Action, Drama, Police

The Last of the Finest (1990)

Comments Off on The Last of the Finest (1990) 05 September 2017

last of the finest

Studio: Kino 

Theatrical Release: March 9, 1990

Blu Ray Release: July 18, 2017

Director: John Mackenzie


Review by Travis North

Do you like character actors? The guys that aren’t A-level, but are usually more interesting than your usual leading men. Get a load of this cast; Brian Dennehy, Joe Pantoliano, Jeff Fahey, and Bill Paxton. Yup, it is a 1990 action movie directed by John Mackenzie (The Long Good Friday, Act of Vengeance) and written by Jere Cunningham (Hunter’s Blood, Judgement Night) so it has to at least be watchable, right?

The plot is pretty straightforward. Dennehy is the leader of an elite L.A.P.D. unit that plays by its own goddamn rules and don’t you dare bring up bullshit like paperwork and bureaucracy. Fahey is the womanizer of the group, Paxton is the family man, and Joey Pants play a family man as well but he’s also a nerd (because he wears glasses). They get themselves sucked into some serious shit that involves drug and weapons shenanigans in South America, and the political forces in the US pulling the strings. If you doubt any of this is late 80s/early 90s, behold the time stamps of Buffalo Bills shirts, people giving a shit about David Letterman, “Crazy Eddie” jokes, good guys casually dropping terms like “faggots” and “spics”, and bad guys strapped with MAC-10s.

Eventually the team gets themselves in too deep and fight to stay alive while not succumbing to the temptation of going rogue and start making some easy money. You can almost consider this a proto-Shield, and definitely pre-Rodney King before the LAPD became synonymous with being boogeymen. There is a decent amount of violence and shooting, but it pretty much follows the bloodless style of the A-Team. What I thought was missing from a movie of this era was huge, sloppy squibs that looked like jars of Prego were exploding when people got shot. It doesn’t disappoint in the yelling and swearing though. Fahey in particular belts out a solid “FUUUCK!!!”. What is a surprise is a somewhat cynical ending versus a “good guys triumph” that might presage the negative 90s.

This is a solid release. The picture and sound are good, not great. There are limited extras, and I would highly recommend skipping the trailer if you haven’t seen the movie before. There is a huge spoiler in it and in general gives away too much. This is a decent look into a transitioning era of the cop action genre, but don’t expect an underrated classic.

Movie and Disc Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

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