Tropical Heat: Sweating Bullets was a short lived crime drama from the early nineties. The series aired in the United States as Sweating Bullets and as Tropical Heat elsewhere. The show revolves around a former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent turned private investigator who works with a travel agent to fight crime in the paradise of Mariah Key, Florida. The series follows a tone that borderlines playful and dramatic. The approach makes for some decent entertainment, but it still does not equate to anything remarkable. The show features lots of girls in bikinis, cheesy fight scenes, goofy dialogue, and plenty of bad acting. If you have not seen Tropical Heat: Sweating Bullets, you will not be missing out on much.
The main character is Nick Slaughter (Rob Stewart). Nick is a former DEA agent who was fired for aiding and abetting a felon. There was a woman who was accused of a crime and all of the evidence pointed to her guilt. Nick, however, felt she was innocent and helped her escape the country. This act ended his career with the DEA (and why he is not in jail, I don't know) and since then he has setup shop as a private investigator in Key Mariah. Nick is a ladies man and serious about nothing. He acts goofy and jokes about everything, but when it comes to detective work, he puts his heart and soul into it.
The other main character is Sylvie Girard (Carolyn Dunn) who joins Nick as his secretary/business administrator. Sylvie was an exclusive travel agent for rich and powerful. She met Nick when she was in Mariah Key trying to fix a small problem she got herself in the middle of. She unknowingly rented her boss's yacht to a convicted criminal who disappeared with the boat. She hired Nick to help her find the boat and found herself in the middle of a murder and several million dollars of stolen money. In the end, she lost her job and teamed up with Nick to fight crime.
Joining Nick and Sylvie are Ian (John David Bland), who is Nick's good friend, a fellow playboy, and the owner a local bar, Lt. Carillo (Pedro Armendariz), the local cop in charge of the law and a person who doesn't always see eye-to-eye with Nick, but under it all appreciates his work, and Ollie Porter (Eugene Clark), a former Philadelphia detective who joins the local police department and helps Nick out on occasion.
The cast has some limitations. None of their performances are outstanding, but Stewart handles his role fairly well and produces some decent chemistry with the rest of the cast. He also brings his character a likeable feeling by means of his goofy antics. But in the end Stewart's sole performance isn't enough to make this show really entertaining.
The cast is not the only element lacking about this series, as the stories are fairly narrow and offer predictable and more often than not lackluster presentations. The show lacks depth in its content. The cases Nick and Sylvie deal with involve murder, white collar crime, the mafia, biological weapons, insurance fraud, and scandals of all kinds. What does not work about these cases is simply how they are handled. Everything is handled in such a simple fashion that there is little in terms of intrigue. And at times it feels like one case is just like the other.
In the end, I feel Tropical Heat: Sweating Bullets has little appeal. The characters are decent, but nothing remarkable. In general the performances are not very convincing, which doesn't help with the simplistic stories in each episode. In addition, content aside, the presentation values of this DVD release are pretty poor. This DVD release offers some low grade video quality, which is due to the older source medium and the abundance of video compression. (You can read more about this in the "Video" section of this review.) Overall, Tropical Heat: Sweating Bullets is not worth the time or money.