By gum it’s Burl with 80s action! Here we have something called Quiet Cool, the bite-size picture that attempted to turn James Remar, whom we know from 48 Hours and Django Unchained, and who had a solid career in the “pretty-boy bad guy” genre of movie acting, into an action hero! I guess they thought they’d start him out slow, because instead of giving him heroin dealers or cocaine lords to fight, they put him up against some pot growers!
I’ll admit, these are some pretty mean pot growers, while all the weediculturalists I’ve ever met have been pretty mellow folks! Not this gang, made up as it is of a gallery of stock-looking heavies! In Quiet Cool, right at the top, the dealers execute a potential tattletale, then chase down a teenager who’s witnessed the murder, shoot both his back-to-the-land hippie parents in the head, rope him and drag him behind a dirt bike, then dangle him off a cliff, drop the corpses of his parents down past him, laugh as he swings around screaming mindlessly at the utter horror of the moment, then drop him to his supposed doom!
Meanwhile the slain father’s sister, Daphne Ashbrook from Gimme an ‘F’, worried about the disappearance of her brother and his family, calls up her old boyfriend James Remar, a leatherjacket cop in New York City! But Remar is busy chasing down rollerskate bandits, and only once he’s done with that task is he ready to fly across the country to investigate the disappearance! But the nefarious wig-tightener merchants are on him like stink, ha ha, and soon enough, after a few fights, Remar blunders his way into a bag full of razor blades and fish hooks! Yowch! Luckily the teenager, who survived his fall down the cliff and has transformed into a vengeance-driven mountain man, saves him, and the two team up to take out the couple-of-dozen strong electric lettuce gang!
One of the gang members sports an enormous walrus moustache, which Remar mutilates with a scissors! Another, a husky cross between Wings Hauser and Mandy Patinkin, is the local sheriff! Still another, perhaps the least-respected member, is called Toker, he being the one who smokes enough of his own product that he’s essentially useless, but because he looks like the runt sibling in the Barbarian Brothers’ family, they keep him on! And there’s a Nasty White-Haired Guy, a little like the Dar Robinson character in Stick or Billy Drago in Vamp; and we even have the Nasty Glasses Guy, which I think there’s one of in Die Hard, though of course Die Hard came later! Ha ha, a lot of guys, but there’s only one Mr. Big, the true identity of whom is something the picture saves for its Big Twist Ending! Ha ha, not to give anything away, but once you’ve experienced this ending, the words “You’re soaking in it!” will never sound quite the same!
At 80 minutes in length, it’s a speedy little babatoudnik! The action scenes are not particularly brilliant, though there are some good stunts! But, speaking frankly, Remar is something of a charisma void here, and not especially good at the action business either, so it’s easy to see why he didn’t get many more action leads! It’s a New Line Cinema production, so the characters always seem to be watching A Nightmare on Elm Street on their television sets, so at least we get that! It has scrappy action and plentiful bad guys, and an earnest, blank-eyed hero and a goofy 80s theme song, so in the end I’ll have to give Quiet Cool two slices of overnight bed pizza!