80's Action Attack!: Instant Justice (1986)

by robotGEEK

This is a film I've been trying to get my hands on for what seems like ages....just because I'm such a fan of old school under the radar action films of the 80's and 90's. Released in 1986, Instant Justice AKA Marine Issue is a film that stars Michael Pare and Tawny Kitaen about a marine (Pare), who's sister goes missing in Madrid, Spain. After receiving a harrowing phone call from her, he sets out for Madrid in trying to locate her, only to discover he's too late and she's been murdered. With the help of a prostitute (Kitaen), he sets out in trying to find her killers.

Man, this was such a letdown. The best way I can describe this was that it's an incompetent action film. Now don't get me wrong. I love that shit. I thrive on it. Some of my favorite movies ever are incompetent action films. You know the ones, the So Bad, They're Good? A few that come to mind were actually all released the following year; Steele Justice, Mankillers and Deadly Prey, and they're glorious. But sadly, this does not fall into that category. It's an action film that doesn't seem to know how to actually make an action film properly, because everything just feels off in the area's that matter the most in this genre; choreography in the fights and action sequences, editing and even down to the acting. Trust me, it feels weird commenting on the acting of all things in an action film, but jesus it's awful. Even Pare seems to be phoning it in. And he'd already appeared in several high profile films before this; Streets of Fire, The Philadelphia Experiment and Eddie and the Cruisers. Sure he's never been the most versatile actor, but even I couldn't help but notice his lack of......character here.

Of course after having finally seen this and had some time to process and digest it, the fault clearly lies on French director Denis Amar. Here's a guy who'd never directed an action film before, or since from what I can gather, and it shows. Oh it shows all over the screen and it's so painful to watch because I can't help but feel there's a good movie in here. The production value is there. It doesn't look or feel low-budget in the slightest. There's actors, there's action, there's exotic locations. But it's just put together so clumsily that instead of getting a good laugh out of the entire experience, you walk away annoyed.

To date this has never gotten even a DVD release here in the states. VHS seems to be the only physical form of media it's available on, which is why it made my pursuit of this so difficult. I do believe it's been released on DVD in the UK. The VHS here routinely goes for over $10, and it being a film I've never seen before, I didn't want to take that gamble. It felt like years, but I was finally able to find it for $6 total, which was what I was comfortable with. Needless to say I'll be throwing it back on eBay because I'm sure I will never watch it ever again.

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