In central park six year old Sasha Davidson (Laura Dankel) is kidnapped by a man posing as a street mime and a guy in a van. Sasha’s father is shot.

Mike Hammer (Stacy Keach) wakes up to find his street has been taken over by a production company making a movie. The star of the movie is Joanna Lake (Lauren Hutton). Hammer pauses awhile to watch. Across the street he sees a little girl being entertained by a street mime. Something about him gives Hammer an uneasy feeling. The mime picks up the girl, puts a cloth over her face and runs away with her. Hammer is right on his tail. After some gun fire Hammer rescues the child. The little girl is Megan (Emily Rose Chance), the daughter of Joanna Lake. Later the mime is found dead.

Although it’s not normally a job that Hammer would take, he agrees to act as Megan’s bodyguard. Since the filming is moving to Los Angeles, so is Hammer. He isn’t on the job long before the kidnappers try again. This time they manage to kidnap Megan. Hammer finds Megan’s derelict and gambling addicted father, Nick Anton (Stephen Macht), and brings him to Joanna’s house. By the time they get there a ransom message is received. The kidnappers want $500,000. Hammer and Nick are charged with delivering the money but, of course, things don’t go as planned.

Hammer’s search for Megan and the kidnappers sends him down a rabbit hole and into the world of Vietnam special ops, a suicide unit of killers believed to be MIA and a black-market baby broker scheme.

“The Return of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” was released in 1986 and was directed by Ran Danton. It is a made for television detective crime mystery and is the third in the Mike Hammer series that starred Stacy Keach and was based on the character created by Mickey Spillane.

If you’re expecting Hammer to be uncomfortable around children, you are mistaken. He handles children with the same aplomb as he does every situation. There also isn’t as much cleavage as in previous films either. Hammer is a little more sensitive and a little less hardboiled. I actually enjoyed this movie a little more than the first two. He’s tender to the little girl and snarky to everyone else.

The film includes Cameos from Bruce Boxleitner, Dabney Coleman and Dionne Warwick. Jo Ann Pflug plays a TV reporter and Mickey Rooney plays Jack Bergan, Joanna Lake’s agent. When Mike asks Mickey Rooney’s character, Jack Bergan, where Megan’s father is he tells him that he is playing cards at Joe Yule’s. Mickey Rooney’s real name is Joe Yule Jr.

There was another Mike Hammer series before Stacy Keach. In 1958 Darren McGavin played Hammer in “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer”. It was the first syndicated television series based on the character. Bart Burns played Captain Pat Chambers. There was no Velda. It ran for two seasons. They were half hour episodes.

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