The Rookie (1990) Cops Dirty Harry & Topper Harley Take On German Gangster Gomez Addams

The Rookie (1990) vhs cassette tape Clint Eastwood Charlie Sheen action 90s Raul Julia

Day 8 The Rookie from 1990

Tagline –What could a veteran and a rookie cop do this Christmas
Seriously that can’t be the only tagline?! That’s so bad and it isn’t even Christmas in the movie?

Who’s our hero today?
Clint Eastwood plays Nick Pulovski a Polish Dirty Harry

Had I seen this one on VHS back in the day?
For sure. I would of pounced straight on this as soon as I spotted it in the new release section. A new one from Legend Clint Eastwood oh excitement levels were high. Plus Charlie Sheen was all over the place. I’d seen Platoon (1986) on the big screen but I’d rented out The Wraith (1986) Young Guns (1988) and that rubbish Navy Seals (1990). It would be the following year that Topper Harley was released on us and made it impossible to not smirk when watching the Sheen act.

Quick plot run down.
LAPD cop becomes obsessed with bringing a German mastermind car thief to justice after he’d killed his partner. Now saddled with a new “rookie” partner and taken off the case. You know that isn’t gonna stop this determined old school badass cop hell-bent on catching this hardened criminal. Expect fireworks……

The Rookie (1990) Clint Eastwood Charlie Sheen action 90s gun

Does the hero have a day job?
A grand theft auto cop moved on to a homicide unit. Nick had been a former speedway champion. Now tinkers with old bikes and cars in his spare time.

What’s our heroes special skills?
To be able to summons all his past powers from characters bygone. Escape skills from Frank Morris, punching bad woman in the face skills from radio DJ Dave Garver, cigar chomping skills from Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway and obviously his all-round badass wordsmith and revolver skills from Harry Callahan. Only two things he was missing, Sondra Locke and an orangutan. Unfortunately Nick could only turn left whilst chasing bad guys! It wasn’t ideal!

Heroes weapon of choice?
His trusty Smith & Wesson 4506 sidearm and his punch catching hand.

Heroes drink of choice?
Whiskey from a hip flask…… David –I hate your whisky breath!

Does hero have a sidekick?
His new partner is rookie cop David Ackerman (Charlie Sheen). Only recently promoted detective on the force after graduating well through the ranks. David unfortunately brings some baggage with him. Depressed and blames himself for his young brothers death. He’s also pissed at his wealthy Dad (Tom Skerritt) always telling him to get a proper job.

The Rookie (1990) Clint Eastwood Charlie Sheen action 90s gun 1

Hot girl? Damsel in distress or ass kicker?
We will lose damsel in distress and add the crazy hot, dare I say milf, Brazilian Sonia Braga who plays Liesl. She kicks, punches, shoots you in the back and gets what she wants. See sex scene? below.

Who’s the main baddie?
It’s almost feels like it’s a joke but for some unknown reason they made Strom (Raul Julia) a German baddie? Raul is Puerto Rican. It’s made worse by making Brazilian Sonia Braga German too. Why didn’t they just change the script to be South American baddies.

Baddies special skills?
Slightly psychotic car thief and chop shop king. He can stare you out with his big bulging eyes.

The Rookie (1990) goofs Clint Eastwood Charlie Sheen Strom (Raul Julia) a German baddie

Psycho baddies rating out of ten? 8.5/10
Strom is bad. Probably 7.5 bad. But add his feisty killer chick and it push them up to 8.5.

Heroes balls of steel and anger ratings out of ten? 10/10
With the soul of Harry Callahan flowing through Nick Pulovski’s whisky filled veins there ain’t no stopping him.

Surely it features a training montage scene?
No I don’t believe I witnessed one this time round. Hopefully on the next film.

Does it feature an impossible mission?
The amount of times things go wrong for our criminal mastermind you start thinking hey maybe he should give up this bad guy racket and go sit on a nice hot beach.

Does the hero get a chance to show off their muscles?
Clint might of been 59 filming this but he was still in good shape. With a popping vein sticking out his big bicep. Respect.

Will I be needing to pause the video player? AKA are there any boobies?
Ummmm do Clint’s boobs count? Then yeah.

Sex scene?
Ok who directed this film? Clint Eastwood you say? Just asking. Well not saying he would but I wonder when the production crew were looking through the script and it came to the scene I’m about to reveal, that maybe Clint’s handwriting might of accidentally been added? The crew looking back and forth as Clint rubs his hands together and does a bit of shadow boxing before getting cuffed to the chair. The crew look back at the script as the extremely hot Brazilian babe Sonia Braga starts straddling Clint and licking his chest and forehead. “Oh my god what’s happening here guys!” says the assistant camera man. “Just keep filming” Clint snarls with a twinkle in his eye……Of course I jest. Well it caused a bit of controversy at time as Nick is raped by his capture Liesl whilst she films it. Later to be seen by a wide eyed David, where Nick replies. “I didn’t know you were into group sex, kid.

The Rookie (1990) Clint Eastwood Sonia Braga captive

Any good totally random surprise scenes?
There’s a few but I had to add the pub brawl. A dodgy dive filled with bikers and gangbangers having a good time but all as hard and dangerous as you can imagine. All doing their thing when in busts party pooper Ackerman. After making a flamethrower with his mouth he beats up about 50 bikers with beer bottles, pool cues etc. Goes completely loco. As the bar burns as it is engulfed in flames burning the place to the ground David turns to the landlord and says whilst flicking a coin at him “I never did pay you for that beer

Films body count? Low/Medium/High? 
Not crazy amounts but enough.

Innocent baddie death rate?
A snitch might not of deserved what was coming to him but other than that nah! Well unless you include the biker bar as baddies? Well they were just happy boozing until……….. see above.

Explosion ratio? Low/Medium/High?
Man-O-man when it gets going the explosion ratio keep rising. The exploding factory with a flying car is pure over the top gold.

The Rookie (1990) 90s action Clint Eastwood Charlie Sheen car explosion flying out window

How many stuntmen probably really died making this film?
The brilliant thing I’ve read about this project is how well the stunt team were treated. Sounds like Clint and the production crew understood what they wanted and stood back and let the professionals work their magic. A quote from Special Effects Supervisor John Frazier We were able to do every one of the major shots in one take: the car out of the building, the carrier turning over, and the planes colliding. That says something. These guys respect the crew and every job being done. It makes a big difference.

Any cool car chases?
Quite a few but none as spectacular as Nick chasing down the moving car hauler along the highway as top of the range sports cars are unleashed towards him. With a trail of sparks and carnage he fires his sidearm and carries on the chase…….  Oh I must add Nick and David being chased by a burning jet plane going at the same speed they run is hilarious.

Best lines
Nick Pulovski whilst looking at the beautiful Type 85 Lotus Esprit SE but painted in lime-green! “Wanna know what’s a crime? Whoever defaced that work of art by painting it that color… ought to have his ass removed.

Brilliant homage moment
There’s a real nice homage to Dirty Harry when he picks up a Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum and goes into pure Harry Callahan mode. With a little nudge to how many shots Dirty Harry  had shot? 5 or 6? “That security guard only had 5 bullets in his gun! How about that!

Goofs alert……..
With the horrific attack of David’s wife all alone fighting for her life these clowns just stand back and watch it. Disgraceful!

The Rookie (1990) goofs Clint Eastwood Charlie Sheen blooper crew members in shot

Crew members in the shot just standing there LOL.

Any other familiar faces and actors pop up?
David’s wife is played by Lara Flynn Boyle who among other things played crazy Stacy in Wayne’s World (1992) was in Twin Peaks and played the sexy alien Serleena in Men In Black II (2002)
Lt. Raymond Garcia (Pepe Serna) may of been in Scarface (1983) but it’s The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) that only matters hehe.
And in a small blink and you miss him role you’ll find Xander Berkeley from everything but to keep it video rental related you’ll know him from Terminator 2 Judgement Day (1991)

Production Credits
Directed by Clint Eastwood from a screenplay by Boaz Yakin and Scott Spiegel. It’s probably low on Clint’s worse directed films but it doubled it’s money and sounds like the project was expertly run.

Cheese-O-Meter! Low/Medium/High?
It’s impossible to escape the Topper Harley moments. Poor David Ackerman might of been having sad, painful flashbacks but the overdubbing, his sweating and his anger was just so hilarious.

IMDB score rating – 5.9/10

Wolfman ACTION & FUN rating – 9/10

Wolfman over all film rating – 6.5/10

The Rookie (1990) Clint Eastwood Charlie Sheen action 90s cops first meeting

Closing thoughts………………………………………….
I really liked this when I first saw it in 1990 and never managed to watch it again. Over the years you start hearing bad things about it and you see the low reviews. A lot of the liking at the time is the fact that you didn’t have the Topper Harley references. Which make it a whole lot funnier now. To be fair the first half of The Rookie is really very good. A gritty 70s cop throwback. However it starts to fall apart and just becomes silly and improbable. Having Raul Julia as German doesn’t help either. So watching it again I can see the bad it was/has become but you know what I laughed my ass off through the film. I had a brilliant time.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the films if you want but please don’t feel you need to as I know it’s pretty relentless this month. However, most important, have fun with the movies.

Keep it filmy…. Mikey Wolf.

11 thoughts on “The Rookie (1990) Cops Dirty Harry & Topper Harley Take On German Gangster Gomez Addams

    • I’d been surprised if The Rookie poster wasn’t in the vault Mike! Yeah so tragic with Raul, Bison isn’t really the last thing I wanna remember him by. I could well imagine he would of been favored in a Tarantino movie or something similar later.
      Yeah Rookie starts well but slowly falls apart. Still I haven’t laughed so much for ages.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My thought was basically the opposite but the same as your closing thought; for me, it was “I hated this when I first saw it in 1990 and never managed to watch it again.” Man oh man, being a Clint Eastwood fan then (and still), I was NOT impressed. Part of (in my opinion) his ‘I’m having fun but making cruddy films’ trilogy of the time that included The Dead Pool and Pink Cadillac. But perhaps I need to watch it again, and see how I feel now. And I thought the same thing as you: whaaaaat’s with this sex scene…oh yeah, that’s right, Clint’s directing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good lord, I forgot to mention: thanks for another ‘Banzai’ reference! The moment I saw Pepe Serna in that paragraph, that film immediately came to mind…I had no idea he’d done anything else! (He’s actually done quite a bit of work, I just haven’t seen most of it…though I do own his first film, ‘The Student Nurses’!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my I just investigated “The Student Nurses”. WOW four smoke show ladies on the cover. I can see why that’s in your collection buddy. Hat a doffed to you sir.
        Funny I just noticed Pepe in Vice Squad (1982) when researching for another film, which I haven’t seen before. Had added that to my “to watch list” last night. Sounds pretty brutal mind!


    • I was about 18 at the time when it was released and I liked it but not enough to watch it again until middle age nostalgia creeped in. Like I say I laughed through the whole thing. It’s hilarious. It’s really very silly and you know what, it almost, unintentionally, makes it better for it.
      Pink Cadillac is one of only a small few of Clint Films I haven’t seen before. I just can’t imagine our hero Clint driving around in a Pink Caddy.
      I’m still to watch The Mule but from what I hear he’s up to his old director privileges once again. This time in a threesome? hey he’s almost 90 ffs 🙂


      • Be careful if you venture forward with Pink Cadillac…it may do permanent damage to your brain cells! But I will say that I enjoyed The Mule (which surprised me), and the threesome does make sense within the story…but yes, Clint does abuse his privilege with the scene!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Will wait for a day I’m feel just a little more brainer than I should be and remember to watch Pink Cadillac to level the brain cells out.
          Just had a look if there was any other Clint’s that had sneaked by and somehow I haven’t (I believe so) seen White Hunter Black Heart (1990) either!!
          I will watch The Mule one day soon.
          Cheers Todd for the PC warning 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t like it. One of Eastwood’s few duds. It does have a few nice action sequences. Anyhow, you are so right about Julia and Braga… Hispanic-Germans? Very distracting. Plus they have completely different accents. Reminded me of Sean Connery’s faux Irish in Untouchables.


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