Street Knight

(Albert Magnoli, USA, 1993)


Although director Albert Magnoli made one of the most dazzling debuts of the ‘80s with the Prince musical Purple Rain (1984), fans waited in vain for his subsequent career to take off.

Street Knight was only his second film subsequent to that big splash, and already it was a fairly routine action assignment.

Jeff Speakman plays a disillusioned ex-cop reluctantly drawn into a street war between Los Angeles gangs the Latin Lords and the Blades.

Magnoli gives the material a great deal of colour, movement and vibrant sound but, despite some graphic violence, it is closer to the fantasy wish fulfilment of West Side Story (1961) than the messy realism of Dennis Hopper's Colors (1988).

It does have an interesting bunch of villains, however – a crack team of sadistic, homoerotic, hi-tech ex-cops out to destroy the city for all the grief it has given them.

MORE Magnoli: Tango & Cash

© Adrian Martin September 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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