The Specialist Reviews
An ex-girlfriend calls her ex-boyfriend and claims to have had her family killed by the mafia. The ex-boyfriend is a former bomb expert for a tactical force but he has retired. He reluctantly begins helping the girl only to find himself caught between the mafia and police officers working for the mafia.
"You know, the next time you order a hit you might want to consider taking out your decorator."
Luis Llosa, director of Sniper, Anaconda, Fire on the Amazon, The Feast of the Goat, and Crime Zone, delivers The Specialist. The storyline for this picture is very straightforward and unimaginative. The action scenes are just okay and the characters are mediocre. The cast delivers average performances and the cast includes Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, James Woods, Eric Roberts, and Rod Stieger.
"Anybody shoots and I shoot them."
I recently came across this on Netflix and decided to watch it again for the first time in a long time. I never thought this was anything special and having watched it again...I now know why. Overall, this is a very average addition to the action genre.
The other major downside: Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone star as the two leads, and there's no proper definition or point to their parts.
Sylvester Stallone is ex-CIA Explosives Operative Ray Quick. After leaving the Agency for good the story travels many years further to present day and he is working as a lone earner, receiving high payments from regular people who are in need of an explosives expert for specific jobs that require that sort of technique. He receives a call from a pretty lady called May Munro ( Sharon Stone ), whom sincerely believes she's in need of a man of his explosive talents, but he's filled with doubt. Her problem: is highly personal and she has an undying thirst for vengeance and will stop at nothing to get his help. To Ray Quick's observation: her problem doesn't require his sort of techniques, but he makes up his mind to do the job.
The acting is alright. It's not too debatable like in a lot of American action movies; the performances of Stallone and Stone were expected from the audience to be the show stealers, but they're not really. James Woods is a superb actor in this who gives it a bit of gravity that it needs as nearly everything else makes the movie mentally a flop. The acting of Eric Roberts is also impressive. Woods and Roberts play the sort of perfect villains we always love to see in American action movies, for their villainous approach of their parts gives the movie a bit of delight. Woods is definitely the show stealer; there's no telling who would disagree.
It's not to say the acting of Stallone and Stone was awful; it's just not enough to give the spotlight performances of it.
This movie is based of one of the worst written screenplays. It delivers enough weirdness to make it boring and eventually questionable, with some dodgy pointless explosions caught up in the plot.
Stallone is a great presence to the movie as is Woods, but they're still in the middle of a weird mixture of bad screenplay writing and a misleading direction that needs a bit of work.
Ray Quick is a fine part for Stallone. He always suits those roles perfectly. What's awesome is watching him use big machine guns in awesome roles like John Rambo and we all love that. However in this role he lacks guns, has them hidden somewhere up his sleeves, and is the trigger finger this time for some nasty explosions. The change isn't all bad: he destroys enemies with bombs for a change instead of guns.
It's not all bad.
A box office hit, it was nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards, winning Worst Actress (Stone) and Worst Screen Couple (Stallone and Stone).
One of Sly's weakest ever films, and despite the strong supporting cast, this is still very bland and uninteresting with little action or suspense. This also marks the start of his movie slump with the disappointing "Assassins", flawed "Judge Dredd" and awful "Driven" coming up that almost destroyed his career. Only worth a look for Sly completests.