One of the unwritten laws of 1980s action films says that if something bad could happen, it should happen on Christmas Eve. Cold Steel, 1987 film directed by Dorothy Ann Puzo, is not an exception. It begins when LAPD detective Johnny Modine (played by Brad Davis) gets his Christmas celebration ruined with the news about his father's death. It is the work of psychopathic junkies who slashed old man to death while robbing his jewelry store. Johnny is determined to find the responsible and get his revenge, even if it means the end of his police career. However, Johnny doesn't know that the murder was actually part of sinister revenge plot directed against him. Leader of murderous thugs is his former friend and colleague Isaac (played by Jonathan Banks) who blames Johnny for the incident that left him crippled many years ago. Before he gets to Isaac, Johnny must overcome many obstacles, including Kathy (played by Sharon Stone), attractive but mysterious woman with hidden agenda.
Anyone who watches Cold Steel would realise why this first film by director Dorothy Ann Puzo also happens to be he last. In hour and half of its length, Puzo managed to stuff all possible cliches of 1980s cop movies, including car chases, explosions and shootouts that, instead of making this film more attractive, only reveal its limited budget. Film is even more unattractive because of the dark photography and terrible 1980s soundtrack. Same goes for Sharon Stone whose good looks do little to compensate the awful acting in one of the more embarrassing roles of her career. Brad Davis, on the other hand, brings perhaps too much pathos to his lead character, but that, same as very entertaining performance of Adam Ant as Isaac's British sidekick, brings Cold Steel to at least tolerable levels of mediocrity.
RATING: 4/10 (+)
(Note: The text in its original form was posted in Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.movies.reviews on May 1st 2000)
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Movie URL: https://www.themoviedb.org/movie/31700-cold-steel