New Line // 1995 // 88 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // November 4th, 2005
Once you've crossed this special agent, you've crossed the line!
A gorgeous blonde bombshell beating the cottage cheese out of any one who pisses her off. I give you Excessive Force II.
Some local mischief grabs the attention of Army babe Harly Cordell (Stacie Randall), who leaves her base to investigate what might be crimes connected to an old flame of hers. An elite group of ex-soldiers have splintered away from the Armed Services and taken up jobs as a contract hit squad.
Led by former soldier Francis Lydell (Dan Gauthier, Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style), the hit men have in their sights a mob informant, who's preparing to rat out on of the most powerful mob bosses in the country.
Cordell's investigation drops her into the sights of Lydell's team, as they exert violent, deadly shenanigans to eliminate all witnesses and tie up any loose ends. But what they didn't count on was how kick-ass Cordell is.
Encounter after encounter leaves Lydell with maimed or dead team members, and as the pressure mounts from the mob to eradicate the mark, the hit squad antes up their plans. It all culminates in a massive assault on the police precinct where the stoolie is being held -- and it falls to Cordell to thwart her old lover's diabolical schemes with force, which just happens to be excessive.
Okay, let's cut the chit-chat, a-hole. There is nothing to distinguish Excessive Force II: Force on Force from any other generic action movie of the mid-'90s. Well, there is that subtitle, which is utterly stupid. Everything else is boilerplate gunplay and fisticuffs.
Having never seen the first Excessive Force, I can make no comment on the relation between successor and predecessor. On its own, this sequel is simply a cat-and-mouse procedural, dotted with the occasional smackdown and pyrotechnics display.
As an action heroine, though, Stacie Randall delivers the goods. She got the mojo to pull off her hand-to-hand moves, lending the fight scenes credibility and she's beautiful to boot, a quality not in large supply for most action film femmes. Big demerits to the wardrobe department though for dressing her in a ridiculous faux-metallic dress get-up; she looks like a throw-away character from Tecmo's Dead or Alive series.
Her nemesis is generic pretty-boy Francis Lydell, played with the smarmy sensibilities of a frat-boy dick by Dan Gauthier. His sinister shtick doesn't come across as depraved and evil as much as it does spoiled and egotistical. Still, the portrayal did prompt me to wish his character would be savagely beaten and killed, either by our protagonist or maybe a bear or something.
Action-wise, Excessive Force II is satisfactory, thought the main focus is on the investigation. Sure, when some punk gets all up in Cordell's face she opens up six-pack of whoop-ass, but these moments are spaced out from each other and brief. When the fists do fly, there's nothing really unique or kinetic on display, just serviceable punching and kicking. The filmmakers do go out of their way, however, to remove as much culpability from Cordell as possible when a villain bites the big one, like ducking just in time for a baddie to get stuffed with an arrow fired by his own co-villain. In this way, her force isn't as "excessive" as it is "ironic."
I will give credit for the big, culminating bloodbath that takes up the final twenty minutes of the film. You get a heap of explosions, a lot of squib-riddled bodies, a cop car chase scene, and a prolonged face-off between Lydell and Cordell that ends with a few too many monologues.
It's all predictable and mildly entertaining, but the bottom line is that Excessive Force II has offered nothing notable to grant it access into the Repository of Obscure Action Movies That Are Surprisingly Cool.
A solid, extras-free presentation is par for New Line. The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is superb and of the two solid 5.1 mixes -- Dolby Digital and DTS -- the latter gets my vote.
Excessive Force II wasn't a complete waste of time, but there's no way I'm going to ever spin this disc again.
The court can find no crime to charge the accused with, so the case is dismissed. Not that anyone will necessarily care.
Review content copyright © 2005 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: New Line
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* DTS 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 1995
MPAA Rating: Rated R