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STALLONE & STONE IN THE SPECIALIST

year: 1994 cast: Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, James Woods, Eric Roberts, Rod Steiger
While painful and unrealistic to see scrawny James Woods beating up Sylvester Stallone, it's only during the set-up instigated by a guilt-ridden premise borrowed from SCARFACE catapulting a sort of Neo Noir sexually-driven camp vehicle that's so bad it's good, and can actually be intriguing.

A Headshot Performance
Revenge-driven Sharon Stone is caught between both Stallone and Woods, each a SPECIALIST on their own... one working for a crime family headed by Rod Steiger in an unusually awful performance (trying to sound like his WATERFRONT brother from THE GODFATHER) as temperamental Playboy son Eric Roberts sulks around smooth and cool, holding back what he could do... when given a decent role.

A pivotal shower sex sequence between Sly and Stone somehow borders on homoerotic, but the best chemistry is the utter hatred Woods has for the guy he supposedly trained. One can easily imagine, say, Richard Crenna or Burgess Meredith as a Stallone mentor but Woods, near the same age, doesn't seem the type...

Yet not surprisingly, the character-actor turned leading man does play an angry, irritated, cold-blooded jerk with quirky finesse, his perpetual rancor carrying the piece throughout, and despite one of the worst special effects scenes ever filmed... when a section of a building falls into the ocean while a phony blue backdrop shakes behind... you still might get caught up in the overall steamy sizzle: a low-key, posing Stallone trying for the exploitation that catapulted Stone in BASIC INSTINCT as Stone shows off not just her skin, but toned-up muscle.

NORMAL RATING: **1/2
CAMP VALUE: ***1/2
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