The Specialist (1994)

logoDirector: Luis Llosa

Writer: Alexandra Seros (Screenplay) John Shirley (Novel)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, James Woods, Rob Steiger, Eric Roberts, Mario Ernesto Sanchez


Plot: A woman entices a bomb expert she’s involved with into destroying the mafia that killed her family.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Pure 90’s Action Entertainment


Story: The Specialist starts with Ray Quick (Stallone) and Ned Trent (Woods) planting explosives as they are bomb specialists on a dam but when Ray sees a kid in the car he wants to pull the plug on the execution failing in the process. Years pass by and Ray leaves the forces with Ned also being shamed because of his action.

Ray now works as a private assassin for hire and is working for a sexy voice May Munro (Stone) on the telephone who wants him to eliminate three men who killed her family when she was a child. Ned has also gone into the private sector as he works for the Leon’s Joe (Steiger) and Tomas (Robert) bringing their enterprise into the next level of technology. May has an approach to become close enough to Tomas while Ray figures out whether he should help or not because he isn’t interested in killing anymore. Ray eventually agrees to take part as long as May agrees to follow the rules including never seeing the men again, but if he finds out she is involved he will kill her, while being track down by his old friend Ned, but not everything is what it seems.

The Specialist takes the action film in a slightly different direction because how often have we seen an action hero use bombs as his only means of attack? We usually see the bomb expert as the twisted person trying to kill people. We get the standard revenge idea but we do get plenty of twists and turns along the way that will keep you guessing from the moment Ray gets hired. I will say don’t expect too much peril put upon our leading man until the final third with plenty of planning but not action that we could have had. I think this will go down as a typical 90’s action film that will keep every fan of that era happy. (6/10)


Actor Review


Sylvester Stallone: Ray Quick is the former soldier and bomb specialist who now works as a private assassin (I think) who gets hired by May to help her take out the Mafia who killed her family, things take a turn for Ray when he finds out an old friend is working for them. Sylvester gives us the typical action star performance here. (7/10)


Sharon Stone: May Munro is the lone survivor of her family’s killing who hires Ray as well as going undercover to try and get her revenge on the Leon family. Sharon plays the femme fatale well as we know she can. (7/10)


James Woods: Ned Trent is the old friend of Ray’s who ends up getting an innocent child killed which leads to both of the men leaving the forces. He now works for the Leon family helping keep the enterprise moving forward. Ned has to work for the Leon’s to figure out who is trying to take out the family. James gives a scene stealing performance here. (8/10)


Eric Roberts: Tomas Leon is the son who May tries to get close to while undercover; she knows he was the one who was responsible for pulling the trigger on her family. Eric does give a solid supporting performance as the hot headed gangster. (6/10)


Support Cast: The Specialist has a supporting cast that all come off as generic gangster film guys who all end up meeting their maker through Ray’s skills.


Director Review: Luis Llosa – Luis gives us a typical 90’s action film that will still be enjoyed today. (7/10)


Action: The Specialist keeps the action all saved for the bomb moments with excitement happening in the final act. (7/10)

Thriller: The Specialist does keep you guessing to who is on what side throughout the film. (7/10)

Settings: The Specialist keeps the settings easy to follow as most feel like a place a high ranking gangster would be in. (7/10)
Special Effects
: The Specialist uses good effects to create the realistic looking explosion but that is the only thing it is needed for. (8/10)

Suggestion: The Specialist is one for the fans of the 90’s action movies, but don’t expect something truly special here. (90’s Actions Fans Watch)


Best Part: Hotel escape.

Worst Part: Slightly slow moving.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final scene.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Won Two Razzies.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $170 Million

Budget: $45 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

Tagline: Killing is his profession. Revenge is her goal. Together they take on the battle against the underworld of Miami.


Overall: This is a typical 90’s action film that doesn’t offer anything to the action genre but is entertaining.

Rating 60


  1. Hahaha that shower scene, best part of movie.

    I remember this being a disappointment overall. It was the beginning of the end for both Stallone and Stone’s box office draw.

    Cliffhanger and Demolition Man are way better 90s movies starring Stallone.

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