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REEL ACTION: Tactical Force (2011) with Steve Austin

12.09.2011by: Ammon Gilbert

Rating: 3 on 4 /
Buy the DVD here

Tagline: This drill just got real

Directed by Wayne Kramer
Starring Steve Austin, Michael Jai White, and Michael Shanks

THE PLAN: The most kick-ass SWAT team LAPD has to offer shoots first and asks questions later. After being forced to take a day of and train with blanks at an abandoned warehouse, they find themselves in the middle of a gang war. But with plenty of guns and no usable ammo at their disposal, Steve Austin and his team must find a way to take them out--or be killed in the process.

THE KILL: The big names in action movies these days are the ones that fill the small screen the most. For every Jason Statham (who does equal amount of straight-to-DVD and theatrical flicks), there are five action stars that find a home on DVD. And as luck would have it, two of them are in the little action flick known as TACTICAL FORCE, a throwback to the action flicks of the 80s, featuring everything from muscle-bound heroes, a hot-headed police chief, and an opening hostages-in-a-grocery store sequence that smells of the sweet goodness of COBRA. Yes, TACTICAL FORCE is one of the more entertaining action flicks to come out in 2011, even more-so due to the film’s two main leads: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Michael Jai White!

Compared to other Austin flicks, TACTICAL FORCE is a step above the rest (and bounds above THE STRANGER). Why’s it so good? One, the film doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s full of cheesy one-liners, the SWAT Team (lead by Austin) spends about as much time cracking jokes as they do cracking heads, and the action is out-of-control and over-the-top, just as it should be. Plus, it’s entertaining as all get-out, with enough action packed into its quickly-paced 91 minutes to satisfy even the mildest of action fans. And while it’s no EXPENDABLES (but really, what is) it delivers the bare-knuckled goods of any true and blue action flick. And by God, if this was released in 1988, it’d be a goddamn classic.

Kicking off with a hostage situation in a grocery store, the tone is set early on: while they made me hardasses, this SWAT team is the best of the best and they know it, making them the cockiest little bastards you’ve ever met. Then the meet of the story kicks in and they go from being on top of their game to the bottom in a set up that’s actually pretty good. See, they’re training in an old abandoned warehouse with blanks / simulated bullets. Said warehouse becomes the scene of a drug deal / shootout / blazing gun battle, and if their arsenal of automatic machine guns weren’t full of pretend bullets, they’d destroy these bad guys. But as it is, they’re essentially unarmed and the thugs know it, asking for more creative ways to kick ass and save the day.

The other star of the flick is Michael Jai White, a guy can spin-kick the shit out of anybody and just about take their heads off in the process. The guy is a machine! He’s also in his prime in this flick, rocking those same moves that got him through BLOOD AND BONE and even BLACK DYNAMITE. Why White isn’t a bigger star of the big screen is beyond me, but he’s established himself nicely on video and you know what—that ain’t bad! Especially when he has stuff like TACTICAL FORCE under his belt.

While there’s no nudity (just one hot piece of ass on the opposing thug team), the film’s full of all the stuff you look for in an unapologetic action flick like this: gratuitious violence, bloody deaths, gun fire, ass-kicking, explosions, tanker chases, and enough F-bombs dropped to make Quentin Tarantino proud. In other words, this flick has it all and then some, including the genius casting of other MMA, UFC, WWF, WWE (i.e., professional) fighters, ensuring that the fights between Austin or White and said bad guys look authentic and they’re entertaining as hell.

While it’s not Shakespeare or even THE EXPENDABLES, TACTICAL FORCE still manages to be an entertaining action flick that’s better than most STD action flicks these days, giving Austin something to work with and White the opportunity to kick a bunch of ass. Plus, the set up is pretty dope and there’s never a dull moment throughout, whether it’s the wise-cracking crew or the action-heavy firefights, TACTICAL FORCE has what many action flicks are missing these days, proving that the modern day action film isn’t dead but rather thriving strongly on video.


TOP DEATH: fight and demise of MMA fighter Keith "The Dean of Mean" Jardine is pretty awesome, mostly cause you can tell Austin really had his work cut out for him.

TOP ACTION SCENE: The grocery store hostage take-over and shoot-out starts the film off strong and remains one of the more entertaining action sequences in the film. Maybe it’s my nostalgia for COBRA or watching Michael Jai White shoot a guy in the face with a BB gun—either way, it’s an action scene for the ages!

TOP HOMOEROTIC MOMENT: Honestly, there isn’t much to raise an eyebrow in this one. Austin and White are as manly as they come, and even bad guy Michael Shanks wears his testosterone on his sleeve.

FEMALE EXPLOITATION: While Candace Elaine is hot as the bad girl in spandex and even Lexa Doig as the SWAT chick has her moments, but… not an ass or a titty is revealed throughout. Bummer, as a little T&A would have really made it a true and blue 80s action flick.

TOP LINE/DIALOGUE: Austin: You want to do this the easy way or the hard way?

DRINKING GAME: Every time an F-bomb laced one-liner is uttered, you gotta drink!

TRIVIA: Believe it or not, this flick cost a whopping $8.4 million!


Tags: reel action



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