And now for an occasional feature, The Jerk. He is not Simcha. He has not been here for a while. We would say he is back by popular demand, but that would be a lie. Please be warned, Sean Connery uses some very bad words in this piece.
Hi, I’m The Jerk. You might remember me from that time I ruined Simcha’s chances at a book deal. Lookit, there was a big bowl of mashed potatoes and it seemed like that kind of a party.
But most of you remember me for the hilarious and insightful movie reviews I used to post here. You remember, the ones you read the first couple of lines of, and then promptly unsubscribe from the blog, unfriended Simcha on Facebook, and then called the police to report seeing something disturbing on the Internet. I’m still dealing with that bail, Hallie.
When we last left off, I was obliged to write a review of Zardoz, Sean Connery and John Boorman’s completely stoned collaboration about a future world, and Sean’s penis. Well, unlike the Yentl disaster, I did watch the whole thing. And I did write a detailed and, in my opinion, funny review. But … you see … it was … kinda … well …
When even I think the jokes might be inappropriate, there is a problem. So, much like the true location of Walt Disney’s head (Space Mountain) that review will have to remain a secret.
In it’s place, I submit to you good people this classic:
First: Mickey Rourke. Did I mention Mickey Rourke? Pre-boxing Mickey Rourke? When he still looked like a human and not Bea Arthur without her makeup?
You may not remember, but there was a time when Mickey Rouke was not only a great actor, but a good looking leading man to boot. He was Brando without the weight. He was Jack Nicholson with hair. He was Steve Guttenburg, without being Steve Guttenburg.
Unfortunately for Mickey, the time when he was a celluloid god also happened to coincide with the period in American history during which cocaine was extremely popular. So, The Pope of Greenwich Village came out in 1984, and by 1990, the Mickster needs a damn job. Enter, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, released in 1991, and set in the crazy future world of 1996, for no particular reason. Seriously, there is nothing in this crazy 1996 that makes you say, “Hey, that’s sure futuristic. How cool.”
Yikes. Wayne’s World was the highlight. Who knew?
You wanna know what kind of movie you’re getting into? Lets run down the rest of the cast:
Don Johnson, as The Marlboro Man. That’s right, Sonny Crockett. Like David Duchovny, this guy can never be taken seriously in a movie not running on Cinemax After Dark. Not only does he stink of T.V., but, come on, Don Johnson? Doesn’t that sound dirty to you?
Let’s not go there, Don.
Daniel Baldwin, as some sort of villain. I think the deal is he wears a super special bullet proof long coat. Though, I am pretty sure they wrote that in to hide his weight. Man, is this guy fat. We’re talking Biggest Loser fat. We’re talking Chris Christie on a bender fat. We’re talking Alec Baldwin on 30 Rock fat. How do you get known as The Fat Baldwin?
Tom Sizemore as, um, some bad guy. Maybe the head bad guy? I’m pretty sure he was the villain. Yeah, definitely sure he was a bad guy. Definitely. I mean, how could he not be a villian? This guy was snorting coke and beating up hookers with Charlie Sheen back when Charlie Sheen was a washed up movie star. Now Charlie’s a washed up T.V. star, and Tom’s and ex-con!
And Vanessa Williams as a singer in a night club. She gets really good billing in the credits, and has about a minute and a half of total screen time.
We all were, baby.
Crimeny. All you need is Norman Fell, and you got a very special episode of The Love Boat.
Can it, Fell.
This movie has all the parts to be a silly, fun action spectacular, but it never comes off. There are a lot of little choices the filmamkers made, such as using the off-brand Baldwin, that leave this a flabby and dull movie. Maybe my standards are too high.
Our story opens with Rourke’s Harley Davisdson riding from Dallas to L.A. on his, um, Harley Davidson, while Bon Jovi’s Wanted: Dead or Alive plays over the credits. And it’s all down hill from there.
Mickey meets up with Don Johnson playing pool with an Indian (Am I wrong about this name?) He’s called the Marlboro Man cause, he, uh, looks like the Marlboro Man and always have an unlit cigarette in his mouth.
So, the level of writing may not be that high. I think there are some stabs at profundity in the movie. Rourke’s character wanders the back roads looking for a vague kind of God. Johnson’s character is still dealing with his relationship with his now dead father. Hey… and Rourke doesn’t drink, but smoke’s like a fish … and Johnson is trying to quit smoking … Crap. This is an AA movie.
But are you worth it?
The boys need something like $2 million to save their favorite blues bar from a greedy bank, run by Sizemore. So, naturally, they decide to rob the bank to come up with the money. And then, get this, instead of cash, the armored car they rob is full of drugs. Some sort of futuristic drug that you put in your eyes. That’s when the bank sends in the Daniel Baldwin-led goons to get the drugs back. Ugh.
If you feel you’ve seen a movie with this kind of plot before, you have, just not staged as lazily as this. The thing that really bugs me is not the canned story lines, but the dropped story lines. We get some references to this new eye drug, and that’s pretty much about it. We get the sense the future is a little on the Mad Max side of things, but except for everybody living like they’re in a bad movie, we don’t see what this future is like. We know Mickey’s character is pinning for a lost love, but we don’t know if she died, or left for another man, or got just sick of hearing him talk about Step 2.
There are gun fights, a pretty cool stunt of them jumping off that hotel in Vegas and landing the that pool you’ve seen in a bunch of other movies, and an extended sub-plot involving Don Johnson’s love life (a movie called Don Johnson’s Love Life ought to star David Duchovny.)
Of course, then there’s the catch phrase. You remember, the one all the kids were saying in the Summer of ’91? Like Mickey says, to Don, and then Don says to Mickey, “It’s better to be dead and cool, than alive and uncool.”
How’s that working out for you fellas?