Final Combination (1994) Review

Worth a watch


Final Combination is unlikely to feature on anyone’s “best of” list, but it’s entertaining enough and Madsen is always watchable even when the material is as familiar as this.

Plot: A serial killer is loose in LA, and using the names of former well known boxers as aliases, and it’s up to a gruff, womanising detective to stop him. But the cop gets some unexpected help from a reporter who has ulterior motives of her own.

Review: Released in 1994 to little fanfare is this forgotten thriller that was called Dead Connection in some territories.  Michael Madsen, hot off the success of Reservoir Dogs, is Matt Dixon, a cop tasked with catching the maniac murdering women all over his city.  The killer (Gary Stretch), is a boxing fanatic with a screw loose who beats his victims to death in hotel rooms.

With no leads or clues, Dixon reluctantly teams up with a reporter (Lisa Bonet) who seems to have it out for Stretch. Like I said, pretty familiar stuff, and I doubt anyone involved in this flick would even remember making it now, but that doesn’t mean Final Combination doesn’t offer up some fun.

Madsen is his good old charismatic self as the renegade cop who takes no crap and Stretch seems to be having fun as the killer. Bonet does what she can in a pretty thankless role, but hey, she is gorgeous when she’s on the screen.

Along with a nice twist here and there, the film offers up a fairly decent car chase near the end of the second act and the cast is filled with familiar faces and some nice LA scenery.

This pic got lost in the shuffle of similar thrillers back in the day, but it has handsome production values and although never as cool as it thinks it is, it’s breezy enough entertainment for those who like cop versus killer movies.

It was fun seeing Madsen play a good guy and the lead character for a change and if you like his past performances, I urge you to check out Final Combination.  While never great, it is an effective time killer.