Streetwise (1993)

A lackluster actioner, Streetwise proves that there's nothing worse than a picture that tries hard, but doesn't know how, to be sleazy.  Theatrical release for inept production, that is actually a sappy melodrama rather than an actioner, is a mere formality en route to the video bin.


Homicide detective Lee Teffler (C. Thomas Howell) is a maverick waging a one-man war against a gang of creeps specializing, among other activities, in turning young innocent girls into prostitutes.  Howell gets involved in the lives of Mercy, a local hooker who witnesses a murder, and her half-sister Kyle (Renee Humphrey), a naive teenager who arrives from Nebraska to look for her sibling and start a new life.


Unfortunately, pic quickly forgets about its genre–and about the murder mystery–and instead boringly describes the evolving romantic relationship between Howell, a vigilante who was a street kid himself, and the attractive Humphrey.


The least one can expect from such a clich├ęd item as Streetwise is some suspenseful thrills in the action department.  But helmer Rafal Zielinski shows no skills for staging rousing chases or action set pieces; he even misses the opportunity of bringing pic to life during its big climax. 


The only element that facilitates the watching of all-too familiar vendetta story is the pleasant looks and amiable conduct of C. Thomas Howell and Renee Humphrey in the leading roles.                                        




Lee Teffler…C. Thomas Howell

Kyle Bradley…Renee Humphrey





A Trimark release of a Planet production. 

Produced by Donald P. Borchers. 

Executive producers, Barry Barnholtz, Jeffrey D. Holmes.

Co-produced by Ronald Colby. 

Directed by Rafal Zielinski.

Screenplay, Robert Vincent O'Neill, Alien Castle, based on the story by Borchers and O'Neill. 

Music, Jonathan Elias.

Camera, David Zoltan. 


Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 21, 1993. 


Running time: 95 Minutes