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With Jim Sabatini


The Specialist

The Specialist
Starring:
Sylvester Stallone, James Woods, Rod Steiger, Sharon Stone and Tomas Leon


Rated: R for violence, language and sexual situations.
Reviewed by: Chris  
Release date: October 7, 1994 Released by: Warner Brothers

Sylvester Stallone's newest film is about explosives, drug families and a woman's revenge.

The story opens with explosive experts Ray Quick (Stallone) and Ned Trent (James Woods) on a convert United States mission to kill off drug lords in Colombia. Trent doesn't care if innocent people are killed along with his intended target, as long as the job gets done. Of course, good guy Quick feels differently. The two men fight over their differences, with threats of ruining the other's career on their return to the States.

Years have passed when the story resumes in Florida. Quick is now a hired gun (but, only for worthwhile causes, of course) and Trent works for a Miami crime family headed by Eric Roberts and his father, played by Rod Steiger.

Quick gets a call from May Munro (Sharon Stone) who wants him to kill the men who tortured and murdered her parents while she was hiding in a closet as a child. Munro is consumed with hatred for there men and contacts Quick by phone to try to persuade him to take the job.

When Quick turns her down, she sets into motion her own plan to meet Tomas Leon (Roberts), one of the men who killed her parents. After following her and witnessing for himself how low this Tomas guy really is, he steps in to take care of the situation himself.

With two actors so adept at playing bad guys, it's hard to tell which one, Woods or Roberts, gets a bigger kick out of his work. But Woods gets my vote for giving the most over-the-top performance; he's really fun to watch. Which really is something, considering that Steiger overacts so intensely. At one point, he almost blows away Stone with his huffing and puffing anger.

Stallone's and Stone's characters don't meet on screen until the end of the film. They talk mostly by phone and other than one steamy shower scene (that seems to have been added as an afterthought), they don't interact.

Besides looking good, Stone offers little in the acting department herself, which might be why the actors feel they have to try so much harder. All except Stallone, who gives his usual teeth-grinding, side-of-the-mouth delivery.

The action scenes are quite good and let's face it, Stallone's fans don't flock to his films for great acting or complex plots, so this will probably make a ton of money and be a huge hit.

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