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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

When Passion Knows No Limit

No Mercy (1986) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Lincoln's faceThe Chicago Police Department and the New Orleans Police Dept. (“still P.O.'d about losing the [Civil] War”) are not on amiable terms with each other, so when Chicago cop Eddie Jillette (Richard Gere) hits the Big Easy pursuing a lead in his partner Joey Collins (Gary Basaraba)'s death, he's encouraged to be on the next plane back. Instead he latches onto the fetching moll Michel Duval (Kim Basinger) of his prime suspect, Cajun kingpin Losado (Jeroen Krabbé,) leaving him up the creek without a paddle. Seems that Eddie's weakness is women and he may have bit off more than he can chew.


There's a cartoonish—pardon the pun—prelude to this movie. The two detectives are under­cover in a car­wash to bust a dealer whose trans­actions occur behind the closed curtain. They penetrate the car in situ causing it to wreck into the inflated mascot out front. All that trouble for a bag of weed (“All we got is grass.”) Their superior Capt.Stem­kow­ski (George Dzundza) has a cow when the department gets sued for destruction of the mascot.

A viewer with an artistic bent might be struck by a parallel between the aborted drug deal and another kind of abortion. The bag of grass would be a tissue mass recovered from the womb of the car, no big deal. The toppled boy mascot would be a destroyed fetus that others consider valuable. In a bizarre way this prelude seems to conflate suds and sex.

With that in mind we come to Eddie's question to a preoccupied Joey one day, “Is your old lady on a moon cycle?” Joey passes it off with, “Yeah, well, that's what happens when you get married, Eddie.” This sets us up for a later scene where Eddie is traipsing through the bayou with his prisoner Michel in tow and they come upon a deserted fishing shack. When Michel goes to drink from a rusty spigot, Eddie points to a hand-lettered sign: Not fit to drink and asks her, “Can't you read?”—she can't. They instead drink from a jug in the fridge. With our minds going in a certain direction, we may also note that we don't want to slake our sexual thirst while the lady is on her moon cycle. This is actually a biblical metaphor, no less. (Prov. 5:15) “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.”

This coincides nicely with a note in my Jewish Study Bible:
Prov. 5:15-19: This … passage in the Bible … explicitly celebrates the pleasures of marital sex. … The metaphors in Prov. 5:15-18 speak of a man's wife as his well, a source of refresh­ment that slakes (sexual) thirst.—
Also noted for the same passage in my Criswell Study Bible is:
5:15-19 These verses use frankly erotic language … in expressing … that sexual delight in marriage is by divine design. … The wife is compared to a “cistern” and “well.” This figure enhances her value in the eastern world in which water was scarce and valuable.—

butcher(Prov. 5:16-17) “Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee.” The action in the movie quickly moves to the stock­yards where there are a couple scenes of (cow-) blood being hosed off in the street. In an agrarian society, that may have been common, especially after an animal had given birth unexpectedly. According to my Criswell Study Bible, “The terms ‘fountains’ and ‘rivers of water’ are references to children, the fruit of the marital union” (ibid.) Losado tells Michel, “I've decided that it's time for you to have a baby.” She confides to Eddie, “I'm not a whore. I've never been with any­one except Losado.” Having children, especially when he is certain they're his, is a way to cement their bond.

(Prov. 5:18-19) “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” Consulting Criswell:

5:19 The phrase “loving hind and pleasant roe” is a reference to animals commonly used in Semitic poetry as figures of female beauty, and it is used here as a term of endear­ment. The wife's love is to satisfy and refresh her husband. The verb “ravished” (shagah, Heb.) is literally “to reel as under the influence of wine” or “to be intoxi­cated.” In other words, the idea is that one can no longer restrain him­self or act under his own power. The one loved presents her­self as lovely. The wife is not only an intellectual companion but a satisfying lover as well.—

mint sprigWhen Eddie goes to interview mint julep sipping Susan, widow of wealthy Paul Deveneux (Terry Kinney) the original victim, she can't tell him much about him because she'd been so neglected that she knew very little about her husband's affairs. But Paul was all over Michel to the point of going to Chicago with her to hire a hit man to free her from Losado.

(Prov. 5:20-21) “And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.” According to Criswell, “When marriage is merely a business arrange­ment with­out the tender delights of love, human passions are open to testing and often seek other out­lets (v. 20). Tender and loving affection between husband and wife is the best and surest defense against promiscuity.”

(Prov. 5:22-23) “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.” Things did not end well for Paul Deveneux in Chicago. Fact is Eddie might be in jeopardy him­self barring the demise of Losado. He's presented as poor husband material but is attractive to Michel for not being too clinging.

Production Values

” (1986) was directed by Richard Pearce. It was written by Jim Carabatsos. It stars Richard Gere, Kim Basinger, and Jeroen Krabbé. Both Basinger and Gere delivered excellent per­for­mances. They worked well together. Krabbé does over­play the villain despite his limited lines. Other­wise, the acting was all around great.

The movie was rated R. It's in English with some Cajun French. It was filmed on location in Chicago and Algiers, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. The music was atmospheric. It was sexy, hard-boiled neo-noir with some light moments.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This movie grabs one from the start and weaves a few very basic plot lines across an unfamiliar geography. Its plot is pretty original, and the villains are regional. It's worth an evening viewing.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software, Print.

The Criswell Study Bible. Authorized King James Version. Nashville | Camden: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1979. Print.

The Jewish Study Bible: Tanakh. New York: Oxford University Press. New Jewish Publication Society 2nd ed. of 1999. Print.