Stone Cold (1991)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller  |   Release Date - May 17, 1991 (USA)  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - R
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On the surface, Stone Cold might seem like a throwaway action film built around a sports personality but it's actually much more. In fact, this is a model b-movie: the storyline offers a barrage of action in a unique setting and simple but effectively-drawn characters that keep the audience involved between the setpieces. Brian Bosworth acquits himself well as the hero, underplaying the role while delivering on the fighting skills and macho attitude the viewer expects. However, it's the supporting cast that really shines: Lance Henriksen is charming and chilling by turns as the biker gang's smart yet sociopathic leader and William Forsythe delivers a feral, rip-snorting turn as the temperamental biker who suspects Bosworth is up to something. Finally and most importantly, stunt coordinator-turned-filmmaker Craig Baxley does an excellent job in the director's chair. He gives the story a lean, vigorous pace, makes the visuals as colorful and comic-bookish as possible and handles the frequent action scenes with kinetic flair. The best example of his skills in the latter department is the bombastic finale, which takes place in a highly unusual location and involves everything from fisticuffs to helicopter stunts -- it is one of the best action sequences ever in a b-movie. In short, Stone Cold is a premiere example of the action b-movie and twice as much fun as a lot of higher-budgeted action films.