'No Mercy - Retro VHS Style' [Blu-ray]
(Richard Gene, Kim Basinger, et al / Blu-ray / R / (1986) 2020 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: A Chicago detective, seeking to avenge his partner's death, travels to New Orleans, where he unexpectedly becomes involved in a cat and mouse game of survival.
Blu-ray Verdict: In 1986, when 'No Mercy' was released, two names that would be near the top of any "World's Sexiest Man" and "World's Sexiest Woman" lists would have been Richard Gere and Kim Basinger.
In getting these two gorgeous people together, the makers of 'No Mercy' knew they had hit cinematic gold, but what they forgot to do was create a fantastic blockbuster script to go along with their talents!
Gere stars as a Chicago cop who travels to New Orleans to track down a blond (Basinger) who is linked to the murderer of his beloved partner. The film features a great love-to-hate villain, Losado, played by Jeroen Krabbé; a notable survival-in-the-swamp sequence wherein Gere and Basinger are handcuffed to each other; and an action-packed showdown in an old city hotel.
In truth, this is a passionate drama that keeps heating up right to the interesting, but over blown finale!
That said, Gere and Basinger are outstanding together. Just the eye contact can speed up your breathing. George Dzundza plays a cautious police captain. Ray Sharkey has a small role as does Gary Basaraba. Jeroen Krabbe is one fearsome villain that deserves his demise.
You can also see from the off that 'No Mercy' is riddled with stale plot devices - cop avenging the death of his friend; hero stealing a lover from the villain; usual fish-out-of-water ideas (this time a Chicago cop working in New Orleans); even the swamp sequence has a whiff of 'The Defiant Ones' and 'The 39 Steps' about it - but it really does work when it actually tries.
The film is also excessively grim and nasty, with Krabbe in particular struggling to do anything as a one-dimensional, knife-wielding sadist. The alluded to action high-spots, including a climactic shootout in a burning hotel, are quite expensive-looking sequences but, like the rest of the film, are only oddly interesting and, in some cases, wholly unoriginal.
In closing, and given that Gere was only 36 years-old at the time, he does makes a stylish hero, but he is perhaps rather too laid back; lacking the sort of intensity that the likes of Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis and Gene Hackman brought to their tough cop heroes.
Basinger, however, is excellent and of all her performances that I have seen I would rank this one second only to the one she gave in an even better neo-noir, 'L.A. Confidential.' This film is definitely one for a rainy/snowy Sunday afternoon with nothing better to do to keep yourselves entertained! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
'No Mercy: Retro VHS Style' (Blu-Ray) is out February 11th, 2020 via Mill Creek Entertainment.