Black Out (1996) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

Black Out a.k.a. Midnight Heat is an action flick that takes its cues from Total Recall and the film noir works of Robert Wise and Brian DePalma. Former Seattle Seahawks lineman Brian Bosworth (known as The Boz) is John Grey, a happily married bank executive whose life shatters when a car crash leaves him with complete amnesia. Now haunted by strange dreams and recollections of a duel identity as Wayne Garret, Grey’s urge to unravel his cryptic past becomes crucial when he returns home and finds his wife murdered. The clues point to a neo-nazi group of killers, Grey’s involvement with the gang becomes evident as he begins to crack the mystery of his real identity. Is he a killer? Or a hero? neither amnesia or deadly force can stop John Grey/Wayne Garret from finding out.

Black Out is a far better B-movie than it has any right to be, directed with confidence and a fare amount of creative flurry by Allan A. Goldstein. I have not previously been a fan of Mr. Goldstein’s work including the flatly staged Death Wish V and the equally bland Virus, also starring Bosworth. Now, he has produced something that looks far more expensive than it presumably cost and is paced very well. Luckily Goldstein is working with the affable and utterly charming Brian Bosworth. His ‘Boz’ persona was an act honed over the course of nearly a decade, it shows here; his performance is the heart of the picture, playing confused and bemused in equal measures. He also posses an appealing sense of self deprecation as evidenced by a couple of joking references to Brian Bosworth’s short lived and over hyped football career. Including a hat that Grey sports adorned with a Seattle Seahawks logo and a one-liner about Bo Jackson running all over The Boz in a real life on-field incident

An atmospheric score adds weight and flavor to the film noir vibe. It is Bosworth’s movie and he scores here as a man far more human than the hulking Superman he played in the motorcycle action flick Stone Cold.

Director: Allan A. Goldstein
Stars: Brian Bosworth, Brad Dourif, Claire Yarlett

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