REVIEW: Excessive Force (1993) | ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Excessive Force (1993)

Run Time: 90 Mins
Rated: R
What To Expect: Terry Silver vs. The Mob, Darth Vader, Bishop from Aliens, Candyman and Uncle Paulie

In the early 1990’s New Line saw dollar signs in Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), a handsome film star, martial artist and even accomplished Irish tap dancer.  They took the screenplay for Excessive Force, a violent actioner, turned it into a movie and hoped that it might be the beginnings of Griffith’s charge into the 1990’s as one of the new leading action men.  They also recruited Lance Henriksen, James Earl Jones and Tony Todd.  Great cast, but even though Excessive Force wasn’t a success, it’s a more than watchable film!

Now, this is our kind of film.  It features cop Terry McCain (Griffith, henceforth Sensei Silver) who uses suspect methods to extract information from perps in his war against the mob (led here by Burt Young).  These include karate kicking men through windows (including electronic guitar music to make even manlier), then following those men into hospital and beating the shit out of them some more.  However, this leads to a you’re off the force, McCain! moment from head cop Lance Henriksen.  And after Sensei Silver’s partner (Tony Todd) is killed, Silver must declare a vigilante war on the mob, whilst also clearing his name of murder.

I had a shit-eating grin on my face watching most of this movie.  The first thing I noticed was the amount of swearing; virtually every sentence uses the word fuck, fucker or fucking.  In at least one, Sensei Silver uses all three!  Then there’s Sensei Silver’s karate skills, which are fucking awesome — Silver can really pop a high kick, and we see it over and over in this movie, with no shaking cameras or bad editing.  Flying kicks too. This doesn’t mean the violent hero doesn’t like to riddle pissants with bullets too though, with nasty blood squibs showing us the results.  I mean, this movie is so dyed-in-the-wool ’80’s’, that it often comes across as something from the McBain universe from The Simpsons, or even the McGarnagle universe.

The film has a great cast too.  James Earl Jones plays the mature confidant, Tony Todd plays Sensei Silver’s best bud and partner and again, Henriksen plays a significant character.  You don’t need to be told that these actors never phone shit in, they’re not just good at what they do, they’re damn near enthralling.  This includes Burt Young.  Anyone ever see him play a mobster in The Sopranos?  I’m telling you, he’s better at that than playing ‘Paulie’.

This film only had a limited run, with a budget of three million.  So it wasn’t a success.  Pity.  And while it it does look somewhat ‘budgeted’ a lot of the time, it’s a lot of fun.  I’m going to give it an eight, simply because it gave no fucks and had no inhibitions.  It’s damn near Commando territory.


  1. Avatar


    August 31, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Early ’90s films like this one completely destroy all the soft-assed, fake-looking CGI shit films of today. Also, it’s a shame we never got a JCVD vs. Sensei Silver film.

    • Avatar

      Eric Hutchison

      August 31, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      So true.

  2. Avatar

    Stig Johansen

    August 31, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Never seen it before. Or I might have seen it back when it came out and forgotten about it. I will absolutely be tracking this gem down though. My kind of movie for sure.

    • Avatar

      Mucho Macho

      August 31, 2018 at 8:43 pm

      Kickass movie.
      It’s on YouTube.

      • Avatar

        The Night Rider

        August 31, 2018 at 10:02 pm

        Pretty atrocious quality though, that version on YT.

        • Avatar

          Mucho Macho

          August 31, 2018 at 10:41 pm

          I did not even look at it that much so I didn’t know . It was just probably for those that were interested and couldn’t find it anywhere else. There are some oldies out there on YouTube that are watchable. There oughta be more.

  3. Avatar

    Mucho Macho

    August 31, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    This great manly Motion Picture did not play at a cinema near me so I did not happen to catch it on in theaters like I wanted to and like Sensei Silver deserved. It also did not feature a great marketing campaign behind it because very few people didn’t know about it.

    The movie actually reached its target audience (us) when it premiered on HBO and back in the day HBO used to be manlier and air these kinda movies all the time. But unfortunately Sensei Silver did not become the action star he should have become (He actually wrote the screenplay for the movie) & this movie sadly has been forgotten about or a lot of people do not know of it’s existence.

    Thank You Captain Night for the review.
    I’m a proud owner of this movie on DVD.

  4. Avatar

    Mucho Macho

    August 31, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    By the way another note worth mentioning is that despite this movie’s lack of success at the box-office but it finding an audience on cable & video, New Line Cinema actually produced a direct-to-video sequel in 1995. It’s a sequel in name only because it he has no relation to the previous film nor any of the actors of the previous film show up.

    Now for those of you who have love for 90s straight-to-video fare like yours truly, you might recognize the leading lady of this movie her name was Stacie Randall she also did movies like “Trancers 4 and 5” ( starring straight-to-video manly Legend Tim Thomerson) and one of the many “Puppet Masters” I believe. For a little while you could tell they were trying to make her the next Cynthia Rothrock or a similar star but it also
    did not pan out.

    Obviously the sequel It’s not as good as the first one and it has absolutely nothing to do with the first one but for lovers of straight-to-video 90s cheese it’s worth a look. Btw Stacie Randall was worth fapping to…. and knowing me I probably did many times



    • Avatar


      September 1, 2018 at 4:26 am

      We also have to acknowledge the fact that “EXCESSIVE FORCE II: FORCE ON FORCE” is an amazing fucking title.

      The sequel is very much worth tracking down for that alone.

      • Avatar

        Mucho Macho

        September 1, 2018 at 9:24 am

        Imagine the possibilities for names for further sequels. Damn it! such Missed opportunities

  5. Avatar

    Mucho Macho

    August 31, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    Lance Henriksen is a manly man and Legend
    Respect for all his done over the years




  6. Avatar


    September 1, 2018 at 1:18 am

    I should check it out and watch it sometime. I also can’t believe that Griffith was also in John Carpenter’s vampires with James Woods and Danny Baldwin. That was a great movie. Maybe I’ll like this film like I enjoyed stone cold with Brian Bosworth which also had Lance Henriksen. I can’t get enough of that film. Someone should cast James Woo, Thomas Ian Griffith, Brian Bosworth as well as Lance Henriksen, and William forsythe for Expendables 4.

    • Avatar


      September 1, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      James Woods should be in Expendables 4 too.

  7. Avatar

    The Night Rider

    September 1, 2018 at 12:49 pm

  8. Avatar


    September 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    I remember seeing the trailer to this not long ago. I need to pick this up, just cause

  9. Avatar

    Awesome Welles

    September 3, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    I always thought this flick was sorely underrated. Glad to see somebody else remembers it.

  10. Avatar


    September 4, 2018 at 3:43 am

    I just picked this up today!

  11. Avatar


    September 18, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Great movie, and I bought it on dvd from amazon to check it out and it was awesome.