Fugitive Rage

1996, Movie, R, 90 mins

Review

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The story of a convict released from prison in order to wipe out a mob boss, FUGITIVE RAGE is glaringly implausible.

Mob leader Tommy Stompanato (Jay Richardson) is acquitted of the murder of the sister of ex-cop Tara McCormick (Wendy Schumacher); she shoots him in the courtroom and is subsequently arrested. Soon after her arrival in prison, federal agent O'Keefe (Tim Abell) offers her early release in return for joining a Stompanato investigation. Tara refuses, but when she and her cellmate Jessie (Shauna O'Brien) are attacked in hit ordered by Stompanato, she decides to join in the scheme, demanding a full pardon for Jessie, too. Discovering that Tara has been freed, Stompanato and his lieutenant Frank Ryker (Ross Hagen) decide to go after Jessie. Ryker kidnaps her out of solitary confinement and the mob boss tortures her, trying to discover what Tara and the Feds are up to. Soon after Tara's cover is blown, she decides to attack. She kills nine mobsters, including Stompanato, and frees Jessie. But as they make their exit, O'Keefe pulls a gun and reveals that he and Ryker are renegade agents who have used Tara to help them take over the mob. After a struggle, Tara leaves Jessie to finish off O Keefe while she goes and kills Ryker. When Jessie asks what they'll do now, Tara smiles and asks if she's ever seen the movie THELMA AND LOUISE.

FUGITIVE RAGE is an utter fantasy, and a bad one at that. Never mind that it's difficult to smuggle guns into a courtroom, that federal agents don't normally liberate incarcerated ex-cops for help in racketeering investigations, or that the Feds would then give their recruit license to kill at will: Everything about this film is ridiculous. Schumacher's flat acting and Richardson's over-acting are painful. The big culprits here, however, are scripters Dani Michaeli and Sean O'Bannon--who have fashioned a confused affair filled with horrible attempts at humor--and whoever greenlighted the film in the first place. (Nudity, violence, profanity.) leave a comment

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