Street Knight (1993)

Street Knight PosterJeff Speakman was the best super cop L.A. had ever seen. Graduated at the top of his class, special commendations from the mayor, key to the city, employee of the month, etc. But it all changed that fateful day while working a hostage situation where some crudbum psycho is holding a little girl at gunpoint threatening to blow her frigging head off. Jeff tries to talk him down, but some pud cop behind Jeff spooks the guy and he blasts the little girl’s melon clean off right in front of Jeff! Then he shoots Jeff, too! There goes that sweet parking space for being employee of the month!

At that moment, Jeff Speakman the super cop died with that poor little girl. He quit the force and went back to the tough neighborhood he grew up in. Now he’s just a guy haunted by the nightmares of that awful day.

Nightmares so horrible that he sleeps naked and feels compelled to stand at the window thinking about how terrible the nightmares are while the neighbors are compelled to think about how terrible it is that Jeff can’t afford curtains on a haunted ex-cop’s salary!

The Los Angeles of the late 1980s and early 1990s is a gang-riddled powderkeg! A truce between the Latin Lords and the Blades could stop the killings, but someone is determined that that not happen! Someone that will stop at nothing to ensure that the Lords and Blades turn the City of Angels into a steaming charnel house of gun downed gang bangers!

But who and why? What reason would anyone have to want to see the city streets covered with blood-stained do-rags and bling? And more importantly, why should I care if a bunch of scumbag gang members get killed?

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I’m not entirely sure that Speakman cared a whole lot either. He was sort of roped into all of it because some broad he knows had another broad come to Speakman for help in locating her little brother.

Her brother is in the Latin Lords and was missing after being the only surviving witness to a massacre of the Lords supposedly done by the Blades. Her brother though can identify the guy who did it, making him a hard target! Speakman is reluctant to help out until he decides that he wouldn’t mind banging this chick.

The guys setting up the gang war pretty much pull out all the stops, killing various gang members willy-nilly while leaving evidence it was the other gang that did it. In fact, they seem to be killing so many of these guys that I was worried they were going to run out of gang bangers to start a war with!

The also figure out that Speakman having been laid, has now switched on his Street Knight mode and is unraveling the mystery surrounding the gang murders. They know that Street Knight has to be neutralized!

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Two guys are sent to Street Knight’s house to kill him, but end up getting their necks snapped for their troubles! Then the bad guys kill the leader of the Blades while disguised as Street Knight to make him a wanted man by both the police and the Blades! Then they kill his best friend! Then they kidnap his new girlfriend! It’s a good thing Street Knight didn’t have a dog!

In Street Knight’s world of violent retribution though, such things are merely the buzzing of insignificant flies around his mullet! Street Knight is too busy finding this brat to let any of this worry him much.

He manages to find the kid hiding out at the Griffith Park Observatory, but the bad guys are hot on their trail, chasing them in a Bronco and firing round after round of searing death at them! What’s a Street Knight to do? He goes all Pony Express on their ass!

Commandeering a horse at the horse riding ranch he’s hiding out at, Street Knight and his young charge lead the bad guys on a thrilling car-horse chase through the wilds of the greater L.A. area! It doesn’t get much more action-packed that hearing Street Knight yelling “hiya! hiya!” to his trusty steed as he urges his mount on ever faster!

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So just who are these bad guys? Ex cops! And their leader was in the same class as Street Knight! And all the carnage is being engineered to create a distraction for when the ex-cops pull off a diamond heist they’re planning. Frankly, for all the effort they expended in setting up the diversion, they could have pulled off about 12 other diamond heists.

Street Knight meets up with the bad guys at the old train yard and confronts his old classmate. Ironically, Street Knight finds himself in the exact same situation he was in with that little girl at the beginning of the movie!

This time though it ends differently! And do you know why? Because Street Knight now carries an extra gun in his boot! Brilliant! Amazing how crafty you can be when your hump buddy is at risk instead of some crappy kid!

Healthy doses of violence, swearing and gang slang help to move things along in an otherwise less than memorable movie. The ex-cops’ convoluted scheme, the lack of any connection between the head bad guy and Speakman other than happening to be in the same class, and Speakman constantly trying to convince the gangs not to go to war all serve to hamper the action as the film constantly threatens to bog down under the weight of all these players blathering about the almost-gang war.

Speakman of course is the best part of the movie and has some good fight scenes, though with all the gang bangers and evil ex-cops milling around, he doesn’t get as much screen time as we would like. As far as early Speakman films go, it’s not as perfect as The Perfect Weapon or as over-the-top goony fun as The Expert, but it’s still a sturdy effort for fans of grim and relatively humorless action films.

© 2013 MonsterHunter

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