A simplistic modern-day western with a still agile and physically capable Reynolds in the driver’s seat, Malone is a decent enough follow-up after his one-two punch hits Stick and Heat.
A CIA hitman tries retiring, but after being stranded in a little backwater town for a few days, he finds himself coming to the aide of some bullied townspeople.
After losing his nerve or his edge on an assignment, CIA hitman Malone (Burt Reynolds still crackling with star power) goes off grid but fate has his muscle car sputtering out in the middle of nowhere. He pushes his car to the closest gas station where a spunky teenager (played by Cynthia Gibb) and her humble father (Scott Wilson) tell him it’ll be at least a few days before they can repair his transmission, and so Malone has to get comfy in a little hotel in the small town. While there he observes that the locals are being harassed and bullied to sell their land to a millionaire (played by Cliff Robertson) who has hired local goons and even a handful of hitmen of his own to get rid of anyone who won’t comply with his demands. This doesn’t bode well for the goons who have no idea the hellstorm they’ve stepped into by making Malone angry. Malone picks up the slack where the local townsfolk have gone weary and weak, and he begins protecting the locals by blasting the bad guys to kingdom come. When the CIA and Malone’s old handler (played by Lauren Hutton) realize that their tool is running amok in small town America, they try to do some damage control, but by then Malone has already virtually leveled the playing field all on his own.
A simplistic modern-day western with a still agile and physically capable Reynolds in the driver’s seat, Malone is a decent enough follow-up after his one-two punch hits Stick and Heat, though this time his co-star is a really foofy hair piece that I couldn’t help but notice throughout the entire film. The action in the film is plentiful and very violent with blood splashes, gunshot wounds galore, and some mighty big explosions. Director Harley Cokeliss (billed as Cokliss) did a good job with the pacing and the action, and composer David Newman provided a really solid score for the film.
Kino Lorber has just reissued Malone on Blu-ray, and it comes with an audio commentary by film historians Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson, plus the trailer and a slipcover. The high definition transfer is more than satisfactory.