Whatever It Takes (1998) – Review

2 Stars

Andrew Dice Clay was the most controversial comedian from 1988-1996. He was such a polarizing figure that often the hype overshadowed the comedy. Regardless of how you feel about the performer; he’s a great screen presence in movies. There were only a few opportunities to catch Dice in films. After The Adventures of Ford Fairlane tanked Dice was relegated to taking on B-movies. Whatever it Takes catches Dice in the latter stages of his white-hot career. Yet, he still shines delivering laughs and carrying the film even though he’s cast as support for leading man Don “The Dragon” Wilson.

Neil De Marco (Don “The Dragon” Wilson) and Dave Menari (Andrew Dice Clay) are Los Angeles cops who’ve recently been suspended over a shoot-out that claimed the life of an innocent bystanders. Distraught and suicidal, De Marco falls into a drunken stupor. He’s awakened from his slumber when Menari comes to him with another assignment. The two cops are asked to go undercover and expose an illegal distribution network of anabolic steroids. They must gain the trust of operational kingpin Paulie Salano (Fred Williamson) and get through his muscle-bound henchman (Michael Bailey Smith) to stop the trafficking.

It’s tempting to give Whatever it Takes a positive review because the production vales are a step up from the Roger Corman era of Don “The Dragon” Wilson movies. The photography, acting, and locations are more polished than the norm for the straight-to-DVD world, but the fights and shoot-outs are a bore. Wilson looks stiff in the action set-pieces and Clay slowly takes over the movie with his comedy riffs. Whatever it Takes is alternately better and worse than most of the films in either man’s careers.

Director: Brady MacKenzie
Stars: Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Andrew Dice Clay, Fred Williamson

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