Dead Bang (1989)

Don Johnson, Penelope Ann Miller, William Forsythe, Bob Balaban,
A cop is gunned down on Xmas eve. Jerry Beck, the homicide cop given the job of hunting the killer, investigates some leads which bring him into contact with a group of white supremacy extremists. In addition to the racists, Beck...
  • 6.2 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Robert Foster, Jerry Beck, Writer:
  • John Frankenheimer, Director:
  • Stephen J. Roth, Producer:
7/10 / 10

Another one of those TV stars who moved into movies this sadly has beenput alongside with Caruso's JADE but on closer inspection all moviesare not that bad..... Dead Bang is a fairly run of the mill cop againstbad guys type thing but what takes it out of the run of the mill is thedirection from Frankenheimer & the star turn from Johnson. Johnsongives a great performance as the stressed cop,we can see thefrustration in Beck's life either doing his job or trying to see hiskids,his acting is done very well & not over the top..in particular thexmas morning bust Beck makes..the start of the scene we see thealcoholic sweats to later on being sick all over the suspect. Thesupporting cast however do not raise their game to give the supportJohnson needs with William Forsythe in particular giving a completelywooden performance which is surprizing as he has been so much better.

The action scenes are handled very well indeed...The gunfights(arethey're are a few) are not to Hollywood for my liking.

On the whole a very enjoyable movie & it shows that Don Johnson shouldhave been a movie star.

/ 10

I shied away from this film initially, due to its low IMDB rating at thetime, but I was very pleasantly surprised. It's based on actual events,yetthe story has all the right elements of a great action film. Don Johnson'sLA cop is up against tremendous odds, a renegade, a drunk, lonely, and yetan entirely likeable character. Whether you like Johnson (the actor), orFrankenheimer (the director), or action films (the genre) in general, givethis film a chance. It's almost perfect. Completely underrated by thescoring on this site.

7.5 out of 10

7/10 / 10

14. DEAD BANG (action, 1989) Det. Beck (Don Johnson) is an LA cop whoselife is falling to pieces. His wife has just left and his hitting thebottle again. Assigned to a cop killing that seems routine, Beck seeshis chance at redemption by immersing himself in the case. The murderhas ties to a ruthless and tightly controlled Neo-Nazi sect. He startsa cross-country chase that inevitably leads him to rural America. Withthe help of an FBI agent, Beck is intent on exposing a network ofruthless criminals.

Critique: "An exercise in futility", that's how one critic summed upDon Johnson's acting. With a squeaky voice, boyish looks, and sparseacting (plus an endless array of 'cool' wardrobes), he became somethingof a cult favorite playing Det. Stubbs in the hit TV-show Miami Vice(1984-89). Since the end of that show, his movie career has been atotal loss. . .well, almost.

At least he can look back proudly on his work in John Frankenheimer's'Dead Bang': A slick, old style, slam-bang action film. Taking hisStubbs character to new heights (or lows for that matter) he plays theconsummate 'burn-out cop'. He has been given a solid script to workfrom, professional direction by old-hand Frankenheimer, and a goodsupporting cast including John Forsythe as his FBI partner.

Supposedly based on the real life experiences of LA Det. Jerry Beck,this is Johnson's only film where he proved to be more than "anexercise in futility".

QUOTE: "I got a splitting' headache, I'm seeing double and. . .s#!t! Ithink I'm gonna throw up again."

/ 10

John Frankenheimer really outdid himself when he directed this film. What anaccomplishment from the director of Birdman Of Alcatraz, The ManchurianCandidate, Seven Days In May, The Train and Black Sunday. Imagine a sceneshowing the films hero throwing up all over someone! What innovativefilmaking. Seriously this is a typical cop thriller. Without the foul wordsit could have been an episode of Miami Vice. Don Johnson plays an alcoholic,down on his luck, loose cannon on the deck cop chasing white supremiststhrough the Southwest. Johnson is an intense hero even if he isn't likeablein some ways. Theres a wonderful scene where he throws a fit after talkingto his ex-wife. Theres a good foot chase involving several car accidents aswell. My favorite part though is the one where he threatens the policeshrink he compares to Woody Allen. I can understand why they never made DeadBang 2 but this film is still worth your time if you like copthrillers.

7/10 / 10

I saw this in the theater and the only thing I remembered about it wasDon Johnson puking on a guy. So with all the talk of Frankenheimer onthe other board, I decided to revisit it and was more than happy I did.Don Johnson stars as Jerry Beck (apparently based on a real LAPD cop)who begins to investigate the murder of a fellow officer. Theinvestigation ends up taking him all over the US on the trail of whitesupremacists. The film is pretty gritty and realistic but suffers froma terrible Hollywood "We blinded you with convenience" ending. Thataside, there is much to like here from Johnson's anti-Crockett cop togreat supporting turns by William Forsythe and Bob Balaban to the wittyscript. And, of course, the aforementioned puke scene. Not as good (oras sleazy) as my 52 PICK UP, my favorite 80s Frankenheimer vehicle, butstill worth checking out.