Ballistic

A martial-arts also-ran that merely flirts with distinction, the direct-to-video BALLISTIC offered rising supporting actress Marjean Holden (THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT 2) a showcase as hard-kicking action star. It's no great leap for the cause of African-American women in cinema, however; the credits aren't even over before our shapely heroine has done...read more

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A martial-arts also-ran that merely flirts with distinction, the direct-to-video BALLISTIC offered rising supporting actress Marjean Holden (THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT 2) a showcase as hard-kicking action star. It's no great leap for the cause of African-American women in cinema, however;

the credits aren't even over before our shapely heroine has done a shower scene and donned a tight hooker outfit to patrol the mean streets of LA as undercover police detective Jesse Galvin.

Jesse's determined to nail high-profile druglord Nick Braden (a smirking Sam Jones) and prove that her cop daddy (Richard Roundtree) was framed for corruption. But all remaining LAPD males are, naturally, chauvinist thugs on Braden's payroll who arrange for Jesse to be disgraced and suspected of

murder. Undeterred, she and karate instructor-lover Ray (Joel Beeson) dig up evidence that gets Galvin pere freed from prison. The trio converge on Braden's warehouse, conveniently filled with rocket-propelled grenades that Jesse uses to blow away the baddies.

It's nice to see Roundtree, an underrated performer too often relegated to second-banana roles, in a take-charge mode here, even if the bulk of his dialogue is devoted to disparaging Ray as a "skinny-assed white boy." Holden is nice to watch also, for more reasons than the obvious ones. A capable

actress, she wrings as much conviction as she can out of a largely one-dimensional script, and romantic interest Beeson also makes an agreeably fresh impression. While there are enough "relationship" scenes to establish Holden as a kinder, gentler death-dealer, BALLISTIC doesn't spare the usual

cliches about kung-fu bloodmatches and trusted, paternal authority figures who turn traitor (and are customarily played by Charles Napier). The narrative's biggest surprise is a sardonic jab at THE KARATE KID during its mayhem-filled climax. (Graphic violence, sexual situations, nudity, substanceabuse, profanity.)

<i style="">Homecoming</i>, <i style="">When They See Us</i>, <i style="">Tidying Up with Marie Kondo</i>, <i style="">Stranger Things 3</i>
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