Newest Reviews
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Night Drive
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
Pebble and the Boy, The
Mosquito State
Newest Articles
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
  Shakedown Law And Disorder
Year: 1988
Director: James Glickenhaus
Stars: Peter Weller, Sam Elliott, Patricia Charbonneau, Antonio Fargas, Richard Brooks, Blanche Baker, Jude Ciccolella, Larry Joshua, Thomas G. Waites, Daryl Edwards, John C. McGinley, Walter Bobbie, David Proval, Harold Perrineau, Shirley Stoler, Paul Bartel
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: One night in New York City a drug dealer was standing around in the park waiting for customers and listening to a rap cassette on his ghetto blaster when a man approached him and asked for something, but what happened after that only the dealer, Michael Jones (Richard Brooks), knows for soon they are both lying on the ground, with the would-be customer now dead of a gunshot wound. Jones claims the man was an undercover cop and he was about to murder him before he managed to pull his gun first, but seeing as how the victim really was a cop, it's not looking good for the accused...

Shakedown was also known as Blue Jean Cop and the titles are interchangeable depending on what territory you were in, but the film remained much the same, a tough police thriller on the surface which grew increasingly bizarre as director James Glickenhaus, himself no stranger to heading straight over the top when it came to his action sequences, grabbed his plot by the scruff of the neck and gave it an almighty shake so that by the finale you were wondering if they were really trying to get away with what they seemed to be attempting. One thing was for sure, there weren't many action movies that ridiculous.

Well, there were, but few which appeared to be more like one of those nineteen-seventies police dramas until it all went crazy. There were two main characters presented in a manner that suggested Glickenhaus would have preferred to create one supercop-lawyer rather than a separate couple, but as it was we had Peter Weller as Roland Dalton, hotshot attorney living with rich girlfriend Gail (Blanche Baker) who takes on Jones's case, and Sam Elliott as undercover man Richie Marks, a world-weary detective who is more able than he first appears. The sound of his sob story about accidentally killing his ideal woman's dog (stolen for a British lager advert the next year) is another hint this is not a sensible movie.

Glickenhaus obviously loved New York City, with particular preference for Times Square and its grindhouses as he even has one of the theatres playing his movies, which Marks is sleeping through when we meet him (perhaps not a great endorsement). Not only that, but there was a big setpiece staged there; as with the other such scenes, the stuntwork was exemplary, but the believability angle is neglected as you can't imagine the cop getting away with this never mind the lawyer he takes along with him. With courtroom battles between Dalton and Patricia Charbonneau as D.A. Susan Cantrell, who he happens to be sleeping with behind Gail's back, Shakedown was all over the place.

Yet it didn't come across that way for much of the time, not up until the stage where, say, Elliott pursues a suspect to the top of a rollercoaster which proceeds to malfunction and the carriages fly off the rails with the bad guy inside: you didn't get business like that when Paul Newman was tackling his case in The Verdict or when Charles Laughton was trying to concentrate on Witness for the Prosecution, did you? More's the pity, some might say, but this was very silly stuff which entertained up to a point, and that point was when you started to laugh. For the grand finale, which was nothing if not memorable, Elliott found himself trying to shoot down a plane in flight while hanging onto the wheel, a situation which only grew more preposterous as it developed. Oh well, the cast was a good one even if they were playing cartoon characters, with Antonio Fargas and Larry Joshua making for an excellent pair of villains, though Weller's endorsement of Jimi Hendrix could have been more convincing. Music by Jonathan Elias.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2062 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: