Director – Brady MacKenzie
Starring – Don Wilson (Batman Forever, Bloodfist), Andrew Dice Clay (The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Private Resort), and Fred Williamson (From Dusk Til Dawn, Hammer)
Release Date – 1998
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 3.5/5
Well, after watching one horror flick I decided to venture back to a non-genre title because I still feel burned out from bringing as many horror movies as I could for an entire month. I decided to keep it within the Vinegar Syndrome family with the VSA release of Whatever It Takes. Vin Syn was known for releasing titles from the late 60s through the early 90s so it was strange to find a late 90s action crime flick starring Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Andrew Dice Clay, and Fred Williamson but I’ve loved their VSA releases so far so I quickly snagged it. I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed it.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows undercover officers Neil (Wilson) and Dave (Clay) who is brought in to go undercover to bust the dealer behind a new steroid that is highly addictive and deadly. Neil befriends a gym owner who is one of the dealers for crime boss Paulie (Williamson). Once he is close he brings in his partner Dave to work on a major deal to bust Paulie and his entire operation but Paulie gets wise to Neil and soon an all out war is fought between Neil and Paulie’s goons. **Spoiler Alert**
I’ll always have a soft spot for direct to video action releases and I’m beside myself when Vin Syn announces a new one as part of their VSA series. Some are a little more fun than others but I still find myself enjoying them all for the most part. Whatever It Takes was cheesy and fun which is exactly what I was looking for when I snagged a copy of it. I fucking love these cliched, cheesy, and action packed films and this movie did not disappoint.
The acting in this one was so laughable. I’ve seen other films with Don Wilson but this one was so bad. His faux machismo had me fucking cracking up but it’s damn near impossible to take his performance and character seriously. However, I fucking loved Andrew Dice Clay and Fred Williamson. Williamson is no stranger to portraying a drug dealer or crime boss so it was expected to see him in a similar role. The supporting cast is solid but a lot of the cast and characters really cheese it up.
The story for this one is one we have seen before. A good guy cop goes undercover, finds love, and kicks the bad guys ass. Nothing new here but what make this one fun is the amount of camp and the characters are more memorable than the other films with similar stories. With that being said, there is so many scenes that feel pointless that offer up very little entertainment. The movie isn’t long but it could use some serious editing.
Finally, the film has some blood and a lot of cheesy fight scenes but don’t expect a gory flick. If you want explosions, fights, and Andrew Dice Clay then you are in the right place. Overall, Whatever It Takes is extremely campy and unintentionally funny but it’s so fucking fun. I highly recommend this one especially if you have a few drinks.
Region Free Blu-ray
Newly scanned & restored in 4k from its 35mm original camera negative
“Going For Control” – brand new interview with actor Don “The Dragon” Wilson
“I Am A Classic” – brand new interview with actor Fred Williamson
Limited edition of 5,000
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles