White Lightning which was the first installment of Gator McKlusky movies Starring Burt Reynolds was a good enough effort, but lacked alot of action,suspense and was very light on humor. I'm happy to say that Gator is one hell of an action packed, well paced, hilariously funny Burt Reynolds film. This was filmed during the mid 70s right before Burt's shot into super stardom with Smokey and The Bandit, and you can tell Mr.Reynolds is in his prime during this period.
Right out the gate the movie starts off with a fantastic action scene that involves a boat chase in the bayou, showing Burt could do his own stunts back in the day. The plot centers around the fact that the local governor is using McKlusky yet again to go after a former friend... Bama McCall played by Jerry Reed because he owes some taxes and is suspected of indulging in some unsavory business practices. I made a comment in my other review for White Lightning saying that Ned Beatty the bad guy in that was very non threatening and not dangerous at all. Jerry Reed plays the total scumbag complete with southern drawl and violent temper. Reed shows off his stunt man fighting skills a couple times in this and I must say I was extremely impressed. He played the heavy just wonderfully and gave Burt a run for his money along with his creepy Henchmen, one played by a 7 foot tall monster of a man. Veteran character actor Jack Weston does a great job playing the fish outta water NYC detective, hired by the local governor to locate and blackmail McKlusky into going after his friend. Weston and Reynolds really work well as a comedic team, and I would have liked to see more movies with them together. Lauren Hutton Plays the sexy female lead back in her glory days as a leading actress and did a good enough job, but nothing super special. I really liked how the film would have these laugh out loud moments,then go to a super serious scene that usually involved some real issues such as underage prostitution,poverty and drug use. All in all this film was well balanced with the comedy,action and drama. Not to mention this was Burt Reynolds first directing gig and I would have to say this was one hell of a way to start out. Reynolds does a few creative shots, and the lighting is actually shot better here than in the previous film. The action scenes were just works of art if you're a fan of boat chases and bar fights. I'll also add that I really dug the 70s southern funk soundtrack. Jerry Reed also did the awsome theme song that starts during the opening credits.
Pretty much If you're a fan of 70s action comedies and like your movies with a bit of a southern flavor, you can't go wrong with Gator.