The Substitute (1996) is a English movie. Robert Mandel has directed this movie. Tom Berenger,Raymond Cruz,William Forsythe,Luis Guzmán are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1996. The Substitute (1996) is considered one of the best Action,Crime,Drama,Thriller movie in India and around the world.
After a botched mission in Cuba, professional mercenary Shale and his crew Joey Six, Hollan, Rem, and Wellman head home to Miami, Florida, where Shale is reunited with his fiance Jane Hetzko, who is a history teacher at Columbus High School in Miami. Some of Jane's students happen to be members of a street gang known as the "Kings of Destruction" (KOD), led by Juan Lacas, who has been terrorizing Jane. After Jane's kneecap is broken by a big seminole named Bull, she tells Shale that she believes Lacas ordered the attack, so Shale goes undercover as Jane's substitute, and initially, Jane has no idea that Shale is doing this. At the school, Shale meets principal Claude Rolle, librarian Hannah Dillon, and english and drama teacher Darrell Sherman. It turns out that Lacas is one of Jane's students. As Shale investigates the attack on Jane, he discovers that drugs are being circulated into the school. Shale even investigates local drug kingpin Johnny Glades, who may or may not have someone...
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"The Substitute" is not high art. Ebert reviewed it as a serious film and gave it a very negative review. But as a B-movie where the teachers get revenge, the bad guy dope-peddling punks and principal get their due, it is a virtual "The Patriot" for the high school system. You can't help but smile and root and rejoice when punk after punk gets thrown out the upper floor window by Beringer while the principal relaxes in his office, assuming the punks will prevail. Beringer plays a mercenary who becomes the substitute when the real teacher is injured by the punks. With his background in covert operations, and his support network, the punks are no match for him. I've seen it several times on network TV, its one of those films I just can't stop watching. Roy Frumkes, who wrote each of the "Substitute" movies wasn't trying to create a classic, just fun entertainment. In a personal communication he said, " Not only did that film surprise everyone by doing as well as it did, but when it came time for the three sequels, my contract was worded so that they couldn't get rid of me!" Thus providing his retirement fund. Hey! some people win the lottery. His was a different kind of lottery. I like "The Substitute" a lot. I think Roy Frumkes is a classy guy. It is destined to be one of those cult films that lasts much longer than logic says it should.
Even though it was kind of a low-class type of story and movie with mostly bad, profane people tossing the f-word around like it was candy, it still was an enjoyable movie in a lot of parts and certainly had a satisfying ending. Perhaps that's why it was successful enough to spurn a sequel (albeit, a weak one.) Tom Berenger is good to watch. He's convincing as a tough guy substitute teacher "Jonathan Shale" who won't put up with the punks in the classroom. And, boy, you see the worst group of high school students I've ever seen on film. Tough to imagine kids harder to encounter than these slime-balls but satisfying to see them dealt with accordingly. You have to love it.
These no-nonsense action films that try to convey some social statements have a soft spot in my books and therefore I sometimes rate these movies higher than they actually deserve. The Substitute is a late bloomer in this department since it actually received a theatrical release and did fairly well. Nowadays films like these go directly to video or television and the ambition that was invested in these films is today nonexistent. The terribly underrated Tom Berenger plays a mercenary whose girlfriend is a teacher at a lower class high school. When she's attacked by a thug Berenger creates his own resumé and teacher credentials and assumes her position at the school and becomes the substitute teacher. Once there he discovers the school is run by a corrupt drug dealing principal who's using some students there to help him run his operation. Naturally Berenger, along with some of his mercenary friends, take action and attempt to stop this operation which culminates in a massive shoot out on school grounds. While this is an action movie at heart, it also tries to relate some well meaning messages about today's youth. The way lower class kids are living, which is dangerously on the edge, their way of thinking and looking at the world around them. In a particularly nice scene, one character doesn't admit to being ashamed of how her life is but when asked if she wanted her child to replicate her life, well, that's another matter indeed. That one scene explains a lot and it's moments like these that actually make The Substitute a little bit more interesting than many other films of similar nature. But the film doesn't go too far into social matters and quickly gets down and dirty with the action, which is well served and the film never slows down too much. All the cast are willing and able to entertain, some real quality actors here and they all fare well. The Substitute in many ways represents a dying breed of movie-making and it will probably give movie fanatics a feeling of nostalgia in years to come.
No matter how many times this movie is shown on cable, I still have to pause for at least a few minutes and watch portions of it. This is one of those action films that will entertain you as long as you don't try to apply logic to it or take it seriously. The story has a professional mercenary (Berenger) and his army pals looking for work after they are cut loose from active duty following a botched mission in Cuba. Berenger doesn't want the group to get involved in running drugs for anyone, but that seems to be the only work that mercs can get these days in Florida. After Berenger's girlfriend is attacked by a ruthless street gang (led by Latin heart-throb Marc Anthony, no less) he and his pals end up trying to weed them out of the high school where she teaches. Berenger poses as her substitute teacher, and once he gets an inside look at the problems at the school, he realizes there may be more than just a gang of punks causing the trouble. It's up to Berenger and his merc pals to try and rid the school of its criminal element, and make things safer for the kids. You cannot deny the good intentions of the plot, even if it is a bit preposterous. The acting is a little wooden in places, and the soundtrak (particularly the rap song in during the final credits) is laughable. The script has some questionable dialogue, and sometimes it can be downright amatuerish. There are plenty of shoot-outs and explosions to get the viewer's blood pumping, and it's nice to see someone make a stand in a tough environment like an inner-city high school. This movie has spawned a few sequels which I won't comment on since I have only seen one of them, and they have no connection to the original. Overall, this film is definitely worth watching if you are into action and revenge type themes. If you are looking for anything deep and insightful about the problems of the inner-cities, you may want to look elsewhere. So sayeth the Hound.
This movie, set in South Florida, incorporates history and realistic action to weave an entertaining story of South Florida crime. Tom Berringer is believable as a mercenary who seeks to find out why his girlfriend is attacked by a high school gang by becoming a substitute teacher. The acting, across the board, is excellent. The school principal, Glenn Plummer, provides a believable ringleader of the school gang with a powerful acting role. Mark Anthony is outstanding as his top henchman and provides one of the best acting jobs of any singing entertainer since Mark Walberg. MA is a natural! The action is never static, the fights are believable in comparison to standard Hollywood fare, the locations are real and the overall dialog and cinematography is outstanding. No cheap tricks like unnecessary explosions or animation matting needed to cement this action in reality. I highly recommend this movie (even on standard TV having to wait through the ads is not a problem). It is entertaining, credible and keeps you hooked to see how they wrap it up. If you like gritty, real, down-to-earth action with high school kids who are more than cardboard characters, this is a movie you'll love. If you're from South Florida, it is a major bonus seeing SF locations although jumping from Fort Lauderdale to Miami stretches the reality of living in this area. Rent it, buy it, love it.