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BLIND FURY (1989) Dir. Phillip Noyce. Written by Charles Robert Carner. Starring: Rutger Hauer, Meg Foster, Terry O'Quinn, Brandon Call, Lisa Blount, Noble Willingham, Randall 'Tex' Cobb, and Nick Cassavetes.

He's lucky he can't see what he's up against. 

It's unfortunate that casting directors, agents and directors didn't know what to do with Rutger Hauer here in America. After Blade Runner, I think most us would have expected a different career path for the man who gave us Roy Batty and improvised the Tears in the Rain speech, but exactly what that is, is hard to determine. Time and time again he was cast as a leading man and being the actor he is, all of these roles are worth catching. From Ladyhawke and Wanted: Dead or Alive to the Blood of Heroes and Wedlock he was always interesting even if he seemed to be sleepwalking through most of them. In fact, aside from the villains, John Ryder in The Hitcher especially, the only time he ever really seemed to be turned on was in the few and far between roles where he got to show his comedic side. Blind Fury is the one perfect, glowing example of what I mean. Watching Hauer play a blind man, on a cross-country journey with a 12-year-old boy in search of his Vietnam Vet buddy and the boy's father is the most alive and fun I've ever seen Hauer and his eyes are covered with shades most of the time. Not an easy feat for any actor to convey both pathos and humor without his eyes! It leaves me wondering if perhaps he missed his calling as a Comedic Leading Man in the vein of Mel Gibson's lighter side in Bird on Wire, and What Women Want. I mean, dammit, the man could have been a real star if more comedies had been sent his way. Now that I think about it more than half of the fun of the Sci-Fi/Horror bomb, Split Second is Hauer's humorous portrayal of bad-ass cop Harley Stone. Not to mention his turn in Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Well, I guess that's enough about the man himself. Blind Fury is the definition of B-movie. Hauer is a Vietnam Vet turned American Zatoichi (loosely based on Ryozo Kasahara's story for Zatioichi Challengedand his chemistry with the kid, Brandon Call is endearing enough to help us overlook any shortcomings in the story department. The baddies are classic slimeballs one and all from Randall 'Tex' Cobb and his cigarillo and the bumbling team of Cassavettes and Overton to that granddaddy of Southern corruption Noble Winningham himself. Throw in some Terry O'Quinn and Meg Foster supporting turns, and a showdown with Revenge of the Ninja himself Sho Kosugi set above a bubbling hot tub no less and you have another forgotten popcorn classic that needs a reissue. And for Hauer's sake, send the man some comedy scripts! I bet he'd still knock'em outta the park! 

 

 

 

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