One Man’s Justice (1996)

Brian Bosworth plays John North, a guy who is out to inflict one man’s justice after his family is viciously murdered by a gang of punks on the hunt for experimental military weapons. At least he is until his mouthy kid sidekick talks him out of it!

Thankfully, it was just a temporary bout of insanity that North must have been suffering from when he let the scumbag who did his wife and daughter go because he ultimately heaved the mastermind of everything off the roof of a high rise, but the fact that North even entertained the notion that bloody thirsty vengeance wasn’t right surely reveals the character flaw the got his family whacked in the first place.

Of course it isn’t the Boz’s fault. When given the chance, he kicks, punches, snaps limbs, breaks necks and delivers his tough guy lines with the self assured authority that can only come from being a college football legend. It’s just that the script gets in his way every chance it gets!

First there is that obnoxious at-risk youth Mikey the Boz gets saddled with. Mikey gets himself mixed up in a cocaine deal and is also looking to kill another kid who killed his friend. The Boz frequently has to halt his own revenge mission to steal Mikey’s gun and drugs and is even forced to have lunch with him and engage in a discussion on the morality on the whole concept of one man’s justice!

Mikey wants Boz to teach him all his lethal skills, but the Boz sagely replies, “you think I kick ass just to kick ass?” Mikey says he wants to know so he can get revenge on his friend’s killer and presto! The Boz has fallen into the clever little twerp’s logic trap and he can’t articulate why his getting revenge is somehow different than Mikey’s thirst for blood.

The reality though is that the man’s wife and little girl were freaking slaughtered! He doesn’t have to justify anything to anyone except just what in the hell he is doing playing debate team with some pud kid instead of busting heads in search of leads!

One man’s justice is the God-given right of every dude who has ever had loved ones killed and then been given the run around by a system that only cares about coddling criminals. It’s called the Second Amendment, Mikey! Don’t you love this country and its Constitution? Do you support American wives and their kids or the terrorists?

Perhaps not as egregious from a philosophical point of view, but certainly more time consuming, the film also forces the Boz to take frequent breaks from rampaging so that we can focus on the rogue FBI agent (Savak) responsible for the Boz’s family’s death and his efforts to sell some stolen guns to drug kingpin Dexter Kane.

Kane (pointlessly played by M.C. Hammer) mainly sits in his fancy house either complaining that Savak hasn’t delivered the guns or that Savak’s minion Marcus hasn’t completed his drug deal yet. The whole business has so little to do with the Boz that he and Hammer never even share a scene together!

We are thus forced to sit through Savak doublecrossing Kane in excruciating detail. He has Kane’s brother killed by guys dressed as cops in an effort to get Kane to strike back at the cops. And of course he does by sending his whole crew out to the Sheriff vs. FBI softball game armed with the guns Savak provided. All the cops there just watch (including Savak who was pitching!) as these guys shoot at them, but Savak gave guns loaded with blanks! Then Kane’s men are wasted in a hail of return fire from the cops! Meanwhile, the Boz must have been off in his trailer going over the script for his next film, Virus!

Whenever the Boz is unleashed though he does what we need a guy like the Boz to do. Whether it’s the beginning of the film where we see him training by running up a mountain or demonstrating deadly hand-to-hand combat in his capacity as a drill sergeant for the Army or even when he gets shot in the guts and just keeps coming to try and save his family, there’s no doubt that once given the opportunity he won’t have any trouble delivering on the promise of the film’s title.

And while a lot of folks will no doubt point to the moment when the Boz is surrounded by five bad guys and pulls out his cell phone to advise 911 that they need to send five ambulances as their favorite, for me, there was a much less gaudy tough guy moment that encapsulated everything the movie, the Boz, and life in general is all about. During his initial confrontation with Savak, Savak advises the Boz that “you don’t want to fuck with me.” When the Boz just stares him down and sneers “yeah, I do” you know that no matter how unfocused and idiotic the script will be, ultimately you’re in the best ass kicking hands you could ever hope for.

© 2018 MonsterHunter

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