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the premise of this movie is , well , pretty far-fetched .
tom berenger plays shale , a mercenary who is temporarily out of work ( those fools at the cia have denied his existence just because he and his buddies botched a job in cuba ) .
fortunately , his girl friend ( diane venora ) , a teacher at christopher columbus high school in miami , gets her knee cap broken by a disgruntled student , creating a job opening for shale as a substitute teacher .
not telling his girl friend , who might object on pedagogical grounds , he creates a number of fake higher degrees for himself ( from yale , harvard , princeton , et al ) and begins his tenure as a high school teacher .
the students ( junkies , drug dealers , gang members , sleazy sluts , ice-pick wielders . . . you
get the picture ) don't really take to him right away , so he hits one in the face with a can and breaks a few fingers .
this gets their attention to a certain extent , so he tells them the story of the vietnam war : " see , some homeboys from the north tried to muscle in on the turf of the homeboys from the south . "
oh yeah , now they can dig it ; the problem is just that nobody ever explained it properly before .
but wait !
there are drugs being dealt in the school itself !
and behind the whole scheme , in cahoots with the head gang , the kod ( no , not " cod " , but " knights of destruction " . . . really ! ) , is none other than . . . the
upright , ex-cop principal , played by the forgotten ghostbuster , ernie hudson !
so shale does what any good teacher would do .
he gets his buddies together , they gather together a bunch of bazookas and other major weapons , explosives , and cool stuff like that , and they have a big showdown against the drug dealers and kod at the high school .
ok , so the premise is not just far-fetched , it's downright dumb .
if this were a hong kong action comedy , we might just accept it , but it takes itself far too seriously to be truly fun .
oh , it has its moments ; how one can truly hate a movie in which huge ( really huge ) amounts of cocaine are delivered in school busses ?
and to be fair , it is almost never really boring , as the action is interrupted by only short sequences of actual story .
but over all , this is pretty much a made-for-tv movie with more ( and bigger ) explosions and more foul language .
in fact , it reminded me of " miami vice " without the production values , babes in skimpy bikinis , and pastels .
if you can sneak into the theater without paying , go for it .
otherwise , wait for video .
the flying inkpot rating system : * wait for the tv2 broadcast .
* * a little creaky , but still better than staying at home with gotcha !
* * * pretty good , bring a friend .
* * * * amazing , potent stuff .
* * * * * perfection .
see it twice .
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