-Thursday, September 14, 1989-
The Michigan Daily
Relentless changes the standards of excellence
BY TONY SILBER
It's days like this that I dread be-
ing a film reviewer. I have to write a
piece about a film I saw last night; I
think it's called Relentless. Some-
thing slick and catchy like that.
Help me out with this. Am I to
spend a few paragraphs telling how
stupid the story is? A few more la-
menting on the laughable perfor-
mances by the stars? Then do I end it
with a scathing warning to anyone
thinking of attending a screening of
this film? No, I think I'll have fun
3 with this.
Relentless is an epic. A master-
piece that exposes and opens new av-
enues into the mystery/suspense
A genre. A landmark film? History
shall decide, but I'll vote for such a
9 judgement today.
Judd Nelson turns in a gem of a
performance in his already glittering
career. Some won't believe me, but
yes, he even tops his St. Elmo's Fire
portrayal. He plays Buck Taylor, a
disturbed young man who kills peo-
ple with the same name as his father
after finding their addresses in the
Los Angeles phone book.
On the surface, some may see this
- story as potentially shallow, but I
challenge them to give the film a try,
experience the magic, allow them-
selves to be captivated by the
thrilling drive of the Relentless
power in the film.
Buck is upset because he was de-
nied admission to the L.A. Police
Academy. He lives with the stigma
of not living up to his father's
Judd Nelson turns in a
gem of a performance in
his already glittering ca-
reer. Some won't believe
me, but yes, he even
tops his St. Elmo's Fire
portrayal. He plays Buck
Taylor, a disturbed
young man who kills
people with the same
name as his father.
achievements in the police world.
Wow, what a story! And if that
wasn't enough, throw in two tough
cops (Robert Loggia and Leo Rossi)
who try to end Buck's murderous
rampage. The result: a police adven-
ture film unparalleled by recent stan-
There are a myriad of plot twists
included skillfully by suspense direc-
tor king William Lustig (Maniac
Cop). Most involve the multi-faceted
character of Buck. Driven by his fa-
ther for years to excel, young Buck
cracks when he fails to live up to his
father's dreams. Understandable. So
he fills his apartment closet with
enough fire power to end the war in
Central America, and he takes to the
The fever and sheer intensity in
Relentless are quite overpowering at
times. When Buck crashes through
the roof of a woman's Sunset Blvd.
condo with a terrifying, yet confused,
look, we are there. When he jogs on
the balcony ledge of his 25-story
apartment buiding, we are on the
edge with him.
This is why Relentless is such a
dynamic film. We begin to identify
with Buck and his crusade, yet we
also identify with the crime solving
efforts of Loggia and Rossi. We root
for both Buck, the maniacal killer, as
well as the cops who try to put him
behind bars. What incredible film-
making! I felt brainwashed, vulnera-
ble. You will, too. When a film can
do this, what more can you do but
stand up and applaud the genius be-
hind such art.
Judd Nelson will someday meet the fate of the Pekingnese dog: his eyes will bulge so badly in a fit of overating
that they'll simply pop out and lie there on the floor. And some perverse person will imagine that during the
French Revolution, two members of the Residents met the fate of Marie Antoinette. It's bound to happen.
Leave your roommate alone -
Tell it to the world in
Fast paced, exciting, pulsating,
disturbing, enriching - Relentless
has it all and more. Judd Nelson's
brilliant acting, Loggia and Rossi's
veteran touch, a new innovative ad-
venture saga, and if all that weren't
enough, there's Meg Foster, too.
Where does it all end? How can film
do all this? That's what makes film
reviewing so interesting. It takes
over your soul and twists it beyond
your control. Imagine what I would
have written had this been a bad
RELENTLESS is now showing at
Showcase Cinemas in Ann Arbor.
The Pc rsonal Column
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