Cinemax Friday: Supreme Sanction (1999, directed by John Terlesky)


Jordan McNamara (David Dukes) is a world-renowned news reporter who is investigating why some U.S. Army helicopters were mysteriously shot down.  The sinister Director (Ron Perlman) doesn’t want McNamara to uncover the answers.  So, he dispatches Dalton (Michael Madsen) to take care of the problem.

Dalton leads a group of assassins but everyone knows that his best sniper is Jenna (Kristy Swanson).  Jenna has killed a countless number of people for Dalton but, when it comes to McNamara, she can’t bring herself to pull the trigger.  It’s because Dalton foolishly orders Jenna to take the shot while McNamara is on a beach with his daughter.  Jenna is not willing to kill a man in front of his daughter.  When Jenna refuses to pull the trigger, she becomes a target herself and she’s forced to go on the run with McNamara and her only friend, a hacker named Marcus (Donald Faison).

Supreme Sanction doesn’t feature any nudity or, for that matter, any sex but the presence of Michael Madsen and Kristy Swanson in the cast makes this feel like a late night Cinemax film nonetheless.  The movie starts out slow and David Dukes (a good actor who is strangely bland here) really isn’t believable as world-renowned journalist but things pick up once Jenna and McNamara go on the run.  The first time you see Kristy Swanson behind a sniper rifle, your instinct might be too laugh but she gives a surprisingly natural performance and, by the end of the movie, she’s actually a credible action heroine.  Meanwhile, in the role of Marcus, Donald Faison gets all of the good lines.  He’s a hacker and, since this movie was made in 1999, that means that he’s the comic relief who can do just about anything.

Not surprisingly, the movie is stolen by Michael Madsen.  Madsen gives a standard Madsen performance here, delivering all of his lines in a threatening whisper and smirking whenever anyone tries to talk back to him but, even if he doesn’t do anything new, he’s still entertaining to watch.  Madsen is one of the few actors who can easily switch between appearing in B-movies and major productions and that’s because it’s hard to think of anyone who can play a smug, overconfident villain as well as he can.

Supreme Sanction is an unapologetic B-movie and it’s pretty damn entertaining.

One response to “Cinemax Friday: Supreme Sanction (1999, directed by John Terlesky)

  1. Pingback: Lisa’s Week In Review: 5/18/20 — 5/24/20 | Through the Shattered Lens

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