Jeff Wincott teams up with Karen Sheperd to take on Matthias Hues in this 90s DTV action classic.
The two Martial Law films became cult classics with action fans, and Jeff Wincott was a welcome addition to the second part where he joined Cynthia Rothrock. The producers liked him so much that they gave him the title role in another martial arts banger, 1992’s Mission of Justice. For this spirit in sequel to the Martial Law duology, fans of Rothrock likely were disappointed to not see her return. But Wincott showed that he can easily carry a movie on his own, and it turned out to be one of the best DTV actioners of its decade, so let’s have a look!
Kurt (Wincott) is an earnest cop, but his violent enthusiasm earns him a temporary suspension. With spare time on his hands, he intends to train in the gym of his good friend Cedric, who is a member of the vigilante squad Peacemakers. Their leader Dr. Larkin (Brigitte Nielsen) wants to use her small army for plenty of malice, and when she gets into an argument with Cedric, her goons kill him. Kurt becomes suspicious about the murder, joins the Peacemaker organization, and embarks on a dangerous mission with lots of bones being shattered and windows smashed along the way.
The Peacemakers from The Mission of Justice Have Prevented Another Crime
The first five minutes of the film set the tone in a terrific way. Kurt kicks a domestic abuse perp into the backseat of his police car. While taking him to the station, he sees three thugs robbing a liquid store from the corner of his eye and intervenes with lightning speed. The overall story tries to be a bit different from your standard cop-chasing-criminals scenario. And while it’s not extremely interesting, it flows smoothly from one action set piece to the next, and diligently piles up an impressive number of cop thriller cliches.
Kurt is our classic resolute action hero, but also a sympathetic and relatable fellow, who even cries once in the film. Brigitte Nielsen and Matthias Hues as her brother Titus impress with their intimidating height, and their stiff acting performance even helps a bit in depicting them as calculating powermongers. Titus usually stands behind Larkan, and only steps forward to indulge in his favorite hobby of neck-snapping when her talking isn’t enough to resolve the situation.
Wincott’s Ultimate Contribution to 1990s Martial Arts Action
What sets Mission of Justice truly apart from other low-budget actioners of its time are the fight scenes. Continuity with the Martial Law films is brought by fight choreographer Jeff Pruitt, with support from Drive stunt coordinator Koichi Sakamoto. The actors deliver top-of-the-line fights thanks to a choreography that is fantastic for a film of its time. The beatdowns are brutal, with breakneck performances by the stunt crew. People are getting thrown and kicked around mercilessly, we can almost feel the pain when someone is smacked through a door.
Wincott’s fights naturally are the highlights of the film. He takes on more than a dozen contestants in an insane stick fight, and during a showdown in a garage many tools are used for high-impact hits. Mission of Justice has aged well thanks to splendid fight sequences and – for the most part – the absence of the usual goofiness found in DTV actioners of its time. Wincott demonstrated he had excellent fighting and acting skills, which is still a rare combination. It’s too bad he never landed roles in high-profile actioners, but he certainly can be proud what he achieved with Mission of Justice.