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A Texas Ranger and a ruthless narcotics kingpin - they were childhood friends, now they are adversaries...
When they were kids Texas Ranger Jack Benteen used to be best friends with drug kingpin Cash Bailey. At present, however, the only element linking them together is Jack's girlfriend Sarita, who used to be with Cash. She returns to Cash as a voluntary hostage to make certain that Jack keeps his hands off the drug lord's operation. On top of that, there is a meticulously planned drug bust, in which both Jack and Cash butt heads with CIA-funded paramilitary Maj. Paul Hackett, following his own agenda.
Extreme Prejudice is set in Texas where local ranger Jack Benteen (Nick Nolte) is having trouble with the amount of drugs going through his town all coming from Mexico & his once best friend Cash Bailey (Powers Boothe) who are now sworn enemies. To add to his problems a team of special forces ops lead by Major Paul Hackett (Michael Ironside) are sent to the region to rob a bank & take down Bailey, if that wasn't complicated enough Benteen's best friend & mentor Sheriff Hank Pearson (Rip Torn) is killed by drug smugglers & his girl Sarita Cisneros (Maris Conchita Alonso) decides to run off with Bailey after she tires of Jack. Jack decides he has to take Bailey out for all manner of reasons...<br/><br/>Directed by Walter Hill I have to say I didn't think that much of Extreme Prejudice & thought it was strictly average at best. The script by Deric Milius & Harry Kleiner is a little slow going, it lacks any real surprises & is just a bit dull. I also thought Extreme Prejudice was lacking a good villain, I mean all good action flicks need a good villain right? Unfortunately Extreme Prejudice offers us Cash Bailey who is only in the opening 70 odd minutes for about five minutes as he crushes a scorpion, talks to Jack & steals his girl which for me doesn't add up to a particularly memorable or interesting villain. Then there's Hackett & his soldiers who come across as bad guy's but mostly redeem themselves at the end so I wouldn't really call them villains either & that's it really, there's no villain to hate. The character's tend to come & go a bit freely just like Bailey & despite a few shoot outs it's lacking any memorable action scenes. I didn't like the character's too much either, Jack had little personality & the dialogue isn't great either. The only positive thing I can say is that it moves along at a decent enough pace & there are a couple of nice ideas here although they aren't realised to their full potential.<br/><br/>Director Hill does alright, he again casts Nolte as an action hero after 48 Hrs. (1982) which is a strange choice as he isn't. Apparently this is considered a Western but apart from some stupid looking cowboy hats, a shoot at ten paces gunfight & a bar which has a pair of swing doors I don't really see much resemblance here. Extreme Prejudice was destined to fail at the box-office & essentially become a forgotten film as it was up against some terrific competition during 1987, Predator, Lethal Weapon, Robocop, The Running Man, Over the Top, Full Metal Jacket, The Living Daylights, Masters of the Universe, Beverly Hills Cop II, Fatal Beauty, Rent-a-Cop, Stakeout & Steel Dawn amongst other action flicks meant this had a hard time at the box-office & it's not a surprise it's not widely remembered or regarded that highly. I can't say I have any great fondness for it although there is one scene likely to upset the animal lovers where someone impales a rat on the end of his large army knife & it's seem twitching...<br/><br/>Technically the film is fine, it's well made for what it is. The action scenes are a bit low key & there's nothing that memorable here. The acting is alright with a good cast but so what? I've always liked Ironside when he's playing the bad guy & he's pretty good in this although Conchita Alonso is rubbish as usual.<br/><br/>Extreme Prejudice isn't an action film that particularly stood out for me, it's alright with some decent shoot outs & some good actors but as a whole I just felt there was something missing. Could have been better but it could also have been worse, worth a watch if you've got nothing better to do.
Walter Hill and company set there sights on making a good "B" grade actioner with larger than life characters (it takes place in Texas - El Paso - and across the border). They achieve their goal. Nolte is solid. Boothe is slimy and the woman they love is beautiful. Rip Torn has a great turn as a friend/mentor of Nolte's Texas Ranger. He's got the West Texas accent down.<br/><br/> Get your bottle of tequila and pop this one in the VCR!