Ass WW SubstituteFor today’s Ass Whoopin Wednesday film, I wanted to choose a film from an actor we hadn’t covered for the piece before and while I was strolling through Netflix I found one. In 1995, the film Dangerous Minds starring Michelle Pfeiffer as an ex-Marine that is brought into teach a class was released. She uses unconventional methods to teach her class and gain the trust of her students, but this is not the film I chose. In 1996, the film The Substitute starring Tom Berenger (Sniper) as a mercenary was released. Berenger plays Jonathan Shale, a mercenary who is forced to go home to Miami after a mission to Cuba is botched. There he will reunite with his fiance Jane (Diane Venora) as Shale and his crew ponder what their next move is. One day while she was jogging, Jane is attacked by someone hired by one of her troubled students named Juan (Marc Anthony). Shale decides that he is going to go undercover to investigate why the attacked happened, but discovers something alarming that is going down in the school. So, he and his team go on a mission to save the school and all the kids in it. The film also stars Raymond Cruz (Training Day) as Joey Six, William Forsythe (The Devil’s Rejects) as Hollan, Luis Guzmán (Carlitos Way) as Rem, Richard Brooks (The Crow: City Of Angels) as Wellman, Glenn Plummer (Speed) as Mr. Sherman, Sharron Corley (New Jersey Drive) as Jerome, Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters) as Principal Rolle, and the film was directed by Robert Mandel (School Ties). Now before we get into the review of the film, let’s check out some stats:

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berengerThis was the role that made me think of Tom Berenger as a bad ass, but Sniper should have spoke for itself anyways. This was definitely a more bad ass film than what Dangerous Minds was as Shale dishes out his own brand of discipline to a bunch of punk kids. In the film, he has 18 knockout/kills, but he doesn’t really have an origin story that we know other than the fact that he was in the military. He does have a love interest and she is hurt which prompts him to go on this mission undercover. During the film, it insinuates that he does have a sexual conquest with his fiance Jane which is why I marked it off as a yes. The big boss is definitely defeated in the film which makes it a mission accomplished for the team of mercenaries. The last 15 minutes of the film is what is great in my opinion as Shale and his team go on an all out war against the K.O.D. (the gang in the film) and the drug dealers. The fight sequences through out the film are actually pretty decent, but I like what they do with Berenger’s character. The guy may be a mercenary and a bad ass, but he does get hurt along the way and he doesn’t always win every fight easily as you’ll see in the film itself. This film was the first time that I was introduced to Marc Anthony who I thought was just an actor at the time, but needless to say I was impressed by him. The film is awesome and to be honest I have enjoyed some of the sequels even though Tom Berenger is not in any of them. I am going to give the film four fists out of five for a final grade.


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