Judgment Night (1993) starring Emilio Estevez, Cuba Gooding Jr., Denis Leary, Stephen Dorff, Jeremy Piven, Peter Greene, Erik Schrody directed by Stephen Hopkins Movie Review

Judgment Night (1993)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Stephen Dorff, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Emilio Estevez in Judgment Night (1993)

Passing Judgement

Here in the UK "Judgement Night" never made it to the big screen instead ending up going straight to video and that sort of sums up the movie quite well. What I mean is that you wouldn't go out of your way to watch it, you most certainly wouldn't want to spend a lot of money to own but if it was being shown on TV you might enjoy it. And the reason is that "Judgement Night" is a middle of the road action thriller which does nothing new or amazing and winds its way to an inevitable end. About the only real thing going for it and most likely the thing which will attract you to watch is that it stars Emilio Estevez, Cuba Gooding Jr, Stephen Dorff, Jeremy Piven and Denis Leary.

Frank (Emilio Estevez - Champions) along with his little brother John (Stephen Dorff) and old friends Mike (Cuba Gooding Jr. - A Few Good Men) and Ray (Jeremy Piven) are having a night out heading to watch a big boxing match at ringside, except when they get caught in traffic it forces them off the main road and into gang land and lost. But that is the least of their problems because they witness a murder and the killer and his heavies don't want any witnesses forcing the four friends to run for their lives.

Denis Leary as Fallon in Judgment Night (1993)

So as storylines go "Judgement Night" is routine, well routine when we get to about 30 minutes and the main storyline finally starts. What goes on before this whilst setting up the characters most notably that of former bad boy Frank becoming a family man and his little brother John acting tough seems to drag on. There is an entire scene about road rage between the guys and a truck driver who wont get out of their way and this intro which sees them drive into gang land territory has this uneasy light hearted tone which makes you think that maybe "Judgement Night" is going to be a comedy adventure.

But we do get to the main storyline and to sum it up we have the four friends on the run in an area of town they don't know from a bad guy called Fallon and his heavies because they witness him kill a guy. This may start with one of the movies more memorable scenes a huge explosion but what follows is routine, they run, they nearly get caught, people die and others run some more. All of which is quite predictable and without throwing too much detail out you inevitably leads to Frank having previously turned his back on his violent past forced to fight as it becomes a one on one confrontation. It wouldn't be so bad if there were some pleasant twists to liven up this predictable action thriller but there are none and sadly there is not enough action either with long moments of nothingness in between the excitement.

The true saving grace of "Judgement Night" ends up the cast, not because any of them do anything that remarkable but at least they entertain. Emilio Estevez who wasn't the first choice for the role of Frank does a reasonable job of playing the family man who would rather run than fight and in contrast Stephen Dorff does a decent job as his younger brother John who tries to act tough like Frank use to. But whilst there is also Jeremy Piven and Cuba Gooding Jr. it is Denis Leary as the relentless and cold Fallon who really entertains especially when it comes to the confrontation he has with Ray played by Piven on the roof top.

What this all boils down to is that there is nothing technically wrong with "Judgement Night" but then there is nothing really good about it either. It is basically a middle of the road action thriller with a good cast a couple of decent moments of action in the midst of a lot of average ness.