The Substitute


Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 41%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 40%
IMDb Rating 5.9 10 10284


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 7,571 times
June 28, 2016 at 03:06 PM



Tom Berenger as Jonathan Shale
Ernie Hudson as Principal Claude Rolle
Raymond Cruz as Joey Six
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
833.14 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 54 min
P/S 6 / 29
1.74 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 54 min
P/S 4 / 18

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Comeuppance Reviews 5 / 10

The Substitute has attained "Video Store Classic" status

Shale (Berenger) is a Vietnam vet and mercenary. He has a team of mercenary buddies that he does missions with - Rem (Guzman), Wellman (Brooks), the reliable Joey (Cruz), and the unhinged Hollan (Forsythe). After having gone through hell and back during numerous wars and dangerous escapades, nothing can prepare them for the most threatening and perilous mission yet - high school!

When Shale's love interest Jane (Venora) is attacked in true Nancy Kerrigan-Tonya Harding fashion, Shale does the only logical thing - he goes undercover as her substitute while she's out convalescing. Unfortunately for Shale, the school is a chaotic jungle of drugs, gangs, bad language and tardiness. Principal Claude Rolle (Hudson) seems to be doing his best, but a gang called the Kings of Destruction rule the school. KOD (not to be confused with "Youth of the Nation" band POD) is led by Juan Lacas (Anthony), so Shale, now teaming up with not just his merc buddies but also some teachers and a few of the better students, try to get to the bottom of all the criminality going on at that particular Miami high school. Will the baddies succeed, or will they graduate from SHALE University? Find out today...

The Substitute is a movie that was a popular enough rental on VHS that it spawned three sequels to date, and in our minds remains tied to the video store era. It almost feels like cheating for us to re-watch it on DVD (never mind Blu-Ray), but it's hard to resist the inexpensive DVD collection that compiles all four Substitute movies for one low price. It has a junkier, grainier look than we remembered from those golden days when we chose it from among the many options at our local video store. It's also significantly longer than we remembered - at almost two hours, it's unnecessarily lengthy. But, then again, it did play in theaters, and "theater movies" always think they have to be longer than they need to be. Needless to say, this would never make it to the theater today.

If you take all the "bad school" movies that have been with us for such a long time - everything from Blackboard Jungle (1955), to The Principal (1987), Class of 1984 (1982), Class of 1999 (1990), Dangerous Minds (1995), Detention (2003), and, of course Class of 1999 II: The Substitute (1994), not forgetting the parody of such films, High School High (1996), and amalgamate them, and add some "Mercenary Humor", you get The Substitute. One thing the aforementioned movies don't have, of course, are Tom Berenger's stunning purple shorts. Or Raymond Cruz's man bun. He was quite ahead of the current man bun trend. We think that's what The Substitute will really be remembered for.

Sure, there's a lot of silly dialogue, a couple of brain-numbing action scenes, and your typical 35-year-old teenagers, and that's all well and good, but sadly there's some bathroom humor, mostly typified by the character of Wolfson (De Young). Just why an overlong movie felt it had the time to include bathroom-humor scenes remains a frustrating question. That aside, the library scene is a winner, even though you have to wait almost an hour to get there. The presence of Marc Anthony as Lacas makes you understand why J. Lo fell so madly in love with him. One thing you have to give The Substitute is that the cast is really strong, with plenty of names/faces we all know and love. Although, not to be mean, Berenger looks a little chunky to be a mercenary in fighting-fit shape. Maybe that's why he didn't return for the sequels and the great Treat Williams took his place. Or perhaps we should say substituted for him. Sorry about that, but I guess we have substitutions on the brain, as this movie teaches us that the practice of substituting solves all of life's problems.

Finally, special mention should go out to one Willis Sparks as the character of John Janus. He was a competing mercenary who even had a truly awesome "mercenary demo reel", which was unquestionably a movie highlight. (It ought to be; Janus informed us that it was created by a guy who normally does "rock videos"). Janus's demo reel should have been this movie. Or it at least should have spun off into a movie of its own. It would have done in the 80's, but by this point we were firmly entrenched in the 90's, so, consequently there was no John Janus spinoff movie. Too bad.

At this point in our nation's history, The Substitute has attained "Video Store Classic" status, so anyone who remembers it from that time will appreciate it still, but to be honest it's not without some significant flaws. In other words, it's no Substitute 3: Winner Takes All (1999), that much we can tell you.

Reviewed by Claudio Carvalho 7 / 10

Brainless but Highly Entertaining

After a failed mission in Cuba with three casualties, the mercenary Jonathan Shale (Tom Berenger) and his team composed by Joey Six (Raymond Cruz), Rem (Luis Guzmán), Wellman (Richard Brooks) and Hollan (William Forsythe) return to Miami. Meanwhile, the history teacher at the Columbus High School Jane Hetzko (Diane Venora) is threatened by the gangster Juan Lacas (Marc Anthony), who is the leader of the dangerous street gang Kings of Destruction. She reports the menace with her colleague Darrell Sherman (Glenn Plummer) to the Principal Claude Rolle (Ernie Hudson), but he does not take any attitude. When the scared Jane returns home, she meets he boyfriend Shale that was visiting her and they spend the night together. On the next morning, Shale has a meeting with the rogue lawyer Matt Wolfson (Cliff De Young) that offers a job to protect a shipment of drugs but Shale declines the offer. When he returns to Jane's apartment, he learns that she is jogging at the beach. He walks to meet her and save Jane from the attack of the strong punk Bull (Jim Warne) that breaks her kneecap and flees. She asks him to invite a substitute to replace her and Shale adopts the alias James Smith to replace Jane. Soon he learns that Lacas and Rolle are associated to the drug lord Johnny Glades (Rodney A. Grant) and using the school to store and distribute the drug in Miami. Shale summons his crew and decide to clean the school and eliminate the gangsters.

"The Substitute" is one of those action movies in the style of "Rambo" or "Death Wish" franchises that are brainless but in the same time highly attractive. The cast has Tom Berenger still in good shape in the role of the hero and many great villains. The story uses the violence of "Class of 1984", with a gang of delinquents threatening the teachers. For fans of this type of film, "The Substitute" does not disappoint. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "O Substituto" ("The Substitute")

Reviewed by OneEightNine Media 6 / 10

School of hard knocks

Thank you, El Ray for helping me discover fun little gems like The Substitute here. A film about a mercenary becoming a substitute teacher, practically for sh!ts and giggles. It is packed with one liners, bada$$erary and a decent amount of action. But it is an odd bag of a film. The in-classroom scenes are truly awesome but the rest of the film feels like a dated family sitcom. But whatever, it works well and is fun regardless. It is a fun movie and I can see it being a guilty pleasure type of deal, if you have the fast-forward button handy. Yeah, it is a total grind house picture, without trying to be one.

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