Revolver (1992, directed by Gary Nelson)


In Revolver, Robert Urich plays an FBI agent who, for some reason, is not named Johnny Revolver.  Instead, his name is Nick Suster.  When a drug bust goes wrong and Nick accidentally shoots an innocent bystander in the head, he retires from the FBI and announces that his days of carrying a gun are over.  But then he’s approached by his former boss and asked to take one last special assignment.

Nick goes undercover, offering his services as a bodyguard to the head of Spanish Mafia, Aldo Testi (David Ryall).  Testi agrees to hire Nick and, to celebrate their new arrangement, they go to a strip club where the dancers dress like cowgirls and all the patrons are given small cap guns that they can fire at the stage.  (How could that possibly go wrong?)  Of course, one man has a real gun and uses it to shoot Nick.  The gunman tells Aldo that he’ll be next and then runs off.  Then Aldo runs off, leaving Nick to possibly die.  Eventually, someone calls 9-1-1 and Nick goes to the hospital.

Nick survives being shot but now he’s in a wheelchair.  After spending a month or two feeling bitter, Nick plays one game of wheelchair basketball and decides that it’s time to get on with his life.  Defying the orders of his superiors, Nick flies to Barcelona and tries to learn why he was shot and who was responsible.  After recruiting a broke college student (Jordi Molla) to serve as his legman, Nick sets out to get revenge.

It’s not a bad premise and the film benefits from being filmed on location in Barcelona, which is one of Spain’s more photogenic cities.  Unfortunately, Revolver is a good idea searching for and failing to find a compelling story.  It doesn’t take long for Nick to become not only comfortable with his wheelchair but also combat proficient with it as well.  It also defies credibility that Testi would not be suspicious of Nick still wanting to work for him even after Testi previously left him for dead.  Even when it’s revealed that Testi is dealing in something far more powerful and dangerous than just drugs, the revelation doesn’t carry any weight.  The low budget of this made for television production is obvious when one major cliffhanger is resolved off-screen and dismissed with just two lines of dialogue.

At the time of his death in 2002, Robert Urich held the record for having starred in the most primetime network television shows.  He starred in 15 shows.  Since Revolver was obviously meant to be a pilot, he could have starred in 16 if it had been better received.  In the role of Nick, Urich gives a typically workmanlike performance.  He’s credible but a little boring.  The movie does not help him by having him adopt the phrase “Wherever you go, there you are,” as a philosophy.  Urich gives a sincere reading of the line but it’s impossible to hear it without thinking of Gary Cole in The Brady Bunch Movie.

Revolver would not lead to a series.  Robert Urich would have to wait another four years before he starred in his 13th series, UPN’s Lazarus Man.

One response to “Revolver (1992, directed by Gary Nelson)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 9/26/22 — 10/2/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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