: Stephen Smoke
Starring: Michael Worth & Dennis Farina
An earlier effort from 1990s action specialists PM Entertainment, Street Crimes still remains one their most solid and satisfying films, managing an easygoing balance between action and drama. It may not be bursting with car chases and fire fights much like PM’s later and more well known films, but Street Crimes offers excellent performances, and some quality scenes of kickboxing, in the story of an idealistic young cop (Worth) who sets up a meeting place for the cops and criminals to work out their differences in bouts of fist to fist fighting. Worth’s cop attempts to provide a way for the two sides of the law to let out aggression in the ring, and with the help of his grizzled old partner (Farina) lessens crime and confronts his childhood friend cum drug dealer who is trying to shut down this new bond between cop and criminal.
Michael Worth (US Seals 2) has always been a charismatic actor who despite flourishing in a number of action films never really made it big. His acting is just as good as his fighting and he gets to put both to good use in Street Crimes. His chemistry with Dennis Farina (Get Shorty) is spot on. Farina himself brings a touch of class to the production as the grumpy but well meaning seen-it-all cop. The romance Worth strikes up with Farina’s on screen daughter also provides a sweet sub plot to all the man on man fist crunching action. The fights are crisp and clean and while they aren’t intricately staged or adrenalin inducing, they are fluidly put together and satisfyingly more realistic in their approach to blocking and takedowns.
Unpretentious, easy going and well meaning, Street Crimes provides requisite action thrills and entertaining character interplay. It’s refreshing to see the action heroes not necessarily as super, all conquering beings but as real people who deal with emotions and relationships along with fights and shoot outs. Solid direction, solid action and solid performances make for a solid and much recommended action film.