5.9/10
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54 user 23 critic

The Substitute (1996)

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 ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Rem
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Ana Azcuy ...
TV Announcer
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Jerome Brown (as Sharron Corley)
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Tay
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Janus Showreel Narrator
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Storyline

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... Written by Todd Baldridge

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most dangerous thing about school used to be the students. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

19 April 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El sustituto  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,096,833, 21 April 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$14,752,141, 4 August 1996
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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was shot during the summer months and kids enrolled in summer classes were extras on the film. Free Papa John's pizza was served to anyone who would stay after school. See more »

Goofs

Red-capped pen when Shale is first meeting the black teacher and the librarian in the lounge. See more »

Quotes

Shale: Did you ever look up the word "mercenary"? It's someone who "works merely for money."
Joey: Everybody works for money.
Shale: It's not the money that bothers me; it's the "merely."
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Connections

Followed by The Substitute: Failure Is Not an Option (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

I Got That Cream
Written by Master P
Performed by Master P
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brainless but Highly Entertaining
17 May 2017 | by See all my reviews

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")


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