24 Hours to Midnight (1992)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
In this martial arts actioner, an angry widow dons her ninja gear and takes off for revenge against the gangster who killed her husband. While the black widow kicks and chops her way to vengeance against the evil villain's gang, police officers Lee Ann Jackson and Lester McQueen stalk her.
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Critic Reviews for 24 Hours to Midnight
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Audience Reviews for 24 Hours to Midnight
24 HOURS TO MIDNIGHT! This movie is hilarious and I love it. Featuring Cynthia Rothrock as a one woman ninja death squad who mercilessly hunts the drug syndicate that killed her husband. One by one the hapless members of the syndicate fall victim to her systemic and lethal ninja prowess! It kicks ass!
One of the first things I noticed about this movie is the fact that it stars Stack Pierce as "White Powder" Chan! What a fantastic and unexplained bad guy name for black guy. In the first 30 seconds I knew this movie would be good but I never expected it was about to become one of my new all time favorites.
(picture of Chan)
So this is the basic plot. A dude named Harry Grady is in witness protective services because he is about to testify against the mob. So, big surprise, they track him down while he is out jogging by a Jack in the Box and blast him full of holes!
(picture of Harry dying)
The other person who was supposed to testify is a guy named James West. Apparently they know everything about him because about three seconds after we learn his name they find him driving around. They handcuff him to the steering wheel, throw a grenade in the back seat, and then drive off. BOOM! Loophole expunged.
(picture of James West)
So Harry's wife Devon (played by Cynthia Rothrock but voiced by the sultry Brinke Stevens) does what any good housewife would do. She defends her home against would be mob assailants.
(video of home defense)
When she learns of her husbands death while driving her "gold Honda" it hits her pretty hard.
(pic of Rothrock crying)
So she skips town to Juarez Mexico in search of sensei Janaka. The good sensei gives her a briefcase chock full of facts that Harry was using to build his case against the mob.
(pic of case file)
Devon checks into a hotel, puts on her ninja garb, and uses the evidence as a battle plan against the mob who killed her husband! They don't stand a chance.
(insert video of Mr. White)
While all of the "Chan gang" is being murdered one by one, police duo Lester McQueen (Bernie Pock) and LeAnn Jackson are forced to look into the "carnage" by the police chief. We learn right away the moral turpitude of our esteemed McQueen when the chief gives them some recent facts.
Police Chief - "Did you know the body count in this city over the last 90 days is 69?"
McQueen - "Woo. 69. Magic number."
The only martial arts training we see Devon get is summed up in a short flashback.
Harry Grady - "Devon, you gotta be prepared, we're dealing with vicious killers. Quick reflexes may save your life. You gotta keep alert. And you gotta practice all the weapons. The tonfa, will strengthen your upper body, for punch'n. That's good! And Devon, remember all I've taught you."
From there we see some really funny stuff. Like a hilarious druggie fight scene!
(video of druggie fight)
One thing I noticed during the druggie fight was the fact that one of the uncredited extras looks exactly like David Duchovny!
(pic of Duchovny)
One other thing that struck me as hilarious is the fact that the mob took the time to get a "team" portrait taken. Didn't they realize that such a picture would be the perfect evidence?
The second victim shares the same name as Dennis the Menace's grumpy neighbor. Mr. Wilson! He dies in hilarious fashion by being summarily executed by the most literal ninja star in existence.
(pic of Wilson ninja star) cap - Mr. Wilson is see'n stars
The next thing you know, ninja Devon action babe is taking out three more dudes with a bow and arrow as they walk out of the bar. Kick ass! After hunting some game she regroups and steals a helicopter.
"I need Mr. Smith's ok and he's not here."
pic of guy
"Well, Mr. Wesson says it's ok!"
pic of weapon pulled
With her helicopter, Devon flies over a drug boat full of Chan gang bangers and drops some dynamite from up on high to ruin their day!
pic of dynamite
pic of explosion
The rest of the movie is nothing but cheaply executed fight scenes, people getting killed in awesome ways, and hapless cops getting into squabbles of their own. It ultimately culminates in an explosive ending of epic proportions! Of course Devon gets away scot-free and lives happily ever after. The end.
Harry Grady - "Devon, you'll always be special to me." I hope so dude, she's you're wife!
There are many many things I love about this movie.
1. The plot that was probably written by a 12 year old.
2. The fact that they chose to do a cheap voice over of Cynthia Rothrock.
3. The incredibly bad but somehow charming soundtrack.
4. The way that Devon loads up with a different weapon for every kill.
5. The ridiculous death scenes.
6. The hilarious fight scenes.
7. The drug addled youths who wistfully agree with each other.
8. Bernie Pock, who sadly died of AIDS at age 33.
9. The way it ends.
10. How much fun it is to watch.
11. How the title doesn't have anything to do with the movie.
Definitely watch this movie. You have to pick up a copy, dig out the VHS player, and watch it as soon as you can. You won't regret it.
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