From the makers of RING OF FIRE comes this film about two cops who find a different method to bringing the neighborhood back together…through fighting.
Tony is a rookie police officer who after attempting to bust a robbery fails to stop the leader of the gang. His actions gets him ridiculed by some of the veteran officers, including his partner After busting local gang member Jimmy, Tony is challenged to a fight at the run down youth center by the gang member. Tony accepts the challenge and finds himself even more shocked when he sees a young girl attempting to sell him crack to support her family.
When Tony is able to defeat Jimmy in front of both Brian and Jimmy’s gang, an attempt to thrash Brian is thwarted when Jimmy calls off the attack. The fight makes headlines and soon enough, members of the police are challenged to fights by members of Jimmy’s gang. Both the police and gang soon realize that the fights can provide a sense of respect between both parties and eventually, more gangs get themselves involved. While peace is being maintained, one man is not happy with the new concept: drug lord Gerardo, a childhood friend of Tony’s who decides to turn his back on their former friendship and will do what it takes to get the streets back, even if it means harming Brian’s daughter Susan, who has become Tony’s girlfriend.
When PM Entertainment launched Michael Worth in the kickboxing film Final Impact, fans knew they would find a brand new action star on the rise. This marks his second film and to add a bit of star power, producers added the late Dennis Farina as both his partner and his mentor. The two sometimes bicker like a married couple over their ways of handling matters. However, despite the bickering, they have a sense of respect for each other and always back each other up. Farina has the guns, Worth has the fists.
James T. Morris would mark his final film appearance as Gerardo, the drug lord who has a past with Tony and only can take so much from his former friend. Morris plays it off pretty funnily at times when carousing with some women. Meanwhile, Ron Yuan plays the reformed gang member Jimmy, who starts out as a badass but eventually befriends Tony and helps lead the neighborhood with coming together. In one moment, Tony tells the long-haired Jimmy to “get a haircut” and lo and behold, today, we seen Yuan with a shaved head. Veteran Max Gail provides comic relief as heckling (and sometimes annoying) veteran cop Flannigan, who tends to push buttons at the wrong time. Patricia Zehentmayr may seen at times like a damsel in distress as the blind daughter of Farina’s Brian. However, she does hold up well for herself when she seeks fit.
“The Fight Master” Art Camacho choreographed the film’s fight sequences and does quite a job. He even can be seen as a Latino gang leader who doesn’t get to fight, but attempts to escape from the vet and the rookie. The fight between Yuan and Worth was nicely executed and is the best fight of the film. Worth’s final fight against Morris is a bit of a disappointed only because it seemed more force. However, on the plus side, Worth does to add not only his trademark kicking skills, but uses a bit of Jeet Kune Do with some of the fist combinations. This is in part to Jeet Kune Do technical advisor Jerry Poteet, who assisted with Worth when this was necessary.
Street Crimes does have its share of fistacuffs action with a story about bringing a neighborhood together. Definitely a worthy vehicle for Michael Worth and the late Dennis Farina. Worth a rental but expect a somewhat forced finale that could have been done slightly better.
WFG RATING: B
A PM Entertainment production. Director: Stephen Smoke. Producers: Joseph Merhi and Richard Pepin. Writer: Stephen Smoke. Cinematography: Richard Pepin. Editing: Geraint Bell and Ron Cabreros.
Cast: Dennis Farina, Michael Worth, Patricia Zehentmayr, James T. Morris, Max Gail, Ron Yuan, Shaun Shimoda, Joe Banks, Mayah McCoy, Doug Franklin, Angus Duncan, Mark Kaufman, Michelle Mania, Walter Cox, Fran Joseph, Art Camacho, Shannon Uno.