Sony // 1991 // 94 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // November 19th, 2004
The first killer was unpredictable. This time, he's unstoppable.
Does Relentless 2 separate itself from the generic cop flick pack, or is it just another entry into the Dispensable Movie archive, filed under "Who Gives a Flying Crap?"
Sam Dietz (Leo Rossi) is a detective who doesn't play by the rules. He's on the trail of a potential serial killer who's leaving a trail of bodies murdered in bizarre fashion. Accustomed to working on his own (you see, he's a loner), Dietz is blindsided by the intrusion of the FBI. Following the strict rules of cop movies, which dictate all federal law enforcement personnel are scumbags, the film immediately pits our down-home local cop hero against the slippery Agent Volsone (Ray Sharkey).
The two are bound together by their pursuit of the enigmatic killer, but they don't have to like it. Dietz is convinced that Volsone is a dirty cop, and Volsone knows that Deitz is a lazy, arrogant moron with his head up his butt.
But the duo maintains their tenuous relationship, despite a few heated encounters in the men's room and some minimal bloodshed. Meanwhile, the killer continues to tear through his victims, taking small sessions of respite soaking in a bathtub filled with ice cubes and flashing back to obscure military memories.
The cop, the agent, and the murderer are on a dangerous trip, where their paths will take them through an international cover-up and lots of punching in the stomach.
Relentless 2 is an irrelevant movie. As a detective drama, the film just doesn't do anything noteworthy. At least not enough to mandate a viewing by the casual cop movie fan...strike that; make it hardcore cop movie fan. There is just nothing special happening here.
The film isn't bad. It's just forgettable. Dietz isn't a compelling hero. In fact, he's kind of annoying; and not in that charming "buck-the-law" kind of lone-wolf annoying. He's irritating-annoying.
His FBI nemesis is equally unremarkable. Volsone is essentially a greasy little weasel who chews a lot of dialogue. And the killer is a mute, concrete-jawed Eurotrash dude who frowns a lot. Ho hum.
Meg Foster has a bit role -- almost a cameo -- as Dietz's wife. She pretty much just shows up to give the whole "It sucks being a cop's wife" speech.
Add to all of this an outdated plot that is bound up in Cold War hullabaloo, plagued by decidedly non-shocking twists, and reveals an anti-climactic ending, and the case for Relentless 2 as a worthy movie to spend your hard-earned bucks on breaks down.
You're not going to loathe yourself for whiling away 90 minutes with a bunch of no-name actors playing cops, but there are certainly better things you can do with your time. Like knitting a quilt. Or pan-frying breakfast sausages.
Columbia has released Relentless 2 with a basic audio and visual treatment. The 1.33:1 full-frame is, as usual, sucky; but the picture quality isn't bad. The same can be said for the 2.0 stereo sound; a shallow mix. Like the feature, it's all a bland affair. Zilcharoo for the extra features.
Guilty, not guilty -- eh, nobody cares.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 1991
MPAA Rating: Rated R