Blu-Ray Review: An Eye For An Eye | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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An Eye For An Eye

Studio: Kino Lorber Studio Classics

Jun 29, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Gauging a Chuck Norris movie by its quality is an exercise in futility. The highest-rated of Norris’ star vehicles with enough reviews to warrant a Rotten Tomatoes score is Code of Silence, which boasts a cool 50% rotten rating. (Ten more trend at 33% or less, including an impressive four at 0%.) Chuck Norris is an awful actor, but he’s got charisma. However, people don’t watch a Chuck Norris movie to see him act: they watch it to see him kick things. (Specifically: bad guys.) Norris has made a career out of his ability to kick dudes and make it look pretty badass. So, rather than judging his films by their quality, they should be judged by their kickitude gradient*, which is how many times in the film dudes get kicked. In An Eye For An Eye, that happens exactly 40 times**, making it one of the better of Norris’ 1980s action star vehicles.

“I’m just another out-of-work ex-cop… with a score to settle.”

In An Eye For An Eye, Norris plays a stereotypical rogue cop (with nothing left to lose, of course) named Sean Kane. One night on an undercover job, Kane and his partner walk into a trap that was laid specifically for them. His partner is killed, and Kane feels like they were set up by a traitor within the police force. He takes the expected course of action, which is to hand in his badge and gun, and go off to avenge his partner’s death “his own way.” (This means kicking his way to the top of the local crime syndicate.)

“I was told that since you left the force, you no longer carry a weapon.”
“He is a weapon.”

Aside from its high percentage of action, another thing An Eye For An Eye has going for it is its incredible supporting cast of all-star character actors. Most notable among them is the late Christopher Lee, who plays the slimy owner of the television news network where Kane’s girlfriend is employed. Richard Roundtree (Shaft!) plays Kane’s police captain whose job it is to get all huffy when Kane quits the force. Kane’s martial arts trainer and closest ally is played by Mako, from the Conan franchise, and pro wrestler Professor Tanaka—from The Running Man, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, and Revenge of the Ninja—appears as one of the movie’s main villains.

The surrounding cast makes An Eye For An Eye worth watching, and the frequent action scenes make it easy to look past Norris’ cardboard-y dramatic acting. (His few romantic scenes here are laughable, as is to be expected.) Fans hoping to watch Norris kick a lot of people certainly won’t be disappointed: he kicks guys in a wide variety of settings (on a boat, in a Chinatown brothel) and over a wide variety of precipices (off a roof, over a cliff, etc.) If you need an ‘80s Chuck Norris action movie in your life, this is one of the more fun ones. Kino Lorber Studio Classics’ transfer looks great for a 35-year-old b-movie, and extras include a commentary from director Steve Carver and theatrical trailers.

* “Kickitude gradient” is totally an invented term, but feel free to use it any cinema studies papers theses you write.
** For our study, we only counted kicks where Norris’ heel traveled above his waist, including roundhouse kicks. High kicks are Norris’ trademark, so we’re not going to waste your time by counting the times when Norris kicks a dude on the ground or in the shins (which also occurs pretty regularly in An Eye For An Eye.)

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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