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The Specialist


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Action/Thriller, Peru/USA, 1994, 110 min.

AKAs The Specialist

Tagline The government taught him to kill. Now he's using his skills to help a woman seek revenge against the Miami underworld.

Synopsis 1984. Ray Quick (Stallone) and Ned Trent (Woods) are explosives experts for the CIA, on an assignment to blow up a bridge while a certain vehicle is passing over it. Quick rigs everything on the bridge, after which Trent sets off the timer. As the target vehicle approaches, Quick sees a child inside, and pleads with Trent to stop the timer. Trent refuses. Quick runs back to the bridge and tries to disable the bomb there, but is too late. In the violent confrontation between Quick and Trent that follows, Quick vows that Trent's career in the CIA will be over because of this.Fast-forward to the "present day," which is 1994. Trent is indeed out of the CIA and now works as head of security for a mobster named Joe Leon, but still seeks revenge on Quick. Quick has also left the CIA and now works as a free-lance bomber-for-hire. He lives secretively in an abandoned waterfront warehouse he has converted into an armed bunker, and refuses to meet personally with his clients or even let them contact him. His only communication with clients is when he contacts them, usually by taking public transit to another part of the city and using a pay phone.On one such bus ride, Quick gets out of his seat and offers it to a pregnant woman, only to have a young hoodlum take the seat instead. Quick calmly beats the crap out of the hoodlum and all his friends, throwing one of them out a window (not open), and then re-offers the seat to the woman. This scene has no bearing on the plot, but helps us get to know Quick.Quick has been hired by a young woman named May Munro (Sharon Stone) to kill the three men who killed her parents years ago, who happen to be Joe Leon's son Tomas and two henchmen. Eventually we learn that May has been hired by Trent to lure Quick out into the open where Trent can get his revenge. As Trent describes the arrangement, "You get your three corpses, I get Quick."May not only wants her corpses but wants to watch Tomas Leon die, and therefore spends time at parties at the Leon compound. Tomas takes a liking to her and makes a pass, which May pretends to respond to favorably. But afterwards she is so disgusted at having been that close to him that, when she gets home, she throws the dress she was wearing while with him in the trash, and mopes around the house the rest of the evening in nothing but her panties. This also does not advance the plot in any way, but helps us get to know May.After Quick dispatches the two henchmen in separate incidents (the second involving a bomb with an LED screen that displays "Bye Bye" before it explodes), Joe Leon convinces his friend the chief of police that the police need Trent's explosives expertise to help solve the case. The chief arranges for Trent to work with the bomb squad. In order to impress and intimidate his new colleagues, Trent takes some parts lying on a table at the bomb squad headquarters, puts together a bomb, and activiates it, daring the cops to deactivate it before it explodes. When they are unable to, he does.When Quick takes out Tomas, May arranges to be in the same room, and introduces herself (her real identity) to him right before the explosion. She is not injured but fakes her own death by going to the hospital and dropping her wallet into the purse of a dying junkie. Stallone goes to the funeral of the woman identified as May Munro, and finds the living May there, who is lurking in the background expecting him to show. They leave, after which Trent arrives somewhat less unobtrusively, confronting the priest at gunpoint and demanding that the coffin be opened.Quick and May go to a hotel, where their interactions in the bedroom and the shower go beyond discussion of business. But May leaves in the morning while Quick is still asleep and is captured by Trent, who forces her to reveal Quick's location. But when Trent and his men arrive at the hotel room, Quick is gone, and explosives he has rigged detach that portion of the hotel (with some of Trent's men in it) from the building as a whole, falling into the water below.With Trent prepared to kill her if she doesn't cooperate, May arranges to meet with Quick at a waterfront restaurant, but is able to word things in such a way that Quick recognizes that it's a trap. Quick and May escape out the back in a boat, but in an impressive bit of detective work, Trent and the cops determine the location of Quick's residence, and arrive the next morning with what looks like the entire police force. But Quick has the whole place rigged, and after several huge displays of pyrotechnics, Quick and May escape yet again. This time Trent does not.Along the way May has learned that it was Joe Leon himself who ordered the hit on her parents. So in the end, we find Joe opening a small package, in which he finds a locket, which he opens to reveal a picture of May's parents. Boom. Watching from nearby, May gets into a car with Quick and they drive away.

Directed by Luis Llosa  

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, James Woods, Rod Steiger, Eric Roberts, more...

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