“Bring him in from the cold? That’s real spy talk. I love it when you do that.”
— J. Tyler Ward (Christian Letelier) in The Day Of The Warrior (1996)
Here’s two good things about the 1996 Andy Sidaris film, The Day of the Warrior:
First, a good deal of the film takes place in Dallas. As I’ve said before, I’m always happy to see my hometown in a movie, regardless of whether the movie is good or terrible. The Day of the Warrior not only reveals that a division of the Legion To Ensure Total Harmony And Law (a.k.a. L.E.T.H.A.L.) operates out of Dallas but also that it’s apparently headquartered on the top floor of the Bank America Plaza. Willow Black (Julie Strain, who had previously played a villain in three separate Sidaris films) is the new head of the Dallas branch. Apparently, her job largely consists of working out on the treadmill in her office.
The other good thing about The Day of the Warrior is that one L.E.T.H.A.L’s top agents is named Doc Austin (Kevin Light). Unlike the Abilene cousins that appeared in Sidaris’s previous films, Doc appears to actually be good at his job. For one thing, he can actually shoot a gun and his dialogue isn’t exclusively made up of painful double entendres. But my reason for liking Doc Austin is because he shares his first name with my cat and his last name with one of my favorite cities.
Anyway, the film itself is pretty stupid but you probably already guessed that as soon as I mentioned that it’s an Andy Sidaris film. The latest international super villain is a guy named the Warrior (Marcus Bagwell). The Warrior used to be an agent with the CIA but, when the Cold War ended, he discovered that he was out of a job. Because The Warrior’s mother was half-Native American, he decided to start wearing war paint and launched a career as a professional wrestler. However, The Warrior’s wrestling career was really just a cover so that he could safely travel the world and set up his own black market operation. He deals drugs. He sells weapons. He dabbles in human trafficking. “The SOB is even into pirating porno flicks,” Willow says. The Warrior takes the whole professional wrestling thing pretty seriously. At one point, he gives orders to his henchmen while standing in the middle of a wrestling ring.
(It’s also established that The Warrior lives in “north Dallas.” You probably actually have to be from Dallas to get the joke but, as far as Sidaris humor goes, it’s a good one.)
LETHAL has several agents working undercover in The Warrior’s organization. Apparently, they’re so deep undercover that not even Willow Black knows how to get in contact with them. (To be honest, that would seem to be kind of counterproductive but I’m not an international super spy so what do I know?) However, The Warrior has employed a computer hacker known as Hard Drive. (The Warrior calls him “Mr. Drive.”) When The Warrior manages to compromise LETHAL’s computer systems, Willow and her agents not only have to track down the people undercover but they also have to stop whatever it is that The Warrior is planning to do.
(The Warrior’s ultimate scheme was never easy to figure out. He seemed to spend most of his time flexing his muscles.)
As for the undercover agents, Doc Austin is investigating drug dealers in South Texas. Scorpion (Tammy Parks) and Shark (Darren Wise) are trying to infiltrate The Warrior’s Vegas-based porn operation. Fu (Gerald Okamura) is working as an Elvis impersonator. Cobra (Julie K. Smith) is working as an exotic dancer in Beverly Hills because of … reasons, I guess? Another agent, Tiger (Shae Marks) teams up with a pilot named J. Tyler Ward (Christian Letelier) because it’s not a Sidaris film without someone flying a plane over the bayous. To be honest, it seems like most of these people are just hanging out. I wouldn’t necessarily trust any of them with any national security secrets.
Anyway, this is pretty much a typical Sidaris film: stuff blows up, everyone gets naked, and there’s a lot of bad jokes. Even by the standards of a Sidaris film, the acting is incredibly bad. Remember those scenes in Boogie Nights where Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly played Brock Landers and Chest Rockwell? That’s about the level of talent that we’re talking about here. To illustrate, here’s a typical scene from Day of the Warrior:
In short, it’s no Hard Ticket to Hawaii but at least Dallas looks good.