Janu-Fahey Month: The Last Of The Finest
January 11, 2015 § Leave a comment
Oh yeah, a month of movies starring one of my favorite character actors this generation, Jeff Fahey and why not? Noah has his Reb Brown and Brad Jones has his Pierre Kirby so why not let me have fun watching him kick ass. And I think the first movie is a perfect start of this movie since Last of the Finest not only has him in it but it also stars Brian Dennehy, Joe Pantoliano and Bill Paxton so what I’m getting at is possibly The Expendables of the early 90s. It might make sense but it is missing Lorenzo Lamas, Roddy Piper and Brian Bosworth with maybe Ronny Cox in a villainous role. Now that is an idea for action movie to end all action movies.
But anyway, if this movie is any good, you can thank the late, great John Mackenzie of The Long Good Friday and The Fourth Protocol fame. Not only that but it’s also written by George Armitage who is best known as the director of Grosse Pointe Blank… and uh, The Big Bounce! Damn, going from John Cusack as a hitman to Owen Wilson having the most awkward lovemaking with Sara Foster. Not really the best to end your directorial career if you ask me.
The movie involves LAPD officer Frank Daly (Brian Dennehy) as he plays football with Wayne Gross (Joe Pantoliano), Howard Jones (Bill Paxton) and Ricky Rodriquez (Jeff Fahey). An alright start to the movie but then it goes to them exposing a bust held by Anthony Reece (Michael C. Gwynne). While Howard goes in up close while dressing up as an old grandmother figure, Frank decide to go “fuck the DEA and his captain’s orders” and raid the scene which worked out not so well. Frank’s captain Joe Torres (Henry Darrow) decide to suspend the team. They kept investigating by taking pictures and both Howard and Bill hilariously mimic the criminal meeting up with his date. Also, Howard sees one of the henchmen later while playing the football and decide to be an ass to him during the game.
Later on, Frank gets a phone call from his informant Fast Eddie (Xander Berkeley) about Reece and their investigation goes underway. However, it leads to both Fast Eddie and a prostitute getting killed off… and then Howard died as well. Frank and the two is then charged with breaking the rules but dammit, Frank and Wayne quit the force. Ricky however didn’t because he’s in his “cop is his whole life” routine and went on his way… that is until he opened up the garage door (that Frank said is broken for ten years) and said “fuck it, I quit” in his tone. Okay, I think I chose the movie well.
They decide to finish their investigation but as civilians. They raid the scene of some hoodlum’s home and taken $25,000 off them, they trail Reece to some relief fund event with the President attending and even visited retired cop Tommy (John Finnegan) who can rip lips of the video tape. However, Tommy is later visited by Torres who is working for Reece and bad trouble goes down as while Frank and his friends hide money in the septic tank, they discover Tommy’s body and decide to get their family members on a hideout.
Daly then decides to set up an exchange in a baseball field (instead of football stadium so why the change in sports in the movie) and in a final act, blazes of guns happen with Torres and Reeces being victims in the battle. The movie then ends with the three back in police uniform and The President denying Reece’s involvements. Okay, to put in all honesty, the movie is surprisingly not bad and it’s not just because Jeff is in it.
To put it easily, this is Brian’s action piece through and through and with three actors having their time of their lives beating down injustice. While Bill hasn’t been in much, he is alright in the movie and I can understand it if he’s not in it much. After all, he was doing Navy Seals and Predator 2 around that time so that’s understandable. Joey Pants also did well as Wayne and he’s a cop with a spotless record and more of a family man than Brian’s character right down to inviting them and his wife to a cop party. As for Jeff Fahey, he never disappoint me in this one and he has moments to shine in this. The scene involving his ragequit with a garage door is indeed one of them.
The story is usual action fare and has some moments you don’t normally see in other action films. I mean, three ex-cops stealing and hiding money in a septic tank… something Woody and Wesley has never done in Money Train. All and all, this movie is worth checking out if you’re an early 90s action junky or is a fan of these actors even with Xander Berkeley in a minor role. Now that I got Janu-Fahey began, I had to look into another of his early roles and speaking of negative critical reception, I heard this movie is bad. Am I wrong on this one? Tune in next week.