Film / Extreme Prejudice

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Walter Hill's 1987 homage to Sam Peckinpah movies in general (and The Wild Bunch in particular).

Texas Ranger Jack Benteen (Nick Nolte) is struggling to stem the tide of illegal drugs in his Texas bordertown. Making his job even more difficult, his former childhood friend Cash Bailey (Powers Boothe) is now a major drug kingpin, his girlfriend Sarita (Maria Conchita Alonso) still has feelings for Bailey, and a team of black ops commandos (Michael Ironside, Clancy Brown, William Forsythe, to name but a few) keep getting underfoot.


This film provides examples of:

  • Boom, Headshot: Cash executing an underling who was skimming from the till.
  • Border Crossing: Jack and the commandos, after Cash does likewise with Sarita in tow.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Subverted with a few scenes of characters (mostly Jack) reloading.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Subverted — both protagonists wear white hats, perhaps as a sign they're Not So Different. Furthermore the ranger wears a black uniform, while the drug kingpin wears a white suit.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rip Torn as Sheriff Hank Pearson.
    Hank: You ain't just gonna walk in there, are ya'?
    Jack: Oh, hell, I've known Chub since the third grade. You were just telling me what a nice kid he used to be. I'm just gonna go in there and have a beer with him.
    Hank: Shit, sounds reasonable. Just sit down, talk to him about how you shot his brother night before last.
  • Death Faked for You: The commandos are all officially listed as "killed in action", "missing in action" or killed in accidents with their bodies unrecognizable.
  • Duels Decide Everything: Jack and Cash stage a pistol duel to see who gets to go home with Sarita. Basically a Murder the Hypotenuse With Extreme Prejudice.
  • For Want of a Nail: The bank robbery fails because the man who was supposed to kill the drug money courier took a short cut and got bogged down in sand.
  • Made of Explodium: A tanker truck and barn get blown up real good, as distractions for...a bank robbery.
  • Meet the New Boss: Invoked when The Dragon is told, "You get to wear the white suit." We then see him stripping the hat off Cash's corpse and trying it on, snarling at his mooks when they get too close.
  • Mohs Scale of Violence Hardness: It rates a 7, due to some splattering from the film's numerous blood squibs.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Hackett delivers one after getting caught double-crossing the team:
    Iíve served our country for twenty years. Done every dirty job ever asked of me. Iíve been places and done things I just donít think people should have to do. There are no heroes, Larry. You and me, weíre just numbers on a bureaucratís desk...You stupid asshole, when are you going to wake up and take a look around you? They donít care. Another couple of missions and youíll be just like me!
  • Title Drop: Doubles as a Deadly Euphemism.
  • You're Insane!: Sarita's response to her paramours fighting a duel over her.
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