Ricochet (1991)


A brash young police officer named Nicholas Styles (Denzel Washington), drifting apart from his childhood friend Odessa (Ice-T), rises up in the ranks of the force after taking down hitman Earl Talbot Blake (John Lithgow). Years later, Styles has become District Attorney, married with children, and Odessa is a criminal drug lord. Blake, stewing in prison with a huge chip on his shoulder, makes a plan for revenge. After a violent jail break, Blake enacts plan for vengeance that includes destroying Style’s career through a smear campaign. Will Styles lose it all or will Blake’s plan RICOCHET?

0 YfgDJ3VAHo7aVcFDRicochet is a stylish action thriller directed by Russell Mulcahy, who cut his teeth directing music videos and the first two Highlander flicks, as well as the cult Aussie horror flick Razorback. There are a lot of slick jump cuts throughout Ricochet, as to be expected from a music video director, and many of the scenes have that 90’s smokey haze to them that pretty much plaque every film produced by Joel Silver during that decade.

As far as the film itself, Ricochet is a great slice of hyper-violent early 90’s cheese. John Lithgow does the John Lithgow thing as a mega-maniacal villain out for revenge. His character is someone you love to hate, and the story kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see how Styles would overcome his adversary. Some of the more disturbing elements of Blake’s plan consist of him kidnapping Styles and injecting him with an 8-ball, then videotaping a stripper having sex with him in his drugged out state in order to discredit him.

Ricochet-film-images-42948d0d-0c3b-41d6-9262-d1510ec11deWatching Styles try to piece his life back after his set-up is a lot of fun, but the story goes off the rails as Styles keeps falling like a dupe for Blake’s gambits, and then it goes completely over the top as Styles is forced to call in a favor to Odessa to help him get his revenge on Blake. The violent, over the top, and formulaic in all the right plot of Ricochet shouldn’t be too much of a surprise given it’s writers, which include: Fred Dekker (Night of the Creeps, The Monster Squad), Stephen E de Souza (Die Hard 1 & 2, The Running Man, Commando), and oddly Menno Meyjes (The Color Purple).

Ricochet-1991-Movie-DetailsDenzel Washington is in one of his earlier roles here. He doesn’t quite have the presence he’d develop and showcase later in his career (most notably Training Day), but you can see the seeds of that performance in his character of Styles. The role calls for a lot of emotion from him, and some of his characters ordeal makes him look more than a little silly (like assaulting a clown at a children’s party while wearing a pink bathrobe), but somehow he manages to pull it off, even when the story calls for him to be a rube. The pay off as he turns the tables on Blake is well worth watching (I hope that isn’t a spoiler, because what else would you expect to happen?!). He also slightly resembles Steve Harvey with that ridiculous mustache.

iceAnd Ice-T is Ice-T. Odessa is the perfect role for him as the loyal smack-talking criminal. This was also at the height of the Cop Killer controversy, and partly why my mom wouldn’t let me rent this movie as a kid. Being a grown up is awesome. Ice-T not only stars in the film, but does the obligatory 90’s rap theme to play over the films end credits. Ricochet is more 90’s than a Raiders jersey and I really liked it a lot for that very reason.








  1. John Lithgow gets the man a free 8 ball and a hooker but suddenly he’s a villain. I actually have not heard of this one but I’m always up for something dark made in the 90s.

  2. It is playing on the Cinemax channels.

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