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Film / Out for Justice

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A 1991 action film directed by John Flynn, starring Steven Seagal, William Forsythe, and Jerry Orbach.

Gino Felino (Seagal) is a police officer in crime-ridden Brooklyn. He has an agreement with the local mob that neither will hurt the other. One day, however; psychopathic, drug-addicted mob boss and Gino's childhood enemy Richie Madano (Forsythe) murders Gino's partner and best friend, Bobby Lupo, in broad daylight in front of his wife and two kids. Gino embarks on a vengeful rampage to find Richie and kill him, beating up half the mobster population of the district in the process.


This film provides examples of:

  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Gino dealing with his family in a pair of scenes and remembering his youth in another couple of scenes. The sub-plot with his adopted dog could also count as one.
  • Ax-Crazy: Richie. His first act in the film is to kill a cop. His second act is to kill a woman complaining about his car blocking up the street. Even his own family turns out to be afraid of him, with his father coming to Gino acknowledging that he's become a monster and his sister telling Gino that now that Gino forced her to talk about why he shot Bobby, she fears he's gonna come kill her.
  • Bar Brawl: columnist Robert Brockway sums it up well, writing about a clip of the famous scene: "Seagal casually, almost absent-mindedly beats the shit out of most of New Jersey in this video, using a billiard ball wrapped in a bar towel."
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  • Black-and-Gray Morality: While Gino is portrayed as a good cop that stays as close to the law as possible, he also has ties to the Mafia (and knows the local mafia boss, with whom he stays amicable to a degree, clashing only when said boss tries to order him around too much) and constantly abuses, both verbally and physically, anybody who refuses to help him, even when said people have very good reasons not to help him. Bobby Lupo, his best friend, ends up being a Dirty Cop who cheated on his wife. However, Richie kills a cop in broad daylight and is coked-up maniac who abuses his girlfriend just for the hell of it, terrorizes his own family, and shoots people at the slightest provocation, so compared to him, Gino, Bobby, and even the Mafia come off as saints.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Big time, the Brooklyn Italian mob accents in this one have black influence, to the point of comical inaccuracy. It's spiked-up during fights and verbal confrontations.
  • Bury Your Disabled: Poor Chas the Chair.
  • Chewing the Scenery: William Forsythe. Makes sense since Richie's high on drugs the whole film.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Picolino.
  • Childhood Friends: Gino, Bobby, and probably Richie. It is never clear if the two were friends with Richie or if they just happened to know him.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Gino and Ritchie both toss f-bombs like there is no tomorrow. (Which, for Ritchie, there isn't.)
  • Conspicuously Public Assassination: Richie's first villainous act in the film is walk right up to policeman Bobby Lupo in the middle of the day in a crowded street and empty his revolver into him. Notably, even when the cops know who did this, Captain Donzinger mentions that several of the street vendors said that they "saw nothing".
  • The Determinator: Gino. No matter what Richie throws his way or how many people refuse to help him, NOTHING will stop him.
  • Da Chief: Captain Ronnie Donziger, Gino's direct superior. He's played by Jerry Orbach, so it should surprise no one.
  • Dead All Along: Richie's first girlfriend, Roxanne.
  • Dirty Cop: Bobby Lupo. He had an affair with Richie's wife.
  • Go Out With A Bang: Richie. He's fully aware he won't last a day after killing Bobby, so he uses his available time to settle all scores and throw a huge party with his posse.
  • Enemy Mine: Both Gino and The Mafia end up going against Richie.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Richie's parents plead with Gino not to kill their son, even as they are sickened by what he has done. He agrees only if Richie turns himself in which of course he doesn't because then there would be no story. His brother, who is a Jerkass and criminal, counts as well.
  • For the Evulz: Richie's basic motivation for half of the stuff he does after killing Bobby.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: It is heavily implied that it was Bobby's wife who sent a picture to Richie which got him killed. She meant well, but one has to wonder what was she expecting to happen. She also hides the picture Richie threw at Bobby's corpse which revealed his affair which is a key piece of evidence, making Gino and the cops lose very valuable time because of that.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: It is the same corckscrew that Richie attacks Gino with that Gino uses to kill him.
  • It's Personal: Richie kills Bobby because he was sleeping with his girlfriend. For Gino too, since Bobby was his best friend.
  • Knight Templar: Gino. In his quest to kill Richie, he treats people not a great deal more gently than Richie himself does.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A subplot involves Gino adopting a dog that some brute throws out of a window. At the end, Gino finds the brute again, kicks him in the balls, and then the dog comes and urinates on his face.
    Please, God, let me run into this guy some time.
  • The Mafia: Gino has a very (currently strained) friendship with the local gang since he was a kid while Richie is one of their soldiers.
  • Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters: The Mafia is portrayed as wanting absolutely nothing to do with Richie after he goes off the deep end and want him stopped at all costs since they know his actions will bring unwanted attention to them. They're right. They even ask Gino twice to stop his Roaring Rampage of Revenge so thay can deal with Richie themeselves. The first time, he casually turns them down, the second time he makes it clear he's having none of it, and perhaps due to knowing that Gino is not someone you mess with, they simply stop trying and steer clear out of his way.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: It's a Steven Seagal film. What did you expect?
  • Not So Different: Gino and Richie. Both are ultraviolent people with ties to the mob, do very questionable things, and will stop at nothing to get what they want. However, Gino only kills as a last resort, while "kill everything" seems to be Richie's modus operandi. Also, Gino is a cop and, outside of wanting to kill Richie, truly wants to do his job and keep order in the neighborhood.
  • Police Brutality: Gino has no problem beating up an entire bar and then threatening to come back as many times as it takes for someone to finally recall if they saw Richie.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gino, of all people, gets one from his wife near the start of the film, when his wife calls him out for putting his job and neighborhood above his family, destroying his family life in the process. Surprisingly, by the film's midpoint we see he actually took it to heart and promises to change.
    • Gino gives one to the The Mafia boss when he tries to order him around.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Gino but also Richie, who is out to settle scores, albeit with a much heftier dose of Disproportionate Retribution which brings Gino, the police and The Mafia all after him.
  • Stupid Evil: The methods that Richie went to conduct his Roaring Rampage of Revenge has caused not just the cops but even the mafia to want to go after him. Not helped by a combination of alcohol and drugs which hampered any shred of logical thinking to conduct his revenge.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Richie, through the whole film, fueled by constant consumption of alcohol and drugs. The entire plot is basically about his villainous breakdown and the efforts of Gino, the police and even the Mafia to bring him down due to the murderous rampage his breakdown sends him on, and he spends most of the film knowing he is a dead man with nothing to lose after killing a cop in broad daylight.


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