Miami Herald, The (FL)
April 22, 1986
Author: BILL COSFORD Herald Movie Critic

Charles Bronson is back, grimier than ever, in Murphy's Law, the latest in his series of low-budget action dramas. Happily, he is not a vigilante this time. Unhappily, he needs a posse anyway -- to round up his director and screenwriter and make them accountable. Where do they get these ideas, anyway?
This one begins with Bronson as a tough homicide detective who has acquired a number of enemies, any one of whom is capable of framing him for the murder of his faithless ex-wife.

One does, and we know who (though not why). What we don't know is why Bronson spends half the film handcuffed to a young car thief (Kathleen Wilhoite) whose dialogue consists almost entirely of uinspired epithets ("C'mon, weenie roast...have a hernia, motor mouth," she says in one of the few printable examples).

"What is this, Romper Room?" Bronson replies, and of course that is exactly what it is.

Once they have stolen the helicopter from the precinct house and flown off to crash-land on a drug factory, we know it's not going to be grown-up stuff, despite the quota (easily exceeded) of gratuitous bloodletting.

But it's a soiled Romper Room indeed, and further evidence, if any were needed, that Bronson ranks among the least discriminating stars in American film. He'll play anything, in anything, no matter how wretched.

Bronson makes Clint Eastwood look sensitive by comparison. He also makes him look like a giant of the cinema.

As Bronson edges into his twilight, it would be nice to know him for something more.

CAST: Charles Bronson, Carrie Snodgress, Kathleen Wilhoite, Robert F. Lyons, Richard Romanus.

CREDITS: Director: J. Lee Thompson. Producer: Pancho Kohner. Screenwriter: Gail Morgan Hickman. Cinematographer: Alex Phillips. Music: Marc Donahue, Valentine McCallum.

A Cannon Group release. Running time: 97 minutes. Considerable vulgar language, nudity, considerable violence and gore.

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