Final Justice (review by Doug Smith)
“Final Justice” is one of those movies that make you want to see the good guys get hurt as much as the bad guys. The entire film reeks of sweat, Marlboros and Schlitz and maybe faint offerings of Hardee’s. This was filmed in Malta and, unfortunately for the Maltese (not to mention for us), stars Joe Don Baker, who no doubt left grease marks in the bed and spatters in the toilet of whatever $2 a night motel Greydon Clark (producer, writer and director of this filled-with-worms turd) shelled out the money for. The movie is about a Texas sheriff whose partner is killed by an Italian mobster so the sheriff kills the mobster’s brother and captures the mobster. The sheriff is assigned to see that the mobster gets back to Italy for justice, but on the way over, the plane has to land in Malta, where the mobster escapes. The rest of the movie is an exciting game of cat and mouse! Well, not really. They basically just both try to kill each other in various ways and the audience is left to wonder just why the hell this movie was even made.
The aforementioned blob of a man, Joe Don Baker, plays Deputy Sheriff Thomas Jefferson Geronimo III. I guess we’re just automatically supposed to like him since he’s got such an American name or something. Rosanno Brazzi plays Don Lamanna, an old guy with money and chicks. Venantino Venantini plays the raspy-voiced, woman abusing mobster that Geronimo is after, Palermo. Patrizia Pellegrino plays Gina, the blonde hooker that Palermo takes a liking to. Unfortunately for her, his definition of “liking” involves titty twisters and choking. Bill McKinney plays Chief Wilson, a whiney little mama’s boy of a cop.
One of the first things we see in this movie is Joe Don Baker’s immense, meatloaf of a face, snoozing in a chair, while cowboy music plays. What a great piece of Americana. Just as the drool is about roll off of his bottom lip, the sheriff (played by producer/director/writer of the film, Greydon Clark) comes in and asks him what’s going on. “Big fat nada,” is his response, thus summing up the entire movie, not to mention his acting career. Just as Joe Don is about to polish off a doughnut, the sheriff grabs it from his hands and tells him to lay off of them and eats it. I don’t know about you, but frankly, I wouldn’t want my mouth anywhere remotely near to where Joe Don Baker’s mouth has been.
.Meanwhile, out on the highway, there’s some guy grooving to the same country station until he’s run off the road by a couple of guys in suits. They then shoot him for no apparent reason, thus establishing the bad guys. One of the guys is Palermo and the other is his brother. Unfortunately for them, they can’t get their car started again. So, being the smart, sly-like-a-fox mobsters that they are, they go to the police station to try to steal a car.
Geronimo and the sheriff hear them and holler at them to stop, but the mobsters shoot the sheriff, who proceeds to die about three times. The mobsters run off and, of course, Joe Don follows them into the woods. Just as the mobsters cross the border, Joe Don catches up with them and tells them to “Go ‘head on.” The younger brother does decide to go ‘head on indeed and ends up getting himself shot and falls into what appears to be a stream or pond. At this point, Palermo screams like a ninny and runs down to his now dead little brother, and we find out that either the dead guy is more absorbent than a roll of Bounty, or there’s been yet another editing error, because there’s really not enough water to warrant the big splash that he made. That would make two editing blunders in seven minutes. Not good odds.
Geronimo (I’ll start calling him by his movie name. I don’t want Joe Don to get all liquored up and come after me with a twelve gauge.) takes Palermo to the Department of Justice, where we find out that Palermo’s been a pretty naughty guy. Apparently, he’s one of Italy’s most wanted and the Italian government is so pleased that Geronimo captured him that they want Geronimo to personally bring Palermo over to Italy so they can give him a medal when he gets there.
Fortunately for the Italians, Geronimo never quite makes it there to impress them with his big beer farts and hunting stories because one of Palermo’s operatives makes the plane malfunction on the way over. They’re forced to land in Malta and on the way to a hotel, yet another one of Palermo’s goons helps him escape the meaty clutches of Geronimo. In the process, they blow up the car Geronimo was in and think they’ve killed him. Palermo thinks he’s killed Geronimo about three or four times in this movie. Yup, just like in the first scene where the dead sheriff slid down the wall three times, repetition is the key to a good movie.
The Maltese police accidentally arrest Geronimo, but once they talk to Chief Wilson back in the States, he’s cleared. Chief Wilson tells Geronimo that he’s to let the Maltese police deal with finding Palermo and that he should just sit around and wait for his plane back to the US. Geronimo promptly goes to his hotel and passes out until a Maltese police officer, who looks almost exactly like Julia Louis-Dreyfus, comes knocking on his door and offers to show him around. Turns out there’s a great big carnival going on. Apparently, Geronimo had missed the thousands of people staring at gigantic, brightly colored floats that look like they come from Stephen King’s nightmares.
Incidentally, there’s a few scenes in here I’ve skipped, simply because all they do is certify the fact that the direct has some serious issues with women. Also, one of them features Palermo’s big, hairy, floppy Italian ass in a shower. Ick.
Geronimo goes with the police officer out in to the crowd and eventually, Geronimo sees three goons that he suspects would know where Palermo is. He asks them and they don’t say anything, so he tells them to go ‘head on. Well, just like earlier in the movie, they do go ‘head on and get shot.
This predictably lands Geronimo in some hot water with the Maltese police department. They slap his hands and tell him not to do it again, but he does anyway. This goes on for the next hour of the film until Geronimo finally kills Palermo. You could basically just watch the second 15-minutes of the movie over and over again and then go to the last 15 minutes and you’d pretty much have the exact same experience as watching the whole thing.
This movie was so bad I’m surprised the Maltese didn’t declare war on us. It gives Europeans yet another reason to hate Americans. Important message to Malta and the rest of the European community: Not all of us are like Joe Don Baker and Greydon Clark! Most of us are fairly stable human beings who don’t fart in public! I give this movie a big, moldy yak turd, but it definitely has its unintentionally hilarious moments, so give it a try if you can handle it.