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Glove, The
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by Jack Sommersby

"Lacks Punch"
2 stars

Not nearly as bad as it could've been but nothing to really write home about, either.

That reliable B-movie actor John Saxon headlines the low-budget crime tale The Glove, and his appealing performance is by far its best virtue. Playing Sam Kellog, an ex-cop eking out a living as a Los Angeles bounty hunter, Saxon, who’s played both heroes and villains, makes him a believable protagonist without indulging in any two-fisted machismo; he makes him a perfectly identifiable Everyman. Sam will be the first to admit he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire -- divorced and with a pre-teen daughter, he’s behind in his alimony and child support, and gambles away his meager income in poker games with wealthy people who, unlike him, can afford to go home empty-handed. Financially strapped and threatened with discontinued child-visitation rights, Sam is offered a twenty-thousand-dollar bounty by an old police friend to locate and capture one Victor Hale (Roosevelt Grier), a hulking ex-convict who served time for viciously assaulting his sister’s pimp who physically mutilated her; while in prison, he himself was assaulted by prison guards using a “riot glove,” five pounds of lead and steel. Upon his recent release, Victor has acquired one of these very same lethal gloves and is enacting a vendetta against these guards during their off-duty hours. (The Prison Guard Association is putting up the twenty grand.) And it’s both a merit and demerit that Victor isn’t some one-dimensional villain: the former in that he’s inherently good to his relatives and neighbors (he teaches a juvenile delinquent in his run-down apartment building how to play the guitar), which is an unexpected facet to the character; and the latter in that as the movie’s antagonist, he hasn’t anything in the way of genuine menace to give the central conflict much force (yes, this atypical rendering of Victor is novel, but it’s not substantial enough to appease the audience of a reliable contrivance that can be satisfying when done successfully). The Glove is episodic, lumbering -- you keep having to remind yourself just what the movie is about. And because the final action sequence doesn’t occur until the last ten minutes, it comes off as a mere afterthought, though there is a reasonably ironic twist punctuating it. So despite Saxon’s and Grier’s fine work, acceptable dialogue, and decent camerawork by the debuting director Ross Hagen (a veteran actor), this paper-thin material is so underwhelming it’s a wonder it managed to stick to the celluloid. It’s this semi-interesting botch, rather than the title weapon, that lacks the necessary punch.

For those who're interested, it's available on a double-feature DVD with "Search and Destroy" that was theatrically released the same year.

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originally posted: 01/05/15 09:42:54
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  21-Sep-1979 (R)



Directed by
  Ross Hagen

Written by
  Julian Roffman
  Hubert Smith

  John Saxon
  Rosey Grier
  Joanna Cassidy
  Joan Blondell
  Jack Carter

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