Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

It is my goal, I guess, to work my way through the filmography of the great Brian Bosworth. This is the only way I can explain why I’ve seen three Brian Bosworth movies in a month’s time such as this movie ‘One Man’s Justice’, ‘Midnight Heat’ and the more recent ‘Rock Slyde’ in which The Boz had a cameo as a gay pirate. It’s complicated. While there might be worst ways to waste my time, I can’t think of any of those ways right at the moment.

When our movie begins we witness Sgt. Don North (Bosworth) doing some exercise running up and over some dangerous rocks while his six year old daughter Marianne (Rachel Duncan), standing atop these dangerous rocks, has a clock on him. Let me tell you, if that kid makes one wrong step she is dead. Sgt. John North, most irresponsible dad ever. Nonetheless, father and daughter enjoy some happy time and some hugs with the hardcore Army Sgt. letting his baby girl how much he loves her and that he and his wife’s separation is only temporary. To save time he could’ve shot baby girl right there.

You see the estranged wife (Deborah Worthing) and the baby girl decided to fill up the gas tank at the exact same time that the super evil dude Marcus was conducting a cash for guns trade with some corrupt army soldiers. In broad daylight. Off of a busy street. At a public place. Baby girl stumbles upon this, a shootout occurs, our tough Army Sgt. shows up to witness all of this considering it’s taking place in public place off of a busy street, begs Marcus for his daughters life, gets shot up for his trouble and when he comes out of his coma a few weeks later he discovers he’s a childless widower.

All Sgt. North wants is justice but Marcus has been set free because he’s working for super smarmy FBI agent Karl Savak. Recognize that while I really can’t recommend ‘One Tough Bastard’ as a piece of solid entertainment, I have no choice but to recommend Bruce Payne as Karl Savak. As an FBI agent Savak looks more like a member of the rock group Poison. Long blonde mullet, ear piercings, nose piercings, floor length dusters and if it looked powdery, Karl Savak was snorting it.

The plot gets a little convoluted from this point. Savak has hired Marcus to steal these guns so Savak can sell them to 2 legit to quit drug lord Dexter Kane as played by the legendary M.C. Hammer, Marcus has hit Dexter Kane up for a kilo of blow and has hired bratty twelve year old Mikey (DeJuan Guy) to sell these drugs for him, Savak is killing soldiers for some reason, Sgt. North is bent on revenge, but then he’s not, but then he’s in jail, but then he has to save Mikey. Then there’s Dexter Kane’s brother the accountant. Then Sgt. North asks an FBI agent to hold his pecker for him while goes to pee. Then there’s the softball game with all of this nonsense culminating in the big fist fight between the tough bastard and the dirty FBI agent. All I can I say is ‘You Can’t Touch This!’ You really can’t.

True enough, ‘One Tough Bastard’ isn’t all that good but at least it was much better than ‘Midnight Heat’. The Boz might not be the second coming of Robert DeNiro but on his best day DeNiro couldn’t run and jump over a bunch of jagged rocks like The Boz did in this movie. Plus the Boz even displayed his hoop skills at the end of this

movie. Boz vs. DeNiro in a game of one on one? Boz. Everyday. Jeff Kober was in his element playing a slimy, no good, back stabbing villain, Bruce Payne took that bad guy he played in ‘Passenger 57’, lengthened his hair and raised his insanity to the power of ten to give us one of the most completely ridiculous and ultimately entertaining movie villains in low budget action flick history. So awesome is Karl Savak that some lunatic has created a Facebook page in his honor.

But the reason ‘One Tough Bastard’ isn’t a better movie, when it really did have potential to be some solidly ridiculous entertainment, is mainly because the story they were telling us was all over the freaking place. Is it a revenge movie? Is it a melodrama? Is it a miniature Iran / Contra drugs for arms movie? Is it a family movie considering all the cute kids and stuff? And your guess is as good as mine as to what Karl Savak is really up to, or anybody in this movie for that matter. Except for M.C. Hammer I imagine because all Hammer did in this movie was sit in his nice chair and stroke his chin. I don’t think he even moved in this movie. I guess the word is that back in the day, director Kurt Wimmer of ‘Equilibrium’ fame and ‘Ultra Violet’ infamy started this project but was replaced halfway through the process. After watching this movie with its two different titles, that’s not all that surprising. This movie focused on absolutely nothing.

This movie had all it needed. Dead family, Boz, Hammer, Kober, Payne, guns. That’s a script that virtually writes itself. Oh well, waddayagonnado. It’s off to track down a copy of ‘Phase IV’ starring The Boz and Dean Cain. Together at last.

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