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"Last of the Finest"
Reviewer:
Edward McNulty
Studio: MGM
Genre:
Drama
Release Date:
9/11
Special Features:

None

Review:

The title refers to Brian Dennehy’s character Frank Daly, a grizzled veteran of the LAPD—and to a lesser extent the three younger cops with whom he works. A father figure to them, he even coaches them on a police league football team. He’s dedicated to his job, or we should say, from his perspective, mission. Disdainful of the corrupt cops around him, he himself falls afoul of his superiors when one of their encounters with a drug gang ends with two cops dead.***

Brought on the carpet by Internal Affairs for carelessness, he sees his career dead-ending, so at the hearing he turns in his badge. When his three friends come to commiserate with him, one of them has already decided to quit the force. By the end of the scene all three want to quit, but one is persuaded to stay on where he might be of help in aiding the others in their search for the killers of their friends. Yes, Frank may have quite the force, but he remains a cop at heart. He is determined to track down the ruthless killers. They lack weapons and funds for their mission, but this proves no problem, as they know where there is a local drug den which they can raid and seize the money.***

Soon, well armed with all sorts of guns, grenades and rockets, they are hot on the trail of the murderers. The thugs turn out to be working for a right wing patriot who is engaged in the drug trade in order to buy weapons for the “Freedom Fighters” in Central America—thus the 1990 film was timely, taking advantage of news accounts about the Contras fighting against the Sandanista government in Nicaragua at the time.***

There are a lot of improbabilities, as in most such action films, such as the scene in which they make off with a large tractor-trailer truck from the warehouse where the drug dealers are unloading their smuggled in cargo. Turns out this is the one with over $21 million dollars, and yet when they drove off they were fired upon, but no one pursued them.***

For a time it looks as if the money is corrupting them, the younger guys wanting to hang onto it. The cops even bring their wives into the discussion as they debate the pros and cons. (The money really is “filthy lucre” in that they tie it in plastic bags and hide it in a cesspool.)***

Special Features:

None

Final Words:

The movie fared so-so at the box office in 1990, and apparently the studio doesn’t have a lot of faith in it because there are no extras on the DVD. Compared to action thrillers currently playing, the action is modest, with the bad guys as usual spraying bullets all over the place but seldom hitting anything but the cops’ car or the walls of buildings. My advice would be to rent this rather than buying a film you probably will not want to see again.

 

 
 
 
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