HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
   
 
Newest Articles
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  True Believer See You In CourtBuy this film here.
Year: 1989
Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: James Woods, Robert Downey Jr, Margaret Colin, Yuji Okumoto, Kurtwood Smith, Tom Bower, Miguel Fernandez, Charles Hallahan, Sully Diaz, Misan Kim, John Snyder, Luis Guzmán, Graham Beckel, Tony Haney, Joel Polis, Kurt Fuller, Woody Harrelson
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Nine years ago in 1979 a crime was committed in New York's Chinatown which saw one man shot to death in the street, and another, American-Korean man, Shu Kai Kim (Yuji Okumoto) arrested and convicted in spite of his protestations of innocence. Now he has hit another problem when in prison as a gang of white supremacists have decided to murder him to set an example, and the altercation in the chapel leaves him alive, but with blood on his hands for in self-defence he stabbed his assailant. This means any hope of parole is dwindling, so his mother goes for help to the one lawyer who would take that kind of no-hope case, Eddie Dodd (James Woods)...

Or at least that's the way he used to be, before he found himself crusading for a relaxation of the drugs laws and subsequently seeing to it that rich cocaine addicts get away scot free after a spot of persuasive haranguing from Dodd. Not the best way for a brilliant legal mind to be squandering his talents, but True Believer took the form of that old Hollywood favourite, the redemption yarn as Woods' character rediscovered that sixties radical spirit he possessed for years before the eighties turned him into what Wesley Strick's script evidently regarded as a sell-out (complete with ill-advised "rebellious" ponytail). Naturally, this sort of role was ideal for an actor like Woods, and he grabbed this opportunity with such aplomb you could not envisage anyone else starring.

Thus the film became one of those movies which are personal discoveries for a small but substantial number of viewers as they stumbled upon this with no expectations and found it to be surprisingly worthwhile and worth recommending whenever Woods came up in conversation. There was another star in the cast who by the twenty-first century was one of the biggest names in Hollywood, having seen his esteem rise as Woods' dropped, and he was Robert Downey Jr, in this instance playing the sidekick as in quite a few movies of this era where an established actor would be paired with a younger, up and coming performer in the hope the box office tills would be set a-ringing by fans of both.

And that some of that movie star magic would rub off on the younger actor, naturally, as their fanbase grew. For Downey, this was not one of his most auspicious roles not because he was bad in it - he's actually fine as the fresh-faced optimist - but because the film fell through the cracks at the point where he was sabotaging his career with his well-publicised drugs problems, making Dodd's pro-narcotics stance more than a little apt. But it was largely a miscarriage of justice True Believer concerned itself with, drawn from a real life case just as Woods was actually essaying a fictionalised version of a real life lawyer, Tony Serra, though you doubted any cases he worked on were quite as melodramatically contrived as the one Dodd is embroiled with for entertainment purposes.

Imagine a pothead Perry Mason and you had some concept of what we were dealing with as the legal eagle is won over to Downey's Roger Baron and his point of view that Dodd should be fighting for civil and human rights as much now, in the eighties, as he did back then in the sixties. It was pretty corny, but managed to be very diverting thanks to Woods and his more than adept manner, adding a touch of cocky abrasiveness to what could have been one step up from a TV movie effort in other, less ambitious hands. The director here was Joseph Ruben, an able craftsman who had up to this point been helming cult successes at best: his work here made him briefly higher profile in such slick endeavours as the Julia Roberts vehicle Sleeping with the Enemy, but if you've heard of him, it would likely be for this and The Stepfather, maybe Dreamscape too, his cult eighties trilogy. With Kurtwood Smith fresh off Robocop as the hissable D.A. who amusingly butts heads with Woods in the courtroom, this may have been farfetched but the acting helped considerably. Very synth-y music by Brad Fiedel.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1109 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: