Action Jackson (1988)

action jackson poster 1988 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 3/10


Horrible cliche script, horrible acting, bad effects

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Action Jackson

Studio:  Silver Pictures

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  February 12, 1988

MPAA Rating:  R


Yeah, Action Jackson, well I’d look good with my shirt off too…so you’re not all that!

Sergeant Jericho “Action” Jackson (Carl Weathers) is a Detroit cop on the rocks.  He’s lost his wife, been demoted from lieutenant and is harassed by his captain Earl Armbruster (Bill Duke).  When murders begin occurring, Jackson learns from an informant (Robert Davi) that car manufacturer Peter Anthony Dellaplane (Craig T. Nelson) is plotting something big.  When Dellaplane’s wife Patrice (Sharon Stone) is murdered by Dellaplane, Action is framed with the murder.  Now, Action must team with Dellaplane’s mistress Sydney Ash (Vanity) and stop Dellaplane before he makes his move.

Directed by Craig R. Baxley, Action Jackson was a rather low-budget police action film.  The movie was generally panned by critics but was a box office success.  Singer/actress Vanity was nominated for a Razzie for Worst Actress for her performance.


Drugs are good!!!

I can remember wanting to see Action Jackson when it was released.  Carl Weathers was hot off of Predator and Rocky and its sequels, and ’80s big cop action movies were huge.  I didn’t see it…and ’80s actions films don’t age well.  I have a feeling however that for Action Jackson it didn’t matter.

I will start by saying that Action Jackson is bad, but it does go into “so-bad-it-is-good”.  The script is just loaded with action movie clichés from films like Dirty Harry and Lethal Weapon.  The little man (Action) takes on the exotic corporate exec (Dellaplane)…and wins.  There is added irony in that the story is set in Detroit and Dellaplane would have probably lost a good chunk of his fortune if Action hadn’t taken him out.


Vanity…you’re a singer. How can you make singing look hard?

The acting also is awful.  Vanity was singled out as “Worst Actress” by the Razzies but most of the characters probably could have also been on the ballot.  Weathers muscles his way through the story (I particularly likes when he vaults a speeding cab) and probably is the strongest in the film.  Craig T. Nelson is over-the-top as the martial-arts trained Dellaplane.  Sharon Stone’s role is quite small since she hadn’t blown up at this point.  Vanity is quite awful…I don’t know how she can make singing look hard when she is a singer.  Also, Weathers’ Predator co-star Bill Duke walks through his lines as Weathers’ captain.


Sharon Stone…if you had only been more famous you would have lived.

The movie is filled with tons of ridiculous stunts and explosions.  Every shot leads to an explosion and with a special torch gun, there are a lot of burning bodies.  You even get the classic “man on the roof of a car” scene…it is everything you’d expect for an action film from 1988.

Action Jackson is fun but horrible.  Watch it with a group and have fun making fun of the styles, the music, and the script.  It isn’t a classic, it isn’t widely played, but if you are a fan of bad films, you should check out it out.  An unrelated Bollywood film called Action Jackson is scheduled for release in 2014.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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