Lately, I have been revisiting a lot of my old favorite action movies. I have boxes of titles on VHS, lots of it purchased again on DVD. It's easy to sit around and be all nostalgic about the glory days of VHS and the epic amount of time that I spent discovering movies. I'd hate to be the type that sits around talking about how great the past was and how everything sucks now, but man, those were fun times.
Action Jackson was always a VHS favorite of mine. It's not as gritty or bloody as a lot of the action movies of the time. In fact, some of it is pretty polished. Fuck it though, it's a prime example of what we like here at Crimson Screens.
Action Jackson (Carl Weathers) has been demoted to sergeant because of his escapades as a policeman in Detroit. Now he has an easy desk job, given to him as a punishment for sending the lead bad guys (Craig T. Nelson- who always excells when he plays a shitbag) son to jail. Action Jackson doesn't really even seem to mind his new job. He stumbles onto a string of murders that tie in with the main bad guys business and thinks quickly spiral out of control.
Even though movie seems a bit polished, there is still a good amount of sleaze lurking beneath the surface. There is a subplot about hookers who are strung out on heroin, a dirty hotel owner, lots of fist fights and a great car chase, where pretty much everything around the car chase gets blown up or destroyed.
We eventually venture into the home of the Craig T. Nelson character and his butler is played by Nicholas Worth. Nicholas Worth! Don't Answer The Phone Nicholas Worth! It's odd to see him as a quiet, subdued butler here, but it works and he adds a little touch of creepiness to the movie.
Action Jackson was directed by Craig R. Baxley. "Who is that?", you ask. Well, look at this string of movies he directed... Action Jackson into I Come In Peace into Stone Cold. WTF?!?!?!?! That right there is a trifecta of solid action movies, all underrated. A friend and I always talk about the greatness of I Come In Peace and how it is a lost action classic, which it is, and how it has been forgotten by time. I wrote about Stone Cold earlier this month, it's gold too. It boggles the mind that a director could direct three solid action movies and not be mentioned at the same time as the "big names" of that time period. Fuck it though, you would be doing yourself a huge disservice by not checking out the movies mentioned in this post. Craig R. Baxley also was a stunt coordinator on the A-Team TV series. The A-Team was a great show, right? I think it was. I don't think I could ever sit down and watch an entire day of a season of the A-Team but it's great stuff four or five episodes at a time. I recently watched an episode that had a guest role from Yaphet Kotto. Nothing against the A-Team, which I love, but I had to stop watching after that episode and watch Truck Turner again. Yaphet Kotto is at his best in that movie.
Anyway, enough rambling, Action Jackson is a way above average action movie, filled with good acting, a great supporting cast and action scenes where no one is safe. Highly recommended!