Blowback Review and Opinion


Blowback (1999)
Director: Mark L. Lester

review by Jeff Young

Mario Van Peebles plays a failed priest turned heroic cop in this action thriller that borrows from the screen scriptures of Stigmata and Se7en.
   In the guise of a CIA assassin, James Remar's science fictionally resurrected serial killer goes after the jury that convicted him, modifying his MO to include male as well as female victims, but still murdering them in the manner that various biblical saints were killed.
   As he proved with Hitman's Run, starring Eric Roberts (Julia's brother), action movie director Mark L. Lester (not to be confused with Mark Lester the actor) is no slouch in the car chase and shootout departments. But as a filmmaker he's not able to imbue this exploitation material with much in the way of those electrifying shots that have distinguished similarly themed crime dramas.
   However, there are a few high impact moments of violence (in particular, the nail-gun crucifixions) and gore (several close-ups of throat cutting) plus one shocking death scene to please the horror crowd, so all in all, Blowback (which refers to a failure in brainwashing techniques) is worthwhile if hardly essential.previously published online, VideoVista #21

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