Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

On first glance when watching this little seen completely obscure early 1990’s action flick ‘Zero Tolerance’, you might think that the title ‘Zero Tolerance’ is one of those action movie generated titles and has little meaning, that is until you dig a little deeper. You see Robert Patrick’s character of Jeff Douglas has a Zero Tolerance Policy for people who murderize his wife and children, and all things considered, that’s a solid policy to have I think. Makes much more sense than ‘Watch Porn on your work computer and You’re Fired!’ policy most employers have, if you ask me. That’s a crap Zero Tolerance policy right there.

So Agent FBI Agent Douglas and couple of his agent homies are off to Mexico to bring back the fifth finger of the White Hand drug ring, one Ray Manta, played with such malicious glee by Titus Welliver that I’m thinking he was paid more to be in this movie than Robert Patrick. Everything goes straight to hell, as expected, resulting in two dead agents, Manta running around free and Douglas being stuck in Mexico. But no problems because Douglas simply calls his boss and tells him to pick him so he can go home to spend Christmas with the fam. Damn if Manta doesn’t bust into the Cantina that Douglas is hanging out at and forces him to listen while his goons beat the living snot of his wife, young son, and daughter but promising they will not be harmed further if he helps him deliver this special new killer designer drug to the other four fingers of the White Hand. He was totally lying.

Now Agent Douglas, barely escaping death, is sad and wants to end it all, but when he gets a visit from fellow agent Megan (Kristin Meadows), he has a change of heart. Not because he wants to do Megan or anything like that, but because Manta sent a couple of hoods to finish him off, with Megan completely getting in the way, which at least slowed the goons up long enough for Douglas to kill them to death. Now life has new meaning as Agent Douglas has vowed to take down every single finger of the White Hand, a group of international drug dealers who are protected by the absolute worst security detail on the planet earth.

You would think Douglas’ FBI homies would want to stop him from murdering these people or something, but no, they just step to the side and calmly place APB’s on the man, posting his picture in papers and such while he effortlessly gets on and off airplanes traveling across the country senselessly slaughtering scores and scores of stupid thugs. Eventually it has to come down to the big mano a mano battle as Douglas takes on Manta in a fight to the near finish. Here's the thing about this... it  appears to us that actor Titus Welliver really knows how to fight. He’s sticking and moving and dancing and jabbing and round house kicking like he's done it before. It was damned impressive. Robert Patrick not so much, not that this stopped the script from saying he won the fight.

What an amazing movie this was. Zero Tolerance was almost stupid to the point of parody and we can’t be mad at that. For instance I counted 53 people that Robert Patrick murdered in this movie, noting that this was after he was relieved of his FBI duties so this is the equivalent of me or you murdering 53 people, and the majority of these people he murdered right in front of hundreds on top of hundreds of witnesses, so in the end as our star is cuffed to the villain walking into the FBI office to deliver this clown, we were wondering why they weren’t arresting him instead, and mind you he had violated so many of Manta’s civil rights to this point that I’m pretty sure Manta would’ve skated right out of there, that is if he didn’t take a header out that nearby window. Why did Manta fly out of a window you might ask? Think about that super original grabbing the other cops carelessly protected gun routine, since they really couldn’t let this guy live, now could they. We should mention that Manta was cuffed before he went out the window but somehow got those cuffs of as he was flailing away while plummeting to his death.

In true parody form, watch as Agent Jeff Douglas informs his doomed wife and kids, ‘hell be right back’ or telling his daughter about ‘the bright life she has in front of her’. He should’ve just shot them right there. Observe Agent Douglas, who was constantly having flashbacks, as he sits on the plane next to cute little girl who asks him ‘do you have kids?’ Solemnly he says no, but we halfway expected him to follow up with ‘they were slaughtered and butchered by a bad man, and now I’m going to personally cut off his testicles and stuff them in his mouth because I have Zero Tolerance for that kind of behavior’. At least that’s what I would've said to the cute little girl.

The dialog was scintillating, such as when they were beating Jeff’s wife to death and the thug chimed in with ‘Can you believe this bitch is still alive?’ That's some damn good writing right there. And it’s consistent throughout.

Make no mistake, this movie is a classic from it’s ridiculous first frame to its insane final frame. No muss, no fuss, no attempts at being lucid, intelligent or making sense as this movie is true to itself. Once again, I can’t be mad at that.

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