• An Eye For An Eye



    Released by: Kino Lorber
    Released on: June 16th, 2015.
    Director: Steve Carver
    Cast: Chuck Norris, Christopher Lee, Richard Roundtree
    Year: 1981
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    The Movie:

    Directed by Steve Carver, the same man who gave us River Of Death, comes his first pairing with Chuck Norris (they would make Lone Wolf McQuade together in 1983), the aptly titled An Eye For An Eye. Now the pairing of Norris and Carver would, for some of us, be more than enough to seal the deal but no, the guys at Cannon Films do you one better and throw in Christopher Lee, Richard Roundtree and…. Mako!

    Sean Kane (Chuck Norris) is a narc for the San Francisco Police Department. He’s also a fan of unsettlingly tight jeans and Members Only jackets but it’s 1981 so all is forgiven. His hair is round, his fists are steel and his high-kicking legs are registered as lethal weapons. Yes, it’s clear that you don’t fuck with Sean Kane but evidently someone didn’t get that memo because shortly after the movie starts he finds his partner, Pierce (Terry Kiser), very, very dead. Kane knows that Pierce was killed by Montoya (Mel Novak), a local drug kingpin, and he’s going to pay him back in kind much to the delight of the dead cops hot girlfriend, a TV news reporter named Linda (Rosalind Chao).

    Unfortunately for Kane and for Linda, the bad guys want her out of the picture. She knows too much and when you know too much, bad guys start to figure that they’d be better off without you. That’s what happens here. Kane also knows that there’s no way that he can get this mess sorted out if he has to play by the rules, so in typical eighties cop movie style, he goes to his boss, Captain Stevens (Richard Roundtree), and he hands in his badge. Rather than rely on the SFPD, he instead turns to Chan (Mako), the man who taught him how to kick people in the first place and who just so happens to be Linda’s father. He’ll also team up with a hot chick named Heather (Maggie Cooper) who is some friend of Linda’s because it’s good for Chuck Norris to team up with hot chicks for missions like this. They know that Linda’s TV station owning boss, a rich cat named Canfield (Christopher Lee), has got more to do with this than he wants to admit, but now they’ve got to evade the bad guys, kill a bunch of other bad guys and prove that yet more bad guys are guilty before they themselves are taken out of the picture.

    Less the low level conspiracy thriller that it sounds like and more than ‘kick’em in the face, Chuck!’ balls out action film you want it to be, An Eye For An Eye is two eyes’ worth of awesome eighties action movie fun. Norris’ Kane skulks around, the death of his friends an obvious and effective motivation for his revenge tactics, and he looks tough and fierce as he does it. Norris, in his prime as he is here, is a force to be reckoned with in the fight scenes and An Eye For An Eye gives him quite a few good ones wherein he shows off his moves in a big way. These are obviously the highlights of a movie like this, there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that, and Carver and his team stage and film them really well. The finale in particular is a long and virtually non-stop barrage of Kane slaughtering his way through an army of thugs and completely laying waste to them – it’s beautiful.

    So yeah, this is Norris’ show to be sure but thankfully Lee and Roundtree get enough screen time here to count. Lee sort of coasts threw this one, never giving his character the screen presence that has made some of his other roles not just memorable, but legitimately classic. But it’s Lee, and he’s got a cool moustache here and he’s fun. Roundtree doesn’t get as much screen time as we’d like but he is charismatic and a good choice for the part. Maggie Cooper, who mostly did TV work before and after this film, is quite fetching and if her performance isn’t particularly nuanced or complex, it’s not written to be. Mako tends to steal things every time he’s on screen, he’s just awesome to watch, while Rosalind Chow is a stone cold fox whose not really given much to do except show up and die early. Another awesome thing though is that the guy who plays Kane’s partner is the guy who played the dead body in Weekend At Bernie’s.

    Fast paced, violent and occasionally pretty sleazy, this is not a challenging film – in fact it’s completely predictable and in many ways a by-the-numbers production - but it is a really fun one and it makes for top notch drive-in fare.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    An Eye For An Eye debuts on Blu-ray properly framed at 1.85.1 widescreen in AVC encoded 1080p high definition. Colors are well reproduced here and while there are spots where things are a tiny bit flat, these moments are infrequent. We get a nice, clean picture here - print damage is never more than minor white specks and skin tones look good. No compression artifacts or edge enhancement here of any note, and the image is naturally grainy enough that it never looks like there’s any noise reduction either. Detail is pretty solid here too, as is texture and for this reason we get some good depth throughout the movie.

    The only audio option on the disc is an English language DTS-HD 2.0 track is serviceable if never mind blowing. The dialogue is clean, clear and properly balanced while the score does show frequent moments of depth. The sound effects are strong without becoming overbearing and the track is free of any hiss or distortion.

    The main extra on the disc is a commentary track with director Steve Carver who speaks quite candidly about the making of the film to moderator Bill Olsen. This is on par with the talk recorded for River Of Death, which Carver also directed, and that’s not a bad thing. Discussion includes what it was like working with Norris, Lee and Roundtree, interaction with Cannon Films’ Golan and Globus, some of the stunt and action set pieces, locations and more.

    Aside from that we get a trailer for the feature, a trailer for Hero And The Terror, static menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    An Eye For An Eye is solid entertainment through and through. It doesn’t set out to change the world nor does it need to, not when you’ve got Norris opposite Lee and Roundtree with some fun bit part players showing up in the picture too. Lots of great action in this one, it’s a really fun watch and Kino’s Blu-ray presents it in fine form with an enjoyable commentary as the main extras feature.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!