– Guest Review by G-Mark
Wasting no time, Stone Cold opens with instant violence, setting the tone for the rest of the film.
Bursting into a convenience store, a team of criminals–sporting hairstyles that would make even the greasiest of rednecks balk–brandish their firearms and demand cash. After one of the well-coiffed gentlemen unloads an entire clip into some salty snacks, decimating enough Ritz to make the local food bank shed a tear, our hero Joe Huff arrives on the scene. As a cop on probation for excessive use of force, Joe (played by Brian “The Boz” Bosworth), meanders his way to the cookie aisle and indulges in the simple pleasures that only convenience store “fresh” cookies can bring. With his eyes closed in ecstasy Joe has a gun shoved in his face. After quickly dispatching all but the head goon, Joe sets up a trap by slicking the ground in olive oil and luring his unsuspecting victim by lofting a can of beans nearby, causing the baddie to drop his hold on a hostage and come running. With a smug look on his face, Joe watches as the would be robber goes careening in to a stack of soda cans, ending up in a broken heap as the on duty cops arrive to make the arrest. After surveying the carnage, one of Joe’s superiors asks Joe “how [he] will sweet talk his way outta this one” to which Joe responds “You need clean up on aisle 4”. Sweet indeed Joe.
This is our introduction to the protagonist and for the remaining ~87 minutes you will really get to know the ins and outs of his personal brand of justice…and his nipples.
With his take-no-crap attitude and an astute ability to infiltrate gangs and being them down from the inside, Joe has the most busts of motorcycle gangs out of any officer in Alabama. As biker gang violence in Mississippi escalates to the point where clergymen are gunned down in front of their parishioners, and judges are blown to pieces trying to enjoy a quiet day of fishing, the FBI has no choice but to step in. With no one better out there, Joe has his suspension held over his head and is blackmailed into enlisting for the job by the FBI. After getting partnered with a germaphobic boob, Joe sets off as his alias “John Stone” to infiltrate the gang and bring it down from the inside.
A masterpiece of a ride, Stone Cold, has plenty of cheer worthy moments. With bodies constantly being tossed through plate glass, and the lightest of a feather touch causing many a vehicle to viciously explode, there lots here for the action movie fans to get excited about. I don’t think it is a stretch to think that ½ of the $25 million dollar budget was spent on explosives and I for one am more than alright with how they chose to allocate their funds.
This movie knows what it’s about and it doesn’t pussyfoot around it. Hell, there is barely even any semblance of side plot or depth to the story. They make a small attempt to create a romantic subplot and within 15 minutes or so of “Stone” showing interest in the female lead she is shot in the head. How’s that for Romance?
All the action culminates in a massive shootout at a courthouse. With the leader of the violent gang having met his timely end, Joe strolls out of the courthouse glistening in fresh blood and sweat. As he limps down the steps of the courthouse, the credits begin to roll and by-standers and cops alike look on in awe at a true American hero. That’s it. That’s the end of the movie. No denouement, no further exposition. No one seems bothered by the fact that he is dressed exactly like the massive group of bikers that were just waging war on the holy ground of the judicial system but that’s neither here nor there. Does Joe get reinstated and have his suspension lifted? Does he sign on with the FBI full time to bring down other crime syndicates? Who cares? The dude just side stepped a speeding motorcycle INSIDE the courthouse, shotgunning the rider and causing the bike to go flying out a 3rd story window as it explodes. What should this flaming wreckage crash in to? Well a helicopter of course. And guuueeesss whaaaaatttt? The helicopter explodes! But wait, there more. These two flaming hunks of metal land on top of a car, which (yep, you guessed it) also explodes.
Did I mention there were explosions in this movie?
I do have to give credit to quite an exciting and seemingly dangerous stunt that they pull with said helicopter as it is definitely worthy of mention.
All I can say is that if this movie were to ever be shown on a big screen in a theater, you would find me in line, popcorn in hand eagerly awaiting the destruction to come. Who knows, I might even grow a mullet and dip half of it in a bucket of bleach.