Extreme Prejudice (1987)
Action specialist Walter Hill is behind the camera for his “take” on a modern day western with tall and mean Nick Nolte as a definitive Texas Ranger. Sorry Walker. Joined by a fun cast, Nick has his hands full with drug smugglers and a tactical force that might not be exactly what they claim to be.
It’s all a silly mish mash of testosterone and doing the John Wayne “a man’s gotta do” routine with Nolte and partner Rip Torn trying to prevent Powers Boothe from shipping drugs north of the border. Credited with the story is John Milius but the plot is right out of a cartoon with Nolte and Boothe former childhood friends who love the same woman played by Maria Conchita Alonso. They may have to go mano a mano to settle not only who gets the girl but the drug trade as well.
The best part of this gun toting flick comes from Michael Ironside and his tactical force which includes Clancy Brown and William Forsythe. Teaming with Nolte they head south of the border to take Boothe on face to face. From there we get a couple twists and Hill’s version of his mentor’s The Wild Bunch. Totally watchable but don’t confuse it with the Sam Peckinpah classic. Hill’s done better but there is no doubt he has a flair at directing a gunfight.
Nolte had worked previously with Hill on the box office champ 48 Hours in 1982 and it’s subsequent let down of a sequel. As with so many follow ups it’s done for the dollars and not much else. Nolte rarely changes his expression throughout this film and I wouldn’t call it his best work but he sure looks the part of one nasty SOB Ranger. It’s really the character actors that are the most fun. Isn’t that usually the case? Rip Torn is always worth a look and although he hams it up I have always enjoyed seeing Forsythe turn up in a flick. Brown and especially Ironside always add to the fun of any project.
Dull your senses going in and you just might get a kick out of this ridiculous nonsense.