Future Force (1989)
Força de Intervenção do Futuro

Nomination Year: 2010
SYNOPSIS:  Smithee movies are never known for their intelligence, but even by Smithee standards this movie makes no sense. In the grim future of the 1990s, crime is out of control, resulting in the abolition of government policing in favor of the private Civilian Operated Police Systems (C.O.P.S.). Judges use the C.O.P.S. wire to assign bounties, up to $7,500 for a murderer, to bring in suspects dead or alive. When found, suspects can come quietly or exercise their "right to die" -- i.e., engage in an old-West-style gunfight with the C.O.P. Post-arrest sentencing is never described, but it must be pretty bad, since suspects almost always exercise their right to die. This means that the main assets for a C.O.P are a quick draw, pinpoint accuracy, and the ability to look good in ripped denim. The best C.O.P. on the force is John Tucker (David "Auto-Erotic Asphyxiation" Carradine).

A local (according to the opening narration, C.O.P.S. is the nation's only police force, but all we ever see is a single precinct in a run-down section of LA that is Tucker's home base, the local jail, and the company's headquarters) TV station has uncovered evidence of corruption in the upper levels of the C.O.P.S. Fortunately, the villainous head of the C.O.P.S. has come up with a brilliant plan to stop this information from coming out -- kill the reporter who got the story? The cameraman who shot the tape? The producer who assigned the story? Just steal the tape and destroy it? Of course not! They're going to kill the anchorwoman to prevent her from introducing the story. How to do it? Well, since the C.O.P.S. control the bounty wires, how about a fake criminal bounty? Just to make it believable, instead of a run-of-the-mill murder or embezzlement rap, the villain decides to make it a treason charge, which won't possibly arouse any suspicion. And, to make sure that the C.O.P.S. properly prioritize their new assignment, he makes the bounty $100,000.

Of course, Tucker can't resist the richest bounty in C.O.P.S. history and heads off to the local TV station, and arrests her. Somewhat unusually, she declines her right to die, so Tucker cuffs her and loads in his car for the trip across LA back to the precinct/jail/headquarters. Movie over. Oh, wait.

Unfortunately, just to be sure, the villain also sent a couple corrupt C.O.P.S. on his private payroll over to the TV station to kill her, just to make sure. Naturally, Tucker takes exception to this and a gunfight ensues. Fortunately for the villain, this fails to arouse Tucker's suspicion -- he assumes the other C.O.P.S. were just trying to steal his bounty and proceeds to bring the anchorwoman in anyway. Movie over. Oh, wait.

In no more time than it takes to drive across downtown LA, the anchorwoman will be delivered to the jail, which just happens to be the villain's headquarters and is completely full of his minions and where, in addition to being utterly at his mercy, she will be in the grip of a corrupt judicial system that he controls. But that's not good enough. She has to die RIGHT NOW. So he puts out a fake $100,000 murder bounty on Tucker, thus ensuring that every C.O.P. in the city will now be after both Tucker and the anchorwoman. Since Tucker is trying to deliver her to C.O.P.S. headquarters, this results in a lot of gunfights and Tucker finally getting a clue. No, I'm kidding. It just results in a lot of gunfights.

Eventually, though, Tucker does decide that trying to deliver his prisoner to a building full of people who are all trying to kill him might not be the best plan ever devised. Fortunately, he has an alternative. He'll try to keep them both alive overnight and then deliver her into custody in the morning. Because, then... oh, look, a gunfight! Several more gunfights and assassination attempts later, however, the villain's evil plan to sabotage his own evil plan finally succeeds -- overnight, with no explanation, Tucker goes from wanting to bring in the anchorwoman and collect the bounty to believing her story and trying to take down the chief. Fortunately, he has a plan. Does it involve a lot of gunfights, a flying powerglove, and a fake $100,000 bounty on the villain? Of course it does.

Smithee Award Winner! "Alas, Poor Yorick"

One Step Beyond "Giving Him The Finger"
Villain's main henchman is beaten to death with a remote-controlled flying arm. No, seriously. Tucker has a remote-controlled flying arm in his truck, and uses it to beat a bald henchman to death.

Deus Ex Machina

An SPM; Surface-to-Plot Missile
Tucker and the anchorwoman are being chased by armed goons in a helicopter; there's no way they can possibly escape. Unless, of course, some rival mafioso show up with a SAM.
"What the hell happened?"
"I dunno, but I'm sure glad it did."

"Cutting Butter With A Chainsaw"

Death Sentence ... With An Exclamation Point
Ah, a perennial classic of the genre -- the villain is shot repeatedly by every C.O.P. in the city.

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
David Carradine Son of John Carradine, his expertise in martial arts nearly groomed him to be the next Bruce Lee. Nearly. Instead, he had a few TV shows and a LOT of Bad Movie parts. 
Robert Tessier  
Director Claim to Fame
David A. Prior Also writer of Future Force, Future Zone, and The P.A.C.K., among others 

Greg Pearson

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© 2011-2019 Bryan D. Cassidy, Greg Pearson, Matthew Quirk, and Kevin Hogan. All Rights Reserved.