Most of the time, late night Cinemax was dominated by noirish films starring Shannon Tweed but, occasionally, the network did slip in a low-budget action flick. Killing Streets is a typical example of one of those films.
A Marine named Craig Brandt (Michael Pare) has disappeared in Beirut so his twin brother Chris (also played by Michael Pare) flies all the way over from Dayton, Ohio to search for him. Even though everyone says that Craig’s dead, Chris knows that it isn’t true because, as a twin, he and Craig have a psychic connection. It turns out, of course, that Chris is right. Craig is being held prisoner by terrorist leader Abdel (Alon Aboutboul). Chris is determined to rescue Craig, even though Charles (Lorenzo Lamas), an official at the American embassy, orders him to leave the country. Chris may just be a high school basketball coach but that doesn’t stop him from going all Jack Bauer on every terrorist that he meets. With the help of diplomat Sandra Ross (Jennifer Runyon) and Gilad (Gabi Amrani), the Middle East’s most helpful taxi driver, Chris sets out to rescue his brother.
When I started watching Killing Streets, I was excited because, according to the opening credits, it starred Lorenzo Lamas and it was produced by Menahem Golan. Unfortunately, for the most of the movie, Lamas doesn’t get to do much other than bark out orders in one of the least convincing Southern accents that I’ve ever heard. Instead, the first part of the movie is all about Michael Pare. Michael Pare usually isn’t capable of showing enough emotion to be convincing as one character. Now, imagine him playing two characters. While one Michael Pare is walking around Beirut and searching for clues, the other Michael Pare is sitting in a cell and getting beaten and, since they both always have the same blank expression on their face, the only way you can tell which Michael Pare is which is by paying attention to who has more blood on them. The whole time, you just want Lorenzo Lamas to show up and start showing off his Renegade skills but instead, he’s stuck telling one of the Michael Pares that he better get on the next plane back home.
Luckily, towards the end of the movie, the two Michael Pares team up with Lorenzo Lamas and they spend about ten minutes shooting guns and blowing stuff up and doing all of the other things that we want to see happen in a film like this. It just takes a while to get there and while Menahem Golan may have produced this film, he didn’t direct it so, even though the ending is exciting, most people will probably lose interest before they get there. As far as action films about rescuing hostages in the Middle East are concerned, this is no Delta Force.