The only joy coming from Final Justice is the absolute mockery it makes of America’s fetish with guns, the heroes who hold them, and the value in revenge. At issue, Final Justice doesn’t intend to parody or satirize – it’s serious, and as such, ludicrous.
Joe Don Baker plays a Texas sheriff inadvertently chasing down the mob over borders in Malta. Imagine the trope and Baker portrays it, from the obvious like the accent to the alligator skin shoes, the hat, and the fast-firing revolver. Released in 1984, Baker’s action side goes up against Schwarzenegger and Stallone. He does not win.
Final Justice is turgid filmmaking
Final Justice is turgid filmmaking
In its fantasy, Final Justice is hopeless, imagining an American cop installing “proper” law and order on foreign soil as local authorities can only shake their heads. Final Justice believes if men like Baker were allowed to run free across the world, the mob wouldn’t exist in the first place.
It’s all cheap nonsense, pure ‘80s, this in a decade catering to Death Wish sequels as real world crime saw an exponential spike. Final Justice isn’t one “in the streets” per se, even if the outcome is identical, and the intended satisfaction equally pallid. Baker wins, of course. That’s no spoiler in a movie like this. For the most part he stands around, hand near his gun holster, and fires off a few shots. A clumsy, sloppy bar fight shows why he’s a better immobile “action” star.
Likely known more for an appearance on Mystery Science Theater than any actual release, this dud deserves the thrashing. Final Justice is turgid filmmaking, as slow as it is cheap, and as embarrassingly sexist as it is crass. It’s a movie where a strip bar only has two women, who wear the same outfits, and do the same dance to the same song every night. This while the villain wanders around, sexually assaulting and raping women while the lurid camerawork seems to enjoy the chance. It’s not that Final Justice is bad – it is – but it’s also deplorably crude in trying to attract a singular personality type.
MVD issues a pleasing if rough presentation for Final Justice. Clearly utilizing a cheaper film stock at the source, grain runs and stays heavy. Other than rare moments, the encode is up for the challenge. The image maintains a pleasing consistency. Sharpness stays high, detail able to escape while producing texture in droves.
Heavy contrast nearly goes too far and clips, but just avoids the issue. So, it’s bright, even vibrant, holding equal heft within the shadows. Dimensionality is impressive, as is the dense color. Saturation isn’t high so much as the solid flesh tones look attractive, and the location cinematography can glow.
The scan leaves behind stray dirt and scratches. Another clean-up pass is in order, as if Final Justice will ever be given said treatment.
Limitations on the soundtrack stem from the budget-restricted source. Voices wander in clarity, often filling hollow sets as the echo gives this away. As such, expect little in the way of dynamics, the treble thin, the bass non-existent.
At 75-minutes, the making-of is far more than Final Justice deserves, yet here we are. Also included is a commentary from the “Hack the Movies” team.
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Malta looks great, but that’s the only positive in the infinitely dull Final Justice.
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