GOOD GUYS WEAR BLACK - Lincoln 2, Penn and K-B Studio 2.
As martial-arts movies go, "Good guys wear black" has a few redeeming qualities, not the least of which is that it's not one of those magic-kingdom extravaganzas with quasi-mystical overtones.
This one is firmly rooted in the present. The "John T. Booker" the ads keep shouting about - that's his leg kung fu-ing through the car windshield - is an improbably blond political science professor given to wearing skin-tight black turtlenecks and pants. It turns out the outfit is left over from his days as a Black Tiger (like a Green Beret, only meaner) back in the 'Nam where his top secret mission to rescue some American POW's was sabtoaged. Now, five years later, someone is trying to kill him. That's enough reason for almost two hours of nonstop violence.
Keeping in mind that with these things a little plot goes a long way, the little plot it does have works surprisingly well. It deserves an A for topicality, if nothing else. A constant strain of anti-Washington jokes runs through it, updated by talk of cover ups by High Government Officials. There are little media jokes (the big TV network is UBS). And in its own dopey way it has a comment to make about the Vietnam War, even if it's only along the lines of "wars of expediency do not pay."
There's even a touch of realism, when the beautiful government lawyer is about to go tripping off on a ski trip with Booker and realizes she forgot to turn her rental car in.
But then there are the scenes that give new meaning to the word "improbable" - like the one where the wildly careening limousine crashes through a guard rail and into what's supposed to be the Potomac River while scores of sailboats drift lazily by without a second glance.
But none of this really matters, because during most of these twists and turns of the plot, there wasn't a peep out of the audience. The only time they came to life was during a particularly bloody fight scene, when Booker finishes off four bad guys, turns to his sidekick and says "Enjoy the fight?" Everyone in the audience laughed their heads off.