7 out of 10


A movie with a plot utilizes the sausage factory of moviemaking.

Roland Tyler (Bryan Brown) is a special effects expert in the filmmaking industry. He is so famous that even the government knows about how good he is. Tyler is approached by government agent Lipton (Cliff De Young) to help stage a mob-killing of Nicholas DeFranco (Jerry Orbach) as a part of his witness protection plan. We also follow police detective Leo McCarthy (Brian Dennehy) who has been investigating DeFranco.

F/X is a typical 80’s movie featuring 80’s staples like government corruption. This government corruption results in regular Joes being tricked by government officials into committing crimes. All that results in paranoia and a feeling that no one can be trusted.

We also have bad guys who only wear ill-fitting dark colored suits for the sole purpose of being easily recognizable as being “the bad guys”. I mean, couldn’t these fellas at least try to wear a t-shirt to blend in with the crowd?

And of course, we have the venerable Uzi machine pistol which is the bad guys’ weapon of choice in the 80’s.

Brian Dennehy is excellent in F/X as the world weary cop. And in typical 80’s movie fashion, he is the smart cop surrounded by imbeciles. Martha Gehman is also memorable as Andy, Roland Tyler’s assistant.

I have seen F/X a few times over the years because F/X has a sense of fun and it is not embarrassed to dive head first into the absurdity of its premise. It embraces the idea that a guy with a bag full of special effects gear can successfully take on a group of well-trained killers armed to their teeth.

F/X brilliantly captures a slice of time in the 80’s and what movies were like then. And this makes it immediately rewatchable just to experience that time period of movies.

F/X is old enough that it makes its rounds through different streaming services. If it ever shows up in your favorite streaming service, I recommend taking this movie for a spin.

I liked the ending. Illuuuusion…

Watched at home, streamed on Paramount+.


Bryan Brown

Roland Tyler knows he is a loose end in the eyes of the villains. Yet he selfishly continues to put friends at risk by contacting and meeting them.

The ending, the cops could not tell the difference in feel between skin versus rubber? Seriously?

The twist was good.