The Principal

-Mack Bates (The Leader)

The Principal (1987, Rated R, 110 minutes) available from Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment

Stars: James Belushi, Louis Gossett, Jr., Rae Dawn Chong, and Kelly Minter

Plot: The new principal (Belushi) along with the head of security (Gossett, Jr.) at Brandel High set out to radically clean up the school’s image, a cesspool of gangs, drugs, crime, and other depravity.

Features: Presented only in Full Screen, and Theatrical Trailers.

Final Word: Director Christopher Cain (The Next Karate Kid and The Great Panda Adventure) has never been known as much of a talent behind the camera. But this (the following year’s Young Guns, notwithstanding) is perhaps his most accomplished film, it’s nothing to write home about, but it’s an undeniable crowd-pleaser in the most obvious way. Belushi has fun in the title role, and Gossett, Jr. (light years away from the brilliance that was 1982’s An Officer and A Gentleman) mines his role for whatever heft there is, succeeding for the most part.

Rating: 2.5 briefs (out of 5)

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