4.5 Stars
Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 15 minutes
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Kent Stryker (Graham Elwood) is the kind of bad, television-style cop you’d find on shows like “Mannix” and “Cannon” and any number of retched programs featuring kill-happy pigs. The film has the gritty, mid-’70s “Quinn-Martin Production” vibe about it, as well. Except that filmmaker Graham Elwood knows that his hero is a douchebag.
In a scene recalling “Me Decade” boneheads like “Baretta” and “Toma”, Detective Stryker pulls one of his grandstanding stunts in a hostage situation — and shoots the hostage long before he eradicates the criminal in a ludicrously long, drawn-out slo-mo sequence that would’ve fit right in on any uniformly banal episode of “The Six Million Dollar Mannequin”.
You call feel the trouble brewin’ when Stryker is partnered with a young “hot shot” yahoo karate expert who wears a smiley face bandana and a star-spangled vest — with no shirt underneath. But, at his therapist’s urging, Stryker works out his angst onstage. With the stiffest delivery since Jack Webb gimped off into Buzzcut Heaven, Stryker gives a combination Joe Friday-style morality lecture and Shatneresque vocal stylings to the disco war horse “I Will Survive”.
Elwood has put together a snappy little flick that oozes irony, and yet retains the feel and character of the very thing it mocks. “Stryker” is smart, funny and thoroughly entertaining.

Posted on January 26, 2001 in Reviews by

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