American Justice (2015)

When the reckless actions of an out-of-control LAPD officer get his partner killed in a deadly hostage situation, he gets suspended from the police force and heads to Mexico. On his way he stops in Red Mesa, Texas where he faces off against corrupt cops.

The great thing about Letterboxd is that you can make a list of movies starring wrestlers and then narrow down your list to a specific streaming service to see what titles are streaming where. This is how I discovered American Justice was streaming on Tubi and Amazon Prime.

American Justice stars Tommy “Tiny” Lister, known for his roles as Zeus in No Holds Barred and Deebo in the Friday series, as Jack Justice, an LAPD cop with a penchant to take things a bit far sometimes. After the pursuit of a couple of robbery suspects sees his partner killed by one of the suspects and both suspects dead by Justice’s hands, he is suspended by his superior officer. He is told to go far away.

On his way to Mexico, he notices a couple of cops roughing up a man on the side of the road in Red Mesa, Texas. When he stops in to complain at the police station though, it becomes evident that most of the force is corrupt. He becomes the scape goat for the sheriff and his force’s sordid dealings such as the murder of a drug dealer and another cop. However, with the help of non corrupt officer Alexa and a man who owes him a favor, he gets to cleaning up the town.

I had no idea what to expect with this movie, I didn’t watch a trailer before I hit play on it or read up about it. I saw the poster featured Tiny Lister and I knew I would end up watching it eventually and decided there was no better time than the present. Tiny was not the only wrestler in the movie as John Morrison shows up in the film as one of the crooked cops, Reid. I ended up having a decent time with the film in the end.

This is a violent and upsetting film as most of the cops are a bunch of racist assholes and there is a lot of fighting, shooting, and general mayhem in this film. It seems to pay homage to some exploitation films with it’s dark subject matter and reprehensible characters. Even Justice’s past is shrouded in darkness as he tells Alexa that he used to make problems disappear.

I would have never thought to cast Tiny Lister as a cop in a million years but it works. His mostly calm demeanor in the film is in stark contrast to the Sheriff, played by John Schneider (Bo Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard), who looks like he is ready to explode in every scene. Tiny chews the scenery beautifully and even though his character is a man of few words, when he does talk he nails those words to your mind. John Morrison does a good job as well as the goofy but hateful Officer Reid. I would recommend the film solely to hear him tell his squirrel in the pants story.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this movie will find itself many fans. It’s a low budget mean spirited film about setting things right. It’s shot well but I think it’s too brightly lit for people who enjoy these types of vengeance stories. However, for fans of Tiny Lister or John Morrison it is absolutely worth seeking out for their performances.

Tiny Lister As Jack Justice
John Morrison as Officer Reid; left

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