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Friday, 6 October 2017

Retro Review: Street Knight (1993)

Street Knight
Cast: Jeff Speakman, Christopher Neme, Bernie Casey, Jennifer Catti
Genre: Action
U.S Box Office Gross: over $840,000

Plot: Gang violence sparked by a professional killer brings a former Los Angeles cop back to the job 

'Sleepless, & Not Enough Action, Knights'

Considered as the film that ended Jeff Speakman's chances as the next Jean-Claude Van Damme, Street Knight is an action B-movie offering that whilst it isn't the film that doomed Speakman's career, it is most certainly lacking in action and martial arts fight scenes and the high entertainment factor. It falls short in so many areas and that had his follow-up movies that came out after his debut been as good as or even better than The Perfect Weapon, we could have been looking at another major action star alongside Van Damme, Stallone, Jackie Chan and Schwarzenegger.

After the excellent The Perfect Weapon, Jeff Speakman hit a bump with Street Knight: an action film offering by the director of Purple Rain that underwhelms in the martial arts fighting sense, which is short and minimal. As for Speakman's acting, it's all right, but he lacks the charisma to draw in audiences. 

Jake Barrett is a former LAPD cop, who left the force after he failed to save the life of a child during a hostage situation at a bank. When at the request of a friend, he is in the search of a missing person who is the girl's brother, he, in turn, finds himself in the middle of a gang warfare between African-Americans and Latinos that was instigated by an evil mastermind. The main bad guy murders the gang members who are holding a truce and trying to put an end to their ways. This storyline draws similarities to the 1992 L.A riots. 

Street Knight is a fairly routine action film, but compared to The Perfect Weapon, I was so disappointed and the acting from the supporting cast wasn't memorable, either with the gang members coming off as abrasive but cloying & so unconvincing at the same time. I just wasn't convinced that they were tough enough. 

The dialogue from the bad guys consists of f-words spouted by a Latino gang member and there is not enough action, courtesy of Speakman. He has fewer fight and action scenes as Jake here than in The Perfect Weapon, but he is still lightning quick with his moves. It's just disappointing to see that after a plethora of Kenpo- based hits, which all looked swift and free-flowing in his previous effort, Speakman isn't given more opportunities to stamp his mark in an action sense in Street Knight. He's equipped with the deadly moves, but he doesn't get to run rampant with them in this film. 

It's not even what I would call an above average action flick for a B-movie. Rather an unmemorable one.

Final Verdict:

This film is nowhere near the level of The Perfect Weapon and I expected just as much - if not way more action, and yet I just didn't get it. It never materialised and instead the film is bogged down by an unappealing plot, which the further it went on, became blander. From the start of this film, I was getting the impression that I might be getting an action-orientated affair, but Street Knight is far from doing that. There is so little action, a bland script with some awful dialogue & that it doesn't make full use of Speakman's fighting skills. 

With only 2 major action scenes, particularly ones where Jeff Speakman shows off more of his martial arts, and the action only peaks in the last 15 mins, is what makes Street Knight far less enjoyable for me. 


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