Fighting Back (1982)

Fighting Back (1982)

We love a vigilante film, so the promise of prime-era Tom Skerritt as an everyday man standing up for his community was too good to pass up.
In short, it’s pretty good, but very unfocused.

Just like Death Wish, he spends most of his time beating on black people – but unlike Death Wish, it doesn’t try to justify this with hazy misquoted crime figures based on race – it introduces a character (played by Yaphet Kotto) who flat out proves the lead is a racist in a marvellous scene putting Skerritt’s character on the spot, testing his natural insticts.
Nothing is done with this, and Kotto is slightly wasted – but it doesn’t feel cheap; you suddenly question Skerritt’s motives, and feel uneasy for the rest of the movie.
More cartoon like than the superior Death Wish, but a few shades less crass than Death Wish II. Highlights include an old lady getting her finger cut off with a garden pruner for her wedding ring, some misjudged funky chase music that comes from nowhere at thewrongmoments, and Tom Skerritt’s laughable New Yoik accent: “HEY, I’M FOCKING TOM SKERRITT OVER HERE-YA”.

 

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