Studio Home Entertainment // 1999 // 80 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 20th, 2004
Time to clean house.
Fresh off my pain-soaked sit-through of Urban Menace comes another kung-fu-kick-to-the-brain, the companion film The Wrecking Crew. Sporting most of the same actors and what appears to be the SAME EXACT shooting locations, The Wrecking Crew is to Urban Menace a foul, foul brother.
Basically, the viewer is let in on the fact that the streets, in general, are a nasty place, and gang violence is spiraling out of control something fierce. We're introduced to three gangs: The 111's, the Loc's, and "The Cartel" (an uninspired name for a drug-trafficking organization to be sure). As bodies pile up and hot lead is slung back and forth in poorly-shot, jittery street fusillades, we meet a fourth playerÉ that's right, the "Wrecking Crew."
Headlined by Ice-T's character -- who does nothing more than snarl and swear -- the Wrecking Crew represents a fringe government project (the U.S. Department of We're Out of Ideas maybe?), tasked to wipe out the unsavory street elements through any means necessary. And if these means include murdering lots of people, hey so be itÉ our tax money at work.
What happens then is lots of running around, shouting, swearing, and opening fire in the same location. And, WHAMMO, there you have your movie. Seriously. That's it.
The movie is a paltry 80 minutes (that's misleading since the opening and closing credits command about 10 minutes or so) and probably 55 of those minutes are taken up by hoods getting slaughtered by Ice T and his gang. And all of it takes place in an abandoned factory. All of it.
Eventually, the three leaders from the three gangs emerge as the only bullet-free gangsters: Hakiem (Ernie Hudson, Jr.), Josef (T.J. Storm), and Sly (David Askew). So now the three bitterest of foes have to team up to survive the Wrecking Crew. Along the way there is, okay, prepare yourself for this, running, shouting, and shooting. Throw in some really painful dialogue pieces, including a laughable plea by a dying Sly, making Hakiem promise to leave the world of crime behind and "do something positive," loads of budget special effects (perpetrated by the up-and-coming "Apple II-E" visual effects company) and throbbing, relentless rap, which is less background score and more foreground jackhammer to the frontal lobe.
Enough with the film, on to the special features. According to my DVD case here, I've got a LOT in store for me: two commentary tracks, a music-only track, some featurettes, games, trailers, the list goes on and on.
It's all a lie. A lie I tell you! There is nothing on this disc, save for biographies on Snoop Dogg and Ice-T, and the film's trailer. Nothing else. No 5.1 mix, no alternate tracks, no nothing!
The other big-ass lie comes from the two names headlining as stars: Ice-T is one, and that's fair, but Snoop Dogg is the other. Eh?! He's in it for a few minutes at the beginning in a nonsensical, and completely unrelated prologue. If you're looking for a flick starring Snoop Dogg, you're better off renting A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Have you heard enough? Avoid The Wrecking Crew like a month-old burrito soaked in phlegm.
"The Wrecking Crew" is hereby ordered to be the first ones up in a manned mission to Mars, with hopes they will never, ever return. Court adjourned.
Review content copyright © 2004 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Studio Home Entertainment
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Release Year: 1999
MPAA Rating: Rated R