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Some Camp, Lots of Gore in 'Sons of Thunder'

TV Review

March 06, 1999|HOWARD ROSENBERG | TIMES TELEVISION CRITIC

Ineptly written, stiffly acted, appallingly stupid and disgustingly violent, "Sons of Thunder" is one of those series that gives bad TV a worse name. How did it even get made?

The answer, of course, is lineage. It's spun from the successful Chuck Norris hour, "Walker, Texas Ranger," and created by him and his brother, Aaron.

The Dallas protagonists are "Walker" characters Trent Malloy (Jimmy Wlcek) and Carlos Sandoval (Marco Sanchez). Action is their game, thunder their name. Trent is a private eye and martial arts maven, Carlos is a cop who is being taunted by a serial killer who delights in savagely snuffing comely babes. "This guy's got a big ego, be careful," advises the sage Walker in one of several mentoring appearances here. "I'll be careful, Walker," Carlos replies.

So much for the dialogue. By the end of the hour, Carlos has a new career as Trent's partner in their own private eye agency, and there's gore galore. If you're into camp, a couple of scenes here are among the most brainless ever filmed. One finds the killer holding a knife to the throat of a hostage, and that gun-toting doofus, Carlos, backing down instead of shooting him, even though he has a clear shot at the guy's head.

Trent and Carlos are the "sons of thunder," but don't ask why, or try figuring why the murderer singles out Carlos to torment instead of some other cop. You'll find no answers here, nor would you expect any in a series that makes "Walker" look like "Hamlet."

\o7 * "Sons of Thunder" airs Saturday at 10 p.m. on CBS. The network has rated it TV14-V (not suitable for children younger than 14 with special advisories for violence).\f7

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