Friday, September 25, 2015

Quiet Cool

  Any good fan of 80's-90's action cinema can appreciate James Remar. He's your go-to bad guy, whether he's the main bad, or just a henchman, he's good for it man. He's always a cool guy to see in movies. I can't really remember the last time I saw him play a good guy, if ever- that was until Quiet Cool. This movie is at odds with itself in the most amazing ways possible. It's a cliche 80's action movie that actually ditches the cliches while simultaneously embracing them. It feels well written and cheesy at the same time. There's something fun and unique to be had here, I hope you all get around to watching it.

  See, James Remar plays a big city cop who gets a call from an old flame who asks him to look into her brother's disappearance up in the woods outside this small community. So, naturally, how could he say no. As it turns out he ends up having his hands full with a bunch of murderous and militant weed growers up there. It ends up turning into a deadly personal war as Remar teams up with his old flame's Nephew to help him avenge his parents deaths. This movie might sound really cliche and typical, but it's far from it.

  At one point Remar is about to get it on with his old flame, and instead of fading in to this really obvious sex scene with slow fades and cliche love making tunes, they retreat to the bedroom and the camera pans over to this little picture frame, which has a news article clipping in it about some protesters and the cops that had to intervene. She was the protester... and he was the cop. I mean, how neat is that? Interesting and useful information conveyed to us about the characters instead of awkward nudity and weird looking sex. Woah. Totally unexpected, but completely welcome.

  Then, in the shootouts, which feature lots of double barreled shotguns and revolvers, characters actually run out of ammo when they're supposed to. Six shots per revolver, and two shots per each double barreled shotgun. This creates lots of tension with guns clicking empty right when you don't want them to, and our heroes having to scramble for more ammo or a different approach altogether. One thing Quiet Cool excels at is creativity. There's a strong First Blood streak going on here. See, the nephew dude is like some uber survivalist kid? I don't know. The actor playing him kind of annoyed me, but the character itself was interesting if not a wee bit under-explained.

  I'm aware his parents were outdoorsy types, but this kid walks around with a quiver full of deadly home made spears and a mean throwing arm. What the fuuuuck. He's like a mini-Rambo and at times it's pretty cool. When him and Remar team up, the movie has already hit it's stride and found it's groove. Things click and the action scenes go off without a hitch. Of course, the bad guys are 2 dimensional greedy little bastards, but at least you can tell em apart easily enough. They manage to work some distinct personality into each one.

  Overall, there might not be the best dialog, or the best acting, but there's a lot of unexpected and neat moments in here which go against the grain of your typical 80's actioner in a very pleasant way. Characters seem to think and use logic instead of just shooting and punching everything in sight, of course it does kinda come to that sooner or later, but not in the ways you might expect. In fact, it just dons on me that Quiet Cool has more in common with a fast paced western than anything. Complete with badass showdown at the end.

  Once the majority of the dust settles and Remar has to face off with the last few baddies, he strolls back into town dual-wielding a pair of sawed off shotguns... like a fucking boss. I'm not usually given to putting pictures in my reviews, but this says it all right here:

   The movie has earns it's stripes by that point and invested us enough in the characters that a showdown like this is not just expected, but well deserved. Granted sometimes the movie throws basic logic to the wind, getting kinda silly, and other times it really embraces that essential but oft-neglected logic pertaining to things like reloading your damn gun. This does make for an occasionally uneven movie, but one definitely worth seeking out if you enjoy offbeat 80's action movies. It's fast, fun, moody, bloody, unpredictable, and obviously not perfect- but always intense. A perfect flick to pop in on a lazy Saturday afternoon when you're in the mood for a good action flick. Loved it.

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