Films I Watched When I Was Younger – Issue 11: The Specialist

James Proclaims (6)

Image result for the specialist 1994

I saw 1994’s The Specialist in the cinema when it came out. Until recently that was the only time I’d ever seen it, so I imagine that even as a teenager I didn’t think much of it. Many years on, and when I saw it was freely available on one of the web based content providers I subscribe to, I thought I’d give it another shot. And that’s 105 minutes of my life I won’t be getting back anytime soon. Dubbed an ‘action thriller’, it’s not remotely thrilling and, while there is some action, there’s not a whole lot of it. What there is a lot of is brooding and staring and deep contemplative thought, although quite what the characters are actually thinking about is difficult to establish. There is also a lot of is really bad dialogue. Justifiably nominated for a host of Razzies at the time, age hasn’t been kind and it might possibly be even harder to watch now than it was then. I’m not even sure it could be considered as being ‘so bad it’s good’ – it takes itself far too seriously for that.

Directed by Luis Llosa, a man who is probably best known for 1997’s Anaconda, which probably tells you all you need to know about his credentials, the film stars Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, James Woods, Eric Roberts, and Rod Steiger, all of whom are better than this and none of whom manage to bring an ounce of credibility to the movie.

Stallone plays Ray Quick, a man who seems to have some kind of a moral code, but who literally blows people up for a living, and he’s probably the most plausible character in the film. Stone does do her best with the revenge-seeking May Munro, but honestly has nothing at all to work with. Woods, as villain, Ned Trent has some moments which are almost engaging and probably has the most potential to be interesting, but, actually, when he meets his entirely predictable end, it’s hard to care very much at all.

Truthfully, I didn’t hate The Specialist, it wasn’t anywhere near intriguing enough to provoke such a vitriolic reaction. What it provoked instead was a complete sense of indifference.


  7 comments for “Films I Watched When I Was Younger – Issue 11: The Specialist

  1. March 22, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Completely agree with every word you’ve penned here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 22, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      I really wanted it to be good but it just wasn’t at all, on any level.


  2. March 22, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    I can neither agree, nor disagree. Should I use up 105 minutes of my life to be able to comment?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. March 23, 2018 at 10:27 am

    You are ignoring the inspirational angle to the movie: Sylvester Stallone plays a man who is an explosives expert, despite the fact that he is in a walking coma. It’s the feel-good movie of 1994!

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 23, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      I did miss that angle – maybe I should watch it again…


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