Criminals Need To Be Punished

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[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

The Punisher (Theatrical Cut) (2004): Breakdown by Rutledal

A G-Man’s family get’s killed, he kills the killers.

[THE EXECUTION]

Just to get it out of the way, this breakdown will not be based solely on The Punisher as an action movie, but also as an adaptation of the comic it’s based on. It’s not my favourite comic-book, but the character had a good couple of guest appearances in Spider-Man and I came to like the insane badass motherfucker that is The Punisher. For those not familiar with the character, Frank Castle was a war veteran having served 3 tours in Vietnam, then one day he and his family witnessed a mob execution while having a picnic in the park. Frank then witnessed the violent death of his family right in front of his eyes, (at the hands of the mob, wiping out the witnesses to their crime) but Frank survives and from that day on he becomes The Punisher, a vigilante that kills any and every criminal scum on the streets of New York.

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As for the 2004 movie, it’s pretty much one long origin story, being about Frank Castle’s first killings and ending with him embodying the role of The Punisher. So this movie is very different from it’s predecessor and it’s successor, both of which mostly deal with The Punisher slaying down hordes of criminals. But enough about comics and other films, let’s look at what made this a decent movie and what they put in to make sure it didn’t become better.

The Stuff I Liked:

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The Skull – It’s back. A thousand times yes, it’s back. What the hell where they thinking when they removed it? It’s like removing the “S” from Superman’s chest.

The Comic We Are Adapting, What If We Actually Read It – They didn’t include much from the comics, but a fair amount of “Welcome Back, Frank” made it to the screen. Sure they excluded some of the best parts (the recounting of the incident in the park, Frank making some peace with the city, etc) and left in some of the worst (Bumpo, the ridiculous affectations of The Russian, etc), but compared to the previous movie it’s as faithful as a nun. And for what it’s worth they at least wrote out the part where Castle murders the Russian by chocking him to death with Bumpo’s stomach. No shit.

Violence – The movie earns it’s R-rating with bloody deaths and squibs. No CGI here.

The Score – Carlo Siliotto’s score is excellent. When it plays over the title sequence I almost get chills down my spine. It doesn’t fit with my image of the Punisher, but it fits perfectly with the movie and that’s what matters, even if the movie isn’t that good.

The Homage Scenes – To a spaghetti western fan boy like myself seeing Hensleigh paying homage to the final gun fights of both “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly” and “Once Upon a Time in the West” almost makes me forgive everything else that is wrong with this movie.  And speaking of which…

The Stuff I Hated:

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The Skull at the Parking Lot – It’s cool that they brought the skull back, but that scene at the end when he creates it in burning cars is just retarded. It must have taken him hours to set up, and for fucking what? So that some plane passengers that might pass by could see it and think it was cool. Yay. [Editor’s Note: Not to mention all those innocent people’s vehicles getting destroyed. Thus making him a criminal and negating his own cause]

Location – New York is the ultimate vigilante city, it’s where Paul Kersey came to life, it’s where The Punisher lives in the comics, it’s even where real life vigilante group Guardian Angles was founded. So when making a movie about perhaps the best known (non-Batman) vigilante in pop culture where do you place it? Tampa Fucking Florida. I guess making a vigilante movie sunny is much better than dark and gritty.  Yeah, right.

Another Freaking New Origin Story – How hard can it be to follow the comic? Frank’s wife and two kids, one boy, one girl, gunned down by the mob for witnessing an execution. No, we need to get a totally new origin story. Again.

What This Situation Calls For Is A Plan – What is happening with the Punisher laying a detailed plan to get Saint to murder his own wife? Am I watching The Punisher or Trading Places here? If The Punisher wanted her dead he would have ripped her heart out and beaten her to death with it.

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John Travolta – I hate John Travolta. He brings many scenes down with his shitty overacting and wouldn’t make a worthy opponent for Frank Castle unless Castle was in a coma, or written as a transvestite showgirl.

The movie, unlike most other comic book adaptations, is pretty grim and at times even borderline depressing. There’s almost no end to the many, many scenes featuring Castle drinking and grieving about his family. When it was first released I loved this movie, but it hasn’t exactly grown on me. I’d still say it’s a pretty good action movie; it’s not exactly Die Hard, but it’s not Steven Seagal DTV quality either. As an adaptation of the comic that it shares its name with, it’s not that good, but as an action film it works for those who like badass cinema. There is less action, but more story than with the previous version. Whether or not that’s a good thing I’ll leave for someone else to decide, but at least I think it was. And if nothing else, at least the movie also gave us on heck of a badass follow-up video game.

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

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Thomas Jane is Frank Castle, is The Punisher

“Those who do evil to others: the killers, the rapists, psychos, sadistsyou will come to know me well. Frank Castle is dead. Call meThe Punisher.”’

Frank Castle is so bad-ass that you would actually have to put massive amounts of effort into making him anything but badass. The filmmakers do try though, making him sit about and cry and actually have him consider suicide. Luckily, they give him some redeeming features as well. He gets to kill a bunch of people and beat the bloody snot out of a handful more. He survives getting shot 4 times, including once in the chest at point blank range. And he is still the fucking Punisher, which is badass in and of  itself. He also uses a bow and arrow to kill people, something too few action heroes do nowadays.

[THE BODY COUNT: 43 + A Shitload Implied]

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Castle himself stacks up 22 kills, making him the least lethal Punisher to date. He kills 2 before becoming The Punisher and 21 after. Quite the change. Travolta (sigh) gets 3, and even Roy Scheider manages to off a badie with his 5 minute role. The rest are mainly Castle’s relatives getting shot by Saint’s henchmen, which is also where all the implied comes from.

[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]

Castle vs. The Russian

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Taken out of the comic and put onto the screen, this classic fight from “Welcome Back, Frank” is just as good, if not better, than I could have hoped for. Castle has a full 5 minute brawl with the most intimidating blonde Russian this side of Ivan Drago whilst classic opera music plays over the entire sequence. It’s like a beautiful ballet of violence.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

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There is plenty of shirtless action to go around for everyone, and Travolta always brings an extra level of gayness with his presence. Dave and Bumpo are lovers, there is no denying it. Just look at the two as Bumpo comforts Dave after he has been threatened by Joan’s ex. Frank even manages to get in the game himself. I know it’s true to the Punisher’s nature, but turning down Rebecca Romijn is gayer than having sex with a man. [Editor’s Note: Not even John Stamos could resist that ass. And he’s gay as shit.]

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Oh, and Will Patton’s character is actually a gay. He even makes out with a dude.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

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Actually there’s surprisingly little. Castle’s wife gets treated pretty well and, towards the end of her shortened life, she even becomes somewhat of a badass. At least until she starts hammering on a door yelling for help like a horror movie tramp. Joan, Castle’s neighbor, locks her self in her apartment when her ex-boyfriend comes and needs Frank to rescue her. She is really the worst one. Then there is Saint’s wife who seems to have a lot of power and is the one that orders Frank’s entire family dead. She really ups the girl power in this one. Well, at least until Travolta throws her in front of a speeding train that is. So not that little, I guess.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

The Good, The Bad and The Punisher

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I got to go with the shoot-out in the lobby of the Saint building between Castle, pseudo Michael Ironside* and another of Saint’s henchmen. It pays homage to the final shoot-out in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly with its close-up shots of faces and guns. It’s a damn cool shoot-out scene, in my opinion.

Candelaria: Vaya con Dios, Castle. Go with God.
Castle: God’s going to sit this one out.

I love that line. It’s just layered with bad-assness and sets the bar high for what’s to come. Unfortunately the rest of the movie never quite delivers.

*
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[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

You fuck with Frank Castle and he is gonna fuck your life up—and then kill you.

[THE CHECKLIST: 17 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[  ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[  ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[  ] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[  ] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel [REBOOT: Punisher War Zone]
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

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Did we already use the “splitting headache” joke?

The Punisher (2004) © Lions Gates Films and Film & Entertainment VIP Medienfonds 2 GmbH & Co. KG, Film & Entertainment VIP Medienfonds 3 GmbH & Co. KG and Artisan GmbH

The Punisher: Judge, Jury, Executioner, Sado-Masochist

The Punisher 01

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

The Punisher (1989): Breakdown by Rantbo

What if Paul Kersey was an insane 6’5”, muscle-bound Swede?

[THE EXECUTION]

Aside from the overblown budgets and overuse of computer graphics, my biggest gripe with this past decade’s action of popular choice, the Super-Hero film, are the painful, over-long and unnecessary origin stories. I attribute this modern trend to 20 years of teachers unions destroying the American education system and leaving today’s average youth brain-dead, apathetic stains on society’s panties. And as such, need their pussified action films reduced to queer costumed CG spectacles with shiny, step-by-step, 40 minute cartoonish explanations of why the joke-spewing protagonists are willing to dress up like flamboyant gays and make asses of themselves to stop crime.

The Punisher 02

Listen, if you don’t know the heroes’ backstory and aren’t content with a brief, ten minute-or-less explanation—go fuck yourself. The overweight/underweight dorks that make up the majority of the ticket buyers already do, so the studios are just wasting money and worse, my time with a sure to be two and a half hour monster effects-laden eye-orgy who’s first act would be better spent telling an original story and kept to a duration more in keeping with the average purging span of the human bladder.

And that’s why I love 1989. Not only did the major motion picture adaptation of Batman hit theaters, but also THE PUNISHER*.  Two great Super-Hero movies, both of which were fast paced, original takes that didn’t waste a third of their duration on boring ass origins. Especially PUNISHER.

The Punisher 03

See? Super-Heroes Can Be Gay And STILL Kick Ass, Hollywood

Clocking in at 89 minutes, and featuring 4 major action sequences, the filmmakers knew they couldn’t be fucking around with inconsequential bullshit like backstories. And thus—five minutes. That’s how long they spend on Frank’s origin. Five minutes. It takes more time to make a box of mac and cheese. And I can sum up all five of them up in one sentence: The mob wacks Officer Frank Castle’s family—Frank punishes the mob. And that’s all you need to know. Man, the 80s were fucking sophisticated.

Watching Dolph “He-Man” Lundgren machine-gunning mobsters, samurais and ninjas into red, misty clouds of blood and torn flesh is as close to a religious experience as I think I’m able to achieving. OK, so that’s taking it a little far, but to simply say this film is badass  might not nearly be enough. From the opening sequence of Castle’s infiltration and destruction of a mafia head’s house, to the finale storming of a Yakuza training house of death , THE PUNISHER is un-clothed balls-to-the-sewer-walls macho entertainment.

The Punisher 04

But it isn’t without its hindrances. For instance, Castle gets his underground info by way of a drunken, ex-thespian homeless man, who rhymes all his insider information. And aside from seeing Castle’s obvious disgust toward him, is almost insufferable. Thankfully, his role is limited to about 5 scenes. The other thing I could complain about, but won’t, is the lack of plot. THE PUNISHER’s narrative seems like the powers that be just took four or five preconceived action sequences, tied them all together with a paper-thin mob war scenario and then happened across the man with the rights to the Marvel character. But again, I’m not complaining.

And while this film version of The Punisher wasn’t much like the character of the comics (at least at the time), lacking the crazy weaponry, white leather boots and black jumpsuit, Lundgren’s Frank Castle is more like the version of The Punisher that I’ve grown to love from the MAX series. I much prefer the leather-clad, dark and stoic Frank to the cartoony 70&80s comic version anyways, so I say good riddance.  And while the trademark white skull is noticeably missing, I don’t mind so much, as I’m not a complete fucking dweeb. I figure, so long as he’s still killing dozens of scum in glorious R-rated splendor—what’s to bitch about!? Nothing. THE PUNISHER is a tight, fast, violent and funny piece of 80s super-hero action gold and is not to be missed. Especially if you, like me, are sick of seeing those pansy-ass models flying across green-screens in their underwear, to be digitally “enhanced” to the sums of untold millions. Beefy guys, big guns, buckets of blood, keep the camera steady and the film under two hours and I’m a happy guy.

*In Germany and Australia.

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

The Punisher 05

Dolph Lundgren is Frank Castle is The Punisher

For starters, he’s The Punisher—the greatest comic book character of the last 30 years. And in having Frank be played by a half-insane, sleep-deprived Ivan Drago/He-Man, the role couldn’t have been more macho, lest Castle roamed the streets naked, with a giant boner and the trademark white skull tattooed on his helmet. Yes sir, with Dolph’s impressive physique, martial arts training and ability to fire large cumbersome weapons with one banana fingered hand, I can’t imagine a better choice given the era.

– Lives in a sewer.
– Rides a motorcycle.
– Dresses in leather.
– Wields a shotgun as though it were a pistol.
– Fights ski-mask ninjas in an abandoned carnival.
– Gets tortured, yet never screams out, or buckles.
– Drives a bus, under heavy fire.
– Kills off an entire Yakuza crime syndicate.
– Kills off the final member of a mob syndicate—in front of his kid.

[THE BODY COUNT: 90+]

Frank proves he is king of the Castle with an impressive 60 kills, of varying degrees and shades of awesome. Which you can watch HERE. As for the rest, chalk them up to the organized crime war and flashback car bombing of Frank’s dearly beloved. Not to mention that in the backstory of Frank’s 5 years as The Punisher, he has taken down an outstanding 125 criminal scum-fuckers. Eat your heart out, Batman. And your testicles, while we’re at it.

[MOST SATISFYING DEATH]

Who Says Learning Can’t Be Fun?

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Overall, there are so many great novelty kills and epic death sequences within this flick, I would have been hard pressed to pick just one, so I went with the one that made me laugh the hardest.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

“You—you were his life. Before this ever happened. And you’ve been his life ever since. And you fucking well know that! How long do you think someone can live after you’ve cut out their heart! Is that what you want for Jake!?”

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Jake Berkowitz (Louis Gossett Jr.) and Frank were clearly fuck buddies. The story claims that they used to be “partners”, but insinuates they mean in a strictly platonic and professional way. But I can read through the lines. And you can too. All you need to do is watch the scene in the jail cell after Frank is arrested and Berkowitz pays him a teary-eyed visit. After a dramatic presentation of questions by Jake about the what and why of his partner’s betrayal to the written law, Berkowitz gets emotional and grabs onto Castle and starts to violently shake him, screaming “LET ME IN, LET ME IN!”. I feel I must reiterate, that this takes place within a jail cell.

The way I see it, five years back, Frank was struggling with his heterosexuality and with the sexual chocolate thunder that is Gossett Jr. waiting for him everyday at the precinct, who could blame him? But, he had his wife and daughters. The last strings holding Frank in place in the puppet show that was his “normal” American, suburban hetro life—and then, they were killed. Forced to cope with the death of his family and hetero ties to society, Frank went apeshit and transformed into the sado-masochistic leather-daddy known as The Punisher. Hell bent on killing the men responsible for turning him into a sexual deviant in the eyes of his Christian god, he will stop at nothing to remind the world not to fuck with a man on the edge of a gay lifestyle. They must be allowed to progress at their own speed, or look the fuck out.

Also, while they didn’t manage to procure the white skull logo for Castle’s shirt, they do manage to showcase the pale-white skin beneath it in several glorious sequences, including a fully nude one where Frank is praying to Jesus for directions on how to better slaughter criminals.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

The Women Of Punishment:

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Castle’s Wife And Two Daughters: Eviscerated in a car bomb.
Berkowitz’s Partner: Threatened with violence by Frank, then pistol whipped unconscious by a ninja.
Lady Tanaka: Knifed in the skull, with a skull knife.
Lady Tanaka’s Mute Daughter/Bodyguard: (My favorite) Choked, has her neck snapped like a board of balsa wood, and then has her corpse thrown to the floor like a sack of wet laundry.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

Frank and Franco Take On 18 Men In 10 Seconds

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It’s an orgy of punishment! There isn’t much more to say than that. The whole event literally takes only 10 seconds. Frank and his mafia “buddy” walk into a room filled with meditating Yakuza ninjas and open fire, laying waste to the lot of them. Which is made all the more awesome by the fact that throughout the entire movie, they show these guys training intermittently, leading us to believe that an epic showdown is bound to go down in the third act. Nope. ~PIPPIPIPIPIPIPIPIPIP!!!~ All dead. Too funny.

Berkowitz: You’re sick—you know that?
Castle: No I’m not.
Berkowitz: What the fuck do you call a hundred and twenty-five murders in 5 years, huh!?
Castle: Work in progress.

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

Stay clear of abandoned carnivals. Ninjas live there. And possibly hobo-clowns.

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Indeed. It scares me too, big guy.

[THE LIST OF LUNDGREN: 3 outta 5]

[  ] Ends The Movie Smiling
[X]
Gets Captured
[  ] Screams While Shooting
[X] Shows Off Buffness
[X] Teaches Values

[THE CHECKLIST: 19 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[  ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)*
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[  ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Remake [The Punisher (2004)]
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

*I’ll be counting Dolph’s spray-painted beard.

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I can tell you with certainty, the carpet does not in fact, match the drapes.

The Punisher (1989) © New World Pictures and Artisan Entertainment

The Punisher 2004 killcount

The Punisher (2004)

Punisher

Starring Thomas Jane

Watch video:

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Total Bodycount: 43

Jane kills 22

Discuss

The Punisher (2004) © Lions Gates Films and Film & Entertainment VIP Medienfonds 2 GmbH & Co. KG, Film & Entertainment VIP Medienfonds 3 GmbH & Co. KG and Artisan GmbH

Jackie Chan Moles And Policewomen

The Heroine

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

The Heroine (1973) a.k.a. Ru jing cha a.k.a. Rumble In Hong Kong a.k.a. Police Woman: Breakdown by Kain424

A cop searches for the gang that killed her sister with the aid of a taxi driver who’s being harassed by the same gang.

[THE EXECUTION]

After starring in Little Tiger Of Canton, Jackie Chan went right back into stuntwork playing an extra in a few roles here and there.  Jackie worked again with Bruce Lee in Fist Of Fury, and the following year starred in yet another film called Eagle Shadow Fist.  That film would reunite Chan with fellow China Drama Academy alumni member Qiu Yuen, who would make her starring feature debut the following year in The Heroine.  Jackie, of course, was taken along for the ride.

A Chan Gang

Starting off with a mole-faced Jackie Chan as a gang leader (what?  Jackie’s a bad guy?) who attacks an innocent couple, the movie announces its menacing intent immediately.  But as if to counter that point, we are then introduced to Qiu Yuen’s cop character, beating a different gang and eventually holding one at knifepoint.  It is here, right at the start, that the problems begin appearing with the movie.

EYES!

To start, the film seems far too zoomed in, with much of the dialog being uttered just off screen.  Our main character, once introduced, soon disappears and then does so sporadically throughout the duration of the movie.  In fact, I wasn’t sure just who the main character actually was until about halfway through the film.  In doing so, the filmmakers have made a remarkably confusing plot for such an incredibly simple narrative.  They seem to have a message to make with the movie, but every point, when made, is immediately countered by a contradictory scene.  The characters complain about the violence in cinema, but then are in a film containing fight scene after fight scene.

Just Chattin'

The story is really about government control and the responsibility of the average citizen to assist the police force in any way possible.  Three years before Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, The Heroine already had a cabbie (played here by Charlie Chin) becoming so chafed by the city’s crime-ridden streets he decides to do something about it himself.  Blame is placed squarely on the media, who have apparently influenced the youth to a disturbing degree.  In the cabbie’s own, English-dubbed dialog with his pals:

Cabbie: “Look there.  All those books… they’re one of many contributing factors to crime.  I mean, they’re full of sex or violence.  And either way, they corrupt the young.”

Pal #1: “If that’s the case, why don’t they ban the books?”

Pal #2: “Listen to him.” *turns to cabbie* “Yeah, you’re right.  Go on.”

Cabbie: “Well, there’s another factor.  All these films we get about violence.  The kids are very impressionable.  I mean, they see all these films and they wanna imitate their heroes.”

Pal #1: “What heroes, though?  All they see is robbers, rapists, muggers and murderers!  For God’s sake, they’re supposed to be heroes?”

Cabbie:  “Ha.  I know that.  So do you.  But the kids don’t.  It’s not their fault.  It’s all the producers, writers and the directors.  They present all these criminal types as semi-heroes.  Kids just don’t discriminate, it looks very glamorous.  They got a lot to answer for, I tell you.”

Pal #1: “If I was the government, I’d just ban the whole lot!  The whole damn lot.  The books, the films.”

They then proceed to talk, nonchalantly, about shooting people opposed to this sort of trampling of freedom of speech.  Fuck those liberal bastards.  This conversation comes completely out of nowhere.  I’m pretty sure the film was written around this exchange so they could get their message to the masses.  Fuck you, Chinese Cultural Revolution!

Of course, the real reason I watched the movie was to see Jackie Chan.  He is in the film, no doubt, but the movie simply isn’t good enough to warrant a viewing from anyone but the most stalwart fans.  It’s shot poorly, has a confused script, an unengaging lead without her due screentime, and an embarrassingly fascist message.

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

Qiu Yuen

Qiu Yuen is Inspector Ho Mei

Yuen plays the role as a typical female who also happens to be a cop.  She asks a lot of questions, gets captured, and kicks ass when the script says so.  If only she was in the film some more!

[THE BODY COUNT: 1 but maybe 3]

A woman dies abruptly in a cab, seemingly from opium withdrawal.  It’s possible Jackie’s gang killed the two lovebirds in the beginning of the flick, but it’s certainly not shown on screen.  Pretty damn light.

[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING]

Charlie Chin vs. Jackie Chan

Jackie Gets Kicked

During the final battle, Charlie and Jackie take turns chasing each other with cars, fighting atop the vehicles, and finally resorting to kung fu combat.  And while there is no way in hell Chin could defeat the young and virile Chan (who was 19 at the time) in real life, I think they do a decent enough job making us believe it.  It’s easily the best fight of the film.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

Not much to say here.  There is one guy in Jackie’s gang who likes to wear a vest with no shirt, but looks can be deceiving.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

Our protagonist, though a cop, is still a chick.  This means she gets captured, but fortunately she easily escapes.  But just before you write this one off as a film about empowerment, I’d like to introduce to you the two opium addicted sleazebags featured herein.

Interesting Poses, Ladies...

One of these girls, Yuen’s sister, starts all the chaos in the first place.  It appears our main baddie is kidnapping these women and hooking them on drugs to make them his slaves of some kind.  She escapes the clutches of the gang for a few minutes, only to die in the back seat of the first cab to pick her up.  Wuss.  The other girl is just another druggie, crawling on all fours and shaking for a fix.  She can’t even get her orders right, being sent on a couple missions to retrieve incriminating evidence against the gang.  She tries at first, but far too quickly gives up on using any sort of tact and resorts to crying for the object in question.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

The big fight at the end of the movie between Jackie Chan, his fellow lackeys, and the cop and the cabbies.  Despite getting his ass kicked for much of the entire film, Charlie Chin manages to take on several guys and Jackie himself.  Qiu Yuen pretty much owns the scene though, hardly getting a scratch on her.  She kicks a lot of ass.

Earlier, the main baddie has Qiu Yuen captured.  He digs through her purse and discovers her police identification card and laughs at the thought of a female cop:  “Don’t make me laugh.  You women police, the only thing you can do is hand out parking tickets.”

After beating down all his men and capturing him, Yuen finally retorts: “Now then, what was that crack?  The one about parking tickets?”

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

The state should really crack down on violent media.  Those drug dealers certainly aren’t the problem.

[THE GIST OF JACKIE: 3 outta 5]

[X] Breaks Into Someplace Or Escapes By Way Of Acrobatics
[  ] Has An Annoying Tag-Along Companion
[  ] Makes The ‘OW!’ Face And/Or Rubs A Soar Spot
[X] Performs A Ridiculously Dangerous Stunt
[X] Uses A Random Object To Defend Himself

[THE CHECKLIST: 12 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[  ] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse
[  ] Giant Explosion(s)
[  ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[  ] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[  ] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[  ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[  ] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[  ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[  ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

Holy Moley!

Holy Moley!

Bond Breakdown: Special Entry: Casino Roayle (1967)

Casino Royale 01

[THE CLASSIFIED INTEL]

Casino Royale (1967): Bond Breakdown by Rantbo

Legendary British spy, Sir James Bond, is reluctantly coursed out of retirement to bring about the destruction of a sinister organization responsible for the disappearances of numerous agents from around the world. Devising a plan of utter absurdity, Bond collects MI6’s remaining agents, re-names them all James Bond and sets them about various tasks that go nowhere, do nothing and are eventually abandoned by the plot in favor of a cavalcade of nonsense.

[THE BOND SONG AND CREDITS SEQUENCE]

Obviously, as this is an unofficial Bond film, the title and credit sequence are a far cry from the Maurice Binder style of sheer perfection. But, it’s not terrible either. At least, the visuals aren’t…

Casino Royale 02

Displaying the credits in a gaudy, though appropriately over-the-top, calligraphy style is in keeping with the grandeur of a movie named after a casino and even more so when regarding the content to follow. As for the theme, it was performed by a group(?) called Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass. And I’ll just say their name is more impressive than their musicianship. Legendary musician Burt Bacharach also lent his talent(?) to the film, and I must admit, his contributions did more for me, but not by a great margin. I actually found his scoring and songs to work far better in AUSTIN POWERS, a film clearly inspired by CASINO, yet far, FAR more enjoyable.

[BOND—JAMES, B-B-BOND (DAVID NIVEN)]

Casino Royale 03

Body Bags Filled [12] Bedpost Notches [0]

David Niven is “The true, one and only, original James Bond.” “The greatest spy in history, gentlemen.” “He’s more than just a man. He’s a god!”, or so we are told. But I have my reservations. The principal one being this bit of dialogue spoken by the man I am to believe is supposed to be Bond…

“In my day, spying was an alternative to war. And the spy was a member of a select and immaculate priesthood.  Vocationally devoted, sublimely disinteresting. Hardly a description of that sexual acrobat who leaves a trail of  beautiful dead women like blown roses behind him. Him and his wretched gadgets.”

I don’t care if they are taking a piss, they can’t expect me to accept this charlatan. This is not James Bond! And I really like David Niven. And so did Ian Fleming. Director Val Guest states in the special features on the DVD that Fleming had originally envisioned Niven as playing the role of the ‘official’ James Bond, going so far as to send him a copy of CASINO ROYALE, in hopes of enticing him to the part. Of course, we all know whom Broccoli and Saltzman decided upon, but I found this interesting. As it’s clear with his talent, look and poise that Niven would have been capable of playing a serious Bond.

I find it upsetting that when given the chance, Niven was only ever able to be in the send-up version. But this didn’t stop me from almost despising his mock Bond. He stutters, is celibate and seems to be borderline pacifist. And as such avoids confrontations, weapons, women and narcotics. Niven has a degree of charm, but COME ON! They give the guy nothing to work with! This Bond is a man who was thrown into trashcans in school and had sand kicked in his face at the beach, not a spy! And yes, I understand that THIS is the joke, but I’m not laughing. This shit is sad. Maybe it’s my tight-assed unabashed attachment to the idea and character of James Bond that wouldn’t allow me to just relax and laugh, or maybe this film really was as bad as I thought. Either way—I thought this Bond was terrible. I’m sorry, but I can’t help but be set in my ways on this one. I want my Bond, spoof or no, to be a womanizing, ass-kicking “Joke-shop spy”. Period.

[THE BOND VILLAINS]

Casino Royale 04

Orson Welles is Le Chiffre

Hey, it’s Orson “CITIZEN KANE” Welles, so the role has to be brilliant, right? Wrong. Welles is too camp and unreserved to be a believable Le Chiffre, in my opinion. In keeping with the Bond clichés of unique villain characteristics, the filmmakers decided to yuk-up Le Chiffre and gave him the social “tick” of being unable to contain urges to perform magic tricks. Yes, you read that correctly. Is nothing sacred!? This wasn’t just sad, it was annoying, as each of his little show-stoppers, did just that, dragging the sequences featuring him to a painstakingly unfunny, uninteresting halt. To be fair, I will say that Welles does vamp during the torture sequence (as awful and wacky as it was), but rather than credit his acting talent, I think the malice of his performance was fueled by his real life hatred of his prey, Peter Sellers. More on that later.

Casino Royale 05

Woody Allen is Jimmy Bond a.k.a. Dr. Noah

“You are a wretched, grotesque, ridiculous, insignificant, little monster!”
While watching this, I actually forgot Allen was in this movie. And for good reason, he’s only in it all of ten minutes. In playing a send-up of Dr. No, Allen does manage to pull off something Joseph Wiseman did with the straight performance, in being totally memorable with little screen time. Though unlike Wiseman, this isn’t necessarily a compliment. No, I’ll remember Woody’s “cleverly” named, Dr. Noah, for being so inanely, unintelligibly, random. It’s almost indescribable. While Allen does perform his usual self-deprecating snarkyness, he overshadows himself by acting batshit insane. At one point the character is strapping on a sombrero and performing a hat dance and the next, burping up animated clouds of turquoise poison… I—I don’t know what to make of it, but I certainly didn’t enjoy it.

Also, it bares mentioning that Noah is Bond’s nephew, Jimmy. No real reason, so far as I can figure. Though my best guess is that the writers thought it would be hilarious to have a relative of Bond named Jimmy. Clever…

[THE BOND GIRLS]

Casino Royale 06

Deborah Kerr is Agent Mimi a.k.a. Lady Fiona

Finally someone likable. Kinda. Sent by, I guess Dr. Noah (it’s ill-explained), Mimi’s mission is at least a funny, if not explainable one. Make James Bond horny. And combined with her entourage of hot, young French and Scottish teenagers, gives it her all. Yet, despite her best efforts, Mimi and her buxom brood are thwarted by Bond’s stone-cold celibacy and as such, she becomes enamored with him, and switches sides to aid in his quest to buzz kill the character into oblivion.

Casino Royale 07

Barbara Bouchet is Miss Moneypenny

Wow. While she is clearly a physical improvement on Lois Maxwell, she still managed to make me long for Grandma, as I don’t think this girl was able to speak and walk at the same time when they began shooting this. Bouchet’s scenes play out like a documentary on how she baby stepped her way into communicating other humans. It’s quite painful. Made worse by the fact that this version of Moneypenny had more to do in this spoof movie, than Lois Maxwell did in her combined 23 years in the role. Jesus, that’s sad.

Casino Royale 08

Ursula Andress is Vesper Lynd – 007

In this re-telling of the story, Vesper is a retired British agent, and millionaire, who spends her days accumulating more wealth. OK. Whatever, it can’t get worse, so I’ll just go with it. Acting with Bond as the through-line for this terribly befuddled narrative, Vesper recruits Peter Sellers’s character, Evelyn Tremble, and acts as his liaison, giving him orders from Bond and generally keeping him safe. Though she isn’t very good at her job, it ends up not mattering as Sellers was fired mid-way through the film and his character just disappears. And as such, they decided as a last minute tie-up to have Vesper turn on James a minute or two before the deus ex machina ending, though I couldn’t have cared less, as I was well beyond shaking my head at that point.

It was nice to see Andress in a role in which she wasn’t retarded and/or dubbed, but alas she had little to do other than just hang around looking pretty. However, there was this one scene where Tremble is having some weird acid-trip and freaking out, and Vesper appears with a machine gun and wastes an entire soundstage full of extras. It’s bloodless, of course, but it was still one of the few moments I actually liked in the movie.

Casino Royale 09

Joanna Pettet is Mata Bond

Yes, James Bond had a daughter. Why not!? Abandoned at three and raised by strangers (to be a whore, apparently), James reunites with Mata and recruits her to MI6 to go undercover to some kind of secret spy training facility in Germany. Once there, she uses her exposed navel to ruin an auction, or something that Le Chiffre was using to raise money… I couldn’t really follow it. And it doesn’t matter. Once again, the character serves her purpose for a fifteen minute sequence and all but disappears until the end of the film, where she is sporting a different hairdo and clothing style, leading me to believe that the actress was called back after having been “wrapped” for a few weeks in a half-ass attempt to tie up the ill-conceived story.

Resolution with her father, explanation for her absence, resounding impact on the story? All questions left unanswered. Including why they felt the need to have her be attracted to her father, going so far as to say, in so many words that if she didn’t know who he was, she would have pursued shagging him. Weird? Yes. Hot? Kinda. Unnecessary? Definitely.

Casino Royale 10

Jacqueline Bisset is Miss Goodthighs

OK, THE’RE NOT EVEN F*CKING TRYING! Miss Goodthighs? Are you shitting me!? Twelve year-olds can come up with more cleverly suggestive names than that! I don’t care if this was made in the 60s. Lazy! Stupid! Unfunny!  Arghhh…

And in case you’re wondering, NO! She serves no purpose, other than eye candy and is only on screen long enough to say her stupid-ass name and bat her eye lashes.

[THE BEST BOND-AID]

I had honestly wrote this section off, but then about 5 minute before the credits, Bond sees a flashing button on end of a stretch of hand-railing and presses it. What happens next—I don’t understand, but it was easily one of the three likable moments in the movie.

Casino Royale 11

For some reason, Dr. Noah had buttons installed throughout the casino that when pressed, trigger bullets to shoot out from the rails like a firing squad, and in this instance, they end up helping Bond to get his name on the score board. Something he was unable (unwilling) to do before, or after this little scene. So, kudos to this random bit of “gadgetry” for the lone cool Bondian moment of the film.

[BOND’S GREATEST HITS]

The Body Count [20 + Untold Dozens]:

Like I mentioned above, Bond takes out twelve with the press of a button right before the climax, and over previous course of the film, another eight are killed by various comedic means. Including: A mortar strike, a milk cart explosion, a firing squad, several accidental shootings and a couple other small explosions. Nothing too exciting, but this is a spoof comedy, so I wasn’t even expecting the ones we did get.

SPOILERS
Then of course, there is the ending in which Woody Allen goes nuclear and explodes in an atomic blast from some Alka-Seltzer tablet of doom and kills off every body in the casino. Yes, everybody. All the main characters, including Bond.

The Best Fight:

Casino Royale 12

There is a very brief tussle in the casino’s main office, that puts Bond up against a trio of Scottish bagpipers and he cleverly(?) overpowers two of them with a couple well placed (though thoroughly unconvincing) judo chops and outwits the third with his matador skills and a make-shift tiger-skin muleta, parrying his oncoming sword attacks. But it’s all rather un-exciting.

The Most Satisfying Kill:

As all of Bond’s kills are all bloodless, in rapid-fire succession and over within a few seconds, I refuse to fill this section out in his name. However, I will give the honor to Psychedelic Freak-Out Vesper and her bagpipe-Tommy gun slaying of an entire army.

Casino Royale 13

[HIS WORD IS HIS BOND]

Best Witticism:

As again, Bond refrained from killing outside of that one goofy instance, this section is all but moot. Though I did chuckle at the following exchange:

Tremble: What are you going to do to me?
Le Chiffre: Physically, nothing, Mr. Bond.
Tremble: Ah, so you’re going to nothing me to death.

Best Double Entendre:

Moneypenny: And what is your name?
Cooper (another double-0): Cooper, big eyes. But don’t be formal. Call me Coop.
Moneypenny: Sounds like something for keeping birds.
Cooper: That’s me.

[THE MISSION DEBRIEF]

“Sir James Bond is back. With his morals, his vows and his celibate image.”

I’ve tried really, really hard to refrain from using the following expletive from my Bond Breakdowns, but man, fuck this movie.

When film producer Charles K. Feldman (A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE) acquired the rights to Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, he originally intended to have the adaptation be made as one of the Eon Productions’ 007 entries. But, when negotiations with producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman fell through, he decided to make it anyways. Rather than attempt to compete with the juggernaut that was the ‘official’ series, Feldman resolved to make the film a satire of everything beloved in the established world of James Bond.

Released mere months before Eon’s fifth 007 entry, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, and riding purely on the popularity of the shared character’s name, CASINO managed to achieve moderate success, despite receiving less than favorable reviews. And this now includes mine.

Casino Royale 14

Split into segments, each featuring a separate director and seemingly separate ‘feature length’ budget, CASINO is a cognitive and over-blown nightmare. Originally budgeted at six million, the film’s final estimated cost came closer to twelve. Nearly three million MORE than YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE. And the worst part is, I couldn’t tell where all the money went. Best I can figure, it had to do with the countless unnecessary large and overly loud Warholian sets. Plagued with a disjointed and frantic production, coupled with the notorious real life feud between Welles and Sellers, leading to Sellers being told not to return back to set by Feldman, it’s not too hard to see why this film plays like such an erratic disaster.

Casino Royale 15

What The Hell Does This Shit Have To Do With James Bond!?

It’s like the 60s vomited and they scooped the spill into film canisters. And the script, if there indeed was one, is heinous. For every joke that hits, there are ten that penguin shit peanut butter. What!? Exactly. To be fair, I’m one of those people that don’t find ‘weird’ to be arty, funny or all that interesting. So, when the filmmakers self-dubbed this film as “psychedelic cinema”, I should have known I was better off staying clear. I just thought that perhaps the fact that this at least had SOMETHING to do with James Bond it would be enough to make it watchable, if only once. But, I was wrong. CASINO ROYALE is long, convoluted, largely un-funny and bizarre. And I seriously recommend avoiding it.

Though in an effort to end on a positive note, I will admit to simply loving the character of Coop (Terence Cooper). A double-0 chosen by Bond via Moneypenny for his charm and way with the ladies, Coop is trained to amp his appeal to women, while at the same time become immune to their returned sexual advances. His role is brief, to say the least, and like so many others, simply disappears without explanation or arch completion and it’s a god damn shame. The role was hilarious and the sequence in which he is training to resist his sexual urges and block out the charm of an onslaught of gorgeous women was the best in the film and easily beats the similar Femme-Bots sequence in AUSTIN POWERS. So, if you have any interest in this film, I implore you to just watch this one scene and leave the rest to be forgotten.

Casino Royale 16

[THE 007 SEVEN]

[  ] Destroys Evil Doer’s Lair
[X] Drinks or Orders a Vesper Martini*
[X] Gets Captured and/or Tortured*
[X] Introduces Himself As “Bond—James, Bond”*
[  ] Teams-Up With Felix Leiter
[X] Uses Judo or a Walther PPK to Dispose of an Enemy
[X] Wears a Tux*

*Peter Seller’s does…

Casino Royale 17

Buttercup: My Daddy liked it hotter!

Bond: I am not your Da-haa-haa—quite.

RANTBO will return in (a breakdown of) YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE

Casino Royale (1967) © MCMLXVII Famous Artists Productions Ltd., Columbia Pictures and MGM Home Entertainment

Vin Diesel killcounts

vin_diesel

Saving Private Ryan……………………………………………..3

Knockaround Guys………………………………………………4

xXx………………………………………………………………..15

A Man Apart………………………………………………………8

The Chronicles of Riddick………………………………………87

The Pacifier………………………………………………………10

Babylon A.D……………………………………………………..22

Fast & Furious…………………………………………………..11

Fast Five………………………………………………………….30

Riddick……………………………………………………………10

Fast & Furious 7………………………………………………….8

The Last Witch Hunter…………………………………………………11

TOTAL   219

**All counts above 9 are tentative. Until there is a video showing verification, you may take these numbers with a grain of salt.

T3: The Fall Of The Franchise

T3

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003): Breakdown by Kain424

Judgment Day wasn’t stopped, an even newer terminator assassin is sent back in time, and a T-800 is also sent back to escort John Connor to a safe location. That’s it. Whole movie. It’s a god damn escort mission.

[THE EXECUTION]

After thirty years in the industry, it is perhaps fitting that Arnold’s last starring role would also be one of his most recognized.  It’s just a shame it had to be in such a lame movie.  Over a decade had passed since the previous Terminator film had been released and the film’s ending seemed to wrap every thing up pretty conclusively.  The only logical sequel would have to technically also be a prequel, taking place in the future before time traveling came into the picture.

Did We Win Yet?

Despite this being the best course of action, and also despite this being what the fans had always hoped for, a new sequel was made as a sad retread of the last two.  In order to pull this off, the film needed either to ignore the ending of the last movie, or go in an inane new direction.  Amazingly, it does the latter.

T3 misses the “No fate but what we make” point of T2 and charges forward, with Schwarzenegger literally saying “Judgment Day is inevitable.”  Ignoring the fact that both the T-800 and T-1000 models of the previous film were the “new” terminators, yet another terminator is brought forth as the new one.  Sarah Connor, despite teaching John to survive after Judgment Day as described in the other two films, has died off sometime in the backstory.  John Connor himself is now a frightened, hiding pussy who seems to have lost his rebellious ways.  All of this, of course, punctuated with plenty of in-jokes and unnecessary attempts at humor.

Nekkid Arnie

For his part, Schwarzenegger shows up in amazing shape for a man in his mid-fifties.  Still, hack director Jonathan Mostow (U-571) wastes no time in poking holes in the Terminator’s tough image.  Using the cyborg as a device for comedy even more than exposition, the Terminator never feels like a strong character.  Without Schwarzenegger to lean on, the film becomes an unbalanced mockery of what it wants to be.

Things Go Boom

Perhaps most surprising is the lack of Action featured.  For a Terminator film, it is odd to see there are only two or three true action sequences, one being the epic car chase and another a one-on-one fight between the T-800 and the T-X, reminiscent of the T-800 vs. T-1000 fights in the second film.  Unfortunately, this remains a problem throughout. With every other moment being tongue-in-cheek referential to the previous films, it only serves to remind us that we could be watching either one of these vastly superior movies instead.

Gimme a Scream

The special effects are decent enough, but there are far too much emphasis upon them.  While the first two Terminator films had some interesting ideas put into use with eye-popping visuals, T3 simply mixes the ideas used in those films without adding anything new.  And while the idea of a female terminator stalking the protagonists is an inevitable choice for the series, the filmmakers once again resort to jokes and sight gags instead of doing anything great with the concept.

And yet with so much humor taking away from the action, they somehow manage to end the film on an unexpectedly dark note.  In a way, I guess I could give it kudos for daring to go there, but if it was already meant to happen it sort of feels like everything we’ve witnessed is a waste of time.  The Terminator doesn’t bother laying waste to every person he comes across, even though he knows it won’t matter, which steals from us the possibility of there being some sort of grand shootout to at least distract us from the horribleness of every new plot contrivance that blatantly contradicts the established canon of the originals.  James Cameron’s touch is sorely missed here, but not nearly as much as real action (now replaced almost entirely with CGI) is lacking from this mess.

Terminator 3: The Rise Of The Machines is a waste of time.  The truth be told, the movie is sort of on the mid-range of mediocrity; certainly not in the same league as its predecessors, but not the worst film Arnie’s ever done.  It goes from being somewhat okay and watchable, to being completely terrible and cringeworthy.  It had the budget, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the effects to make a truly epic film all its own.  But instead of making the action movie the fans wanted, they made a comedy version of a film everyone had already seen.

[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]

Arnie

Arnold Schwarzenegger is The Terminator

The Terminator, this time, is sort of a mix between the T-800 from the previous film and an Arnold Schwarzenegger caricature.  There is a sort of regression in bad-assness, going from “Fuck you, asshole!” to “Talk to the hand!”  The T-800 keeps from killing anyone, once again, until the very end of the film.  Despite no one telling him not to. Still, the old Model 101 looks ripped and features some good work from Arnie, particularly the “I am a machine!” sequence.

Some Pussy

Nick Stahl is John Connor, apparently…

Something odd happened to John between this film and the last.  I don’t mean to go too far into specifics, but I don’t see him and Catherine Brewster having children since he seems to have completely lost his balls.  The guy should be MacGuyver resourceful and Jason Bourne fight-tastic, but all we get is a whiny wuss.  What the hell happened?

I'll Be Wearing This Face For The Remainder Of The Movie

Claire Danes is Catherine Brewster

Danes’s character exists so the new audience won’t feel so lost.  She basically runs about looking confused and scared.  Fortunately, she shoots an AK-47 at a flying pre-terminator thing to prove she isn’t completely worthless.  Oh wait, that didn’t prove a damn thing.

She's Pretty Good Lokken

Kristanna Lokken is the T-X

Ah yes, the new terminator.  A sad, unoriginal mix of the previous terminators but female, Lokken performs the role pretty well.  Unfortunately, aside from giving her a flamethrower for an arm (which, like everything else in this picture, is under-utilized) she doesn’t have much to do but stalk about with an empty stare.  I’ll give her the bad-ass points for the film though, because she comes closest to earning them.

[THE BODY COUNT:]

In addition to the lack of action, T3 also contains far less gore in its violence.  And while there are kills and the ending features a nuclear holocaust, almost all of the deaths in the movie occur offscreen.

[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING]

T-800 vs. T-X

You're Gonna Put That Where?

This is easily the best (and only?) fight in the film.  Remember, in Terminator 2, when the two terminators got into that fight in the mall hallway?  Imagine that, but with a chick in tight red leather instead of the T-1000 and instead of just drywall and glass breaking, we get bathroom stalls, floors and toilets being shattered.  The effects are probably at their worst in these scene, but it’s still pretty enjoyable.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

Well, giving Schwarzenegger Elton John glasses is pretty gay, but also having him wearing the clothes of a gay male stripper queers things up for us as well.  Shit, this whole movie’s pretty gay.

Arnold John

“Talk To The Hand!”

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

It Certainly Is

Although the thought of a female terminator seems pretty empowering, having almost all her kills offscreen lessens her menace.  Plus, Arnold drives her head through a toilet bowl.

Terminator Swirlie

And then there’s Claire Danes, who plays the ever-useless Catherine Brewster.  Her sole role in the film is to play as John Connor’s future fucktoy.  She spends the duration of the movie either crying, screaming, or complaining.  Terminator 3 hates women.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

John Connor, having left the T-800 shut down back at a military base overrun by SkyNet’s lackey T-100s, is trying to open a blast shield with Catherine Brewster.  Suddenly, the T-X crashes a helicopter in the hanger and begins approaching them.  Bullets from Connor’s machine gun have no effect on his oncoming foe.  Then, just as suddenly, another helicopter comes crashing down into the hanger.  The T-X tries to run (why she/it didn’t do that in the first place is another question I won’t bother trying to answer) but is crushed beneath the burning wreckage.

Run!

The T-800 smashes out of the destroyed vehicle and stomps up to Connor, his human tissue torn and burned away in over a dozen places, and exclaims:

"I came Back!  Just like in the FIRST movie!"

“I’m Back!”

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

There’s no point in trying to make a better world for ourselves, we’re all gonna die anyway.  And it doesn’t matter who makes a Terminator film because if it isn’t James Cameron, it’s going to suck.

[THE SIGNS OF SCHWARZENEGGER: 5 outta 5]

[X] Performs A Ridiculous Feat(s) of Strength
[X] Says, “I’ll be back.”
[X] Shows Off Buffness
[X] Unnecessarily Violent Opponent Dispatch
[X] Wields A Big Gun or Sword With One Arm

[THE CHECKLIST: 17 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[  ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[  ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[  ] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel [Terminator Salvation]
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[  ] Vigilante Justice

Don't Worry, The Franchise Isn't Quite Dead Yet

Double Your Van Damme, Double Your Fun

Double Impact 01

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Double Impact (1991): Breakdown by Rantbo

Twin brothers, separated as babies, re-unite and rather than discuss the odd coincidence that they both have a knot on their foreheads in the exact same place—team-up and take on organized crime in Hong Kong.

[THE EXECUTION]

When one JCVD isn’t enough, why not have two?  Makes sense, right? Has an ice-cream cone ever been ruined by the addition of another scoop? Featuring more roundhouses, more head-butts and more Van Damme than any of his other films, the slow-mo grunts, sweaty screaming and high-waist pants are in no short order either, easily making DOUBLE IMPACT one of the top three duo Van Damme role movies.

Double Impact 02

So far as I could gather, the brother’s parents were wacked by the Triads for their ownership rights to some big freeway tunnel, or something. It’s pretty inconsequential. The only thing you really need to understand to enjoy this entry is that Van Damme has a twin, they have been done wrong and they’re out for vengeance. Good, clean, simple, shirtless, predictable action. The only problem I found is that this didn’t become a franchise.

Following his breakout 80s martial arts films and keeping to the style of his budding, take-no-shit, streetwise 90s badass persona, Van Damme was in the heat of the moment and pumping out consistently good action films and DOUBLE IMPACT is one of his best.

The actual action of the film, is a combination of popular genres and styles of the time. Most notably, Van Damme’s own KICKBOXER (with the family of ass-kickers and, of course, kickboxing), amalgamated with a John Woo-ish style of brotherhood and Heroic Bloodshed. Which is all a fancy way of saying family and friends kick and shoot things.

Double Impact 03

Which, if you’re a ballsy hero action fan like me, sounds like a great time. And it is. But, this is all due to the top-notch fight choreography and cinematography. While it’s not on par with the Woo style sequences the filmmakers clearly emulated, the action is still really well done and better than most “sub-genre combo-style” movies of its (or any other) time.

So, all together with it’s stylish, brutal, nearly non-stop action, thin—yet acceptable premise and novelty of featuring a PARENT TRAP performance from JCVD, DOUBLE IMPACT is a tight cinematic orifice, just begging to be DI’d by your eyes. Check it out, big time—HUGE time.

[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]

Double Impact 04

Jean-Claude Van Damme is Curt AND Alex Wagner

Oddly enough, these two have a name role-reversal, as Alex is the alpha assholish one and Chad is the effeminate sensitive one. And their powers combined, they become—CAPTAIN PLANET! OK, weird joke aside, they don’t become Captain Planet. They’re gayer. Much, much, gayer. OK, first thing, right off the bat, Chad is a dance/aerobics instructor, whose wardrobe consists of skimpy, brightly colored female workout gear. Spaghetti-strap tank-tops, shorty-shorts, leg-warmers, black silk underwear—the whole nine. And he seems obsessed with obtaining more as the first thing he thinks to do after arriving in Hong Kong is to go shopping. Fab-U-Lous!

And Alex is just as bad from the other direction. He calls his brother a faggot due to his clothing style, never once seeing the irony that he himself is a greasy, cigar-chomping, leather wearing, macho cocksucker. But when they come together, it makes for one crazy, sweat-soaked fleshterpiece of rippling male physicality. And I’m talkin’ about their fighting prowess.

Van Damme was more cut than room full of razor blade wielding emo kids. Just ripped, man. And boy does he show it off. Barely 8 minutes will pass between one or the other of these guys fucking up something or somebody with their skills. This film alone HAS to hold the record for most JCVD jump kicks in a single movie. Has to. And they all connect. The Wagner Bros. declared war on Asian stuntmen and they’re not going home till China’s flag bleeds out all color.

Double Impact 05

Geoffrey Lewis is Frank Avery

“You are very hansom man, like Sean Connery!”
Not only that, but Franky-boy is one hard-hittin’, hardcore mother fucker. The film opens with him ‘John Wooing’ an Asian stunt team lead by Bolo Yeung, and ends with him being tortured with hot steam and even hotter gut punches, a la Bolo. But does he give up the location of his adopted sons? “Like I said—FUCK YOU!” You tell ‘em, Frank. In-between these bookends of badassness, Frank also wields a M60, blows up a car, snipes Triads with a rifle, sets off bombs in  nightclub and dresses like James Bond. All of which was completely unexpected by me from character actor Geoffrey Lewis, but made all the more fun because of it.

[THE BODY COUNT: 32]

The Brother’s Wagner rack up a suitable 24 combined kills. All of which you can view HERE. The rest are by run-of-the-mill stabbings and shootings. Bolo kills a couple, as does Frank. And even the token lesbian stabs a little Asian man, a quarter of her size. The count, however satisfying, feels like a lot less than what I remember, even having just re-watched the film. Which I think is a testament for how violent and brutal the kills are.

[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING & DEATH]

“That Big Chinese Ugly Mother Fucker.”

Double Impact 06

Five Van Damme jump kicks to the face. In a row. That’s how many it takes to send Bolo off balance. Five. And this after a 3 minute shirt-ripping, barrel tossing, slugfest with Chad. And this doesn’t even send him to the ground. Nope. It’s the fuse box he slams into, electrocuting him, that gets the honor. Not only that, the sparks ignited off of Bolo’s sweat soaked back (I assume?) start a fire that consumes a stack of flammable containers that explode, effectively killing his corpse deader than Bolo’s career.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

For starters: DOUBLE IMPACT. Does this, or does this not, sound like an affliction caused by having your bowels plowed by two men at the same time? Rhetorical, it does.

Proctologist: I’m sorry Mrs. Van Varenberg, I regret to inform you that your son has—Double Impact.
Mrs. Van Varenberg: Oh, no!—[sobbing] I don’t understand—he always had such pretty girlfriends!…

Double Impact 07

One JCVD alone is enough to send the gay levels of a film into the stratosphere, but this glorious film has 2! It’s like a doublemint gum commercial for flavored condoms.

That said, Chad does have sex with a woman. But, wait! Before you cry “Bullshit!”, it’s only in the imagination of Alex. Yes, you read that correctly. To make matters worse (read as gayer), Chad’s vision of sex with a woman is like an R rated, 80s Madonna music video. Complete with flowing, wind-swept lace, bad music and pastel colored—everything. Freud would have a field day trying to sort out this mess of emotions.

Also, the song that plays during the credits (right after the screen freezes on a shirtless and smiling JCVD, no less), is an early 90s techno-rap that repeats (I’m Gonna Make You)~Fee-Fee-FEEL THE IMPACT!~ over and over again.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

Double Impact 08

The three ladies of IMPACT:

Mrs. Wagner (Mom): Shotgunned in the face by Bolo.

Danielle (Alex’s Girlfriend): Gets naked, fucked (albeit in Alex’s head), bitch-slapped by her boyfriend, kidnapped, tortured AND has her vag violated by the man-hand of a female bodybuilder. This poor, poor woman…

Double Impact 09

Kara The Amazonian Bull-Dyke (Triad Enforcer): Her weapon of choice? A knife. But only because her clit wasn’t big enough to kill—yet. This massive estrogen-deprived creature trumps around in short-shorts (as her thighs are too wide for pants), beating up men and sexually molesting weaker women. After an exciting fight with Alex, she is done in by her own bladed phallus. Yes, her stomach gets penetrated by Van Damme and it kills her. I can’t imagine what he could do to a feminine female. Thankfully, we’ve never had, nor probably ever will have, to find out.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

JCVD V. JCVD

Double Impact 10

Where else are you going to get to see two Van Dammes in the same movie!? What’s that you say? TIMECOP? Hmm—Well, yeah—technically, I guess. But where else are you going to get to see two Van Dammes in the same movie, playing brothers!? What? MAXIMUM RISK? Fuck me, alright. Then where else are you going to get to see two Van Dammes in the same movie, FIGHTING one another!? THE REPLICANT!? Mother fucker!!! ALRIGHT, Where else are you going to get to see two Van Dammes in the same movie, playing brothers that fight one-another, in a 1991 film entitled DOUBLE IMPACT!? That’s right, nowhere—God dammit.

Believing that his gay brother has been away for the day schtuping his girlfriend, Alex gets shitfaced and trashes his squat in preparation for what he plans to do to his brother for cheating on him. And when Chad returns home with grin and Danielle on his arm, the clash of the Belgian titans commences. The JCVDs kick, punch, throw and tackle their way through several floors of a run-down hotel, effectively destroying it and themselves like a couple of 50s sci-fi monsters—slathered in baby-oil. It’s fucking great.

Double Impact 11

Maybe I’m drunk, tomorrow I’ll be sober, but he’ll always be a FAGGOT!

Ouch. Try to keep the gloves up, bro.

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

Two Van Dammes are gayer better than one.

[THE VAN DAMMAGE: 5 outta 5]

[X] An Entire Fight, Sans Shirt
[X] Close-Up Screaming
[X] Dancing
[X] Jump-Kicks A Guy, Through Something
[X] Special Move Involving Either The Splits or A Spinning Round-House Kick

Double Impact 12

[THE CHECKLIST: 19 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[  ] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[X] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[  ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[  ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[  ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

Double Impact 13

Double Impact (1991) © Columbia Pictures and MGM/UA Home Entertainment

Arnold’s First Film

hercules_in_new_york_ver3

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Hercules In New York (1970): Breakdown by Kain424

The Greek half-god grows bored and descends from Olympia to live among humans.  After a series of hilarious (read as completely unfunny) hijinks, he learns what it is to be human and understand his place in the universe.

[THE EXECUTION]

Far in the deep past, when myth and history merged into mystery, when the gods of fable, and the primitive beliefs of men, dwelt on ancient Mount Olympus in antique Greece.  A legendary hero walked, godlike, upon the earth… Sometimes.

These words, read aloud with class and dignity by our unseen narrator, are immediately shattered by the familiar tone and voice of acting newcomer Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his first starring role.

Why Can't I go?

“Why can’t I go?”

And so begins the film, an embarrassing mockery of every Schwarzenegger flick to follow.  Arnold (billed here as Arnold Strong) has stated that he has tried for years to make people forget about this movie.  Well, I’m here to remind you.

Arnold Strong

Schwarzenegger, who had grown up seeing people like Reg Park and Steve Reeves as his heroes, cultivated his fame the same way his predecessors had: bodybuilding.  Eventually, Arnie was able to live and train with Park in South Africa.  It was the former Hercules actor himself who convinced “Mr. Universe” to accept the role upon arrival in the States.  So here, at age 23, is Arnold.  He mumbles through every scene so badly he was dubbed over.  When I first saw this film, in fact, it had some other actor dubbing Herc.  The odd thing is someone actually thought that dubbing the main character would somehow make this a better film.

Ha HA

Hercules In New York is filled with bad jokes, bad dialog, bad action, and bad actors.  It’s truly grueling to sit through, with its only value being a freakish curiosity to show one’s friends.  The whole thing looks like it was shot around a park (the poster for the film excitedly tells us it was “filmed entirely in New York!”), with the actors occasionally glancing at the camera or offscreen, probably looking to make a break for it.  I could have sworn I heard a dog barking in the background during one of the scenes on “Mount Olympus”.  Humorously enough, several of the poor attempts at humor will be used time and time again by Hollywood at the end of the next decade and the decade after that, all in strong man comedies with bigger production values.  Sure, there are some scenes worth mentioning, but all in all it’s not worth watching.

Arnold as petulant Hercules

Young Schwarzenegger is probably at his biggest here.  At first this may seem like a great idea, but it only serves to make matters worse.  Arnold is so big (“How big is he?”) when he stands next to normal people he makes them look like shriveled children.  At no point can you follow a guy that looks this freaky.  At least not as a main character.  It’s no wonder he spent much of the next decade in small parts, as either a gym jockey or a thug.  Also, at such a young age Schwarzy has yet to completely develop the keen wit and personality which would make him famous only a few years later.  Here, he just comes off as your average meathead, a stereotype in full form, big muscles, no thought process, and an overstated arrogance that literally pisses off the gods.

My conclusion:  stay away.  I’m a huge Schwarzenegger fan and even I am put off by this film.  Looking back, I’m amazed the Oak ever decided to try comedy ever again after this disaster.  Hercules is not even the zany fun it clearly aspires to be, and barely the “well, it’s something we can make fun of” kinda fun.  If you want a re-cap of the best/worst moments in the film, simply read on.  It’ll take up less of your life than actually sitting through this atrocity.

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

Hercules

Arnold Schwarzenegger is Arnold Strong is Hercules, son of Zeus

Hercules is portrayed as a single-minded jock-type, arrogant and completely ignorant.  He has all the self-deserving ways of a spoiled rich kid with a legacy scholarship.  Still, in his backstory he strangled two serpents as a baby and in the film he subdues a 600 lb. bear with his bare hands.  Bad-ass though?  I’m not gonna give it to him.

[THE BODY COUNT: ZERO]

I’ve seen this movie three times now, and I’m pretty sure not a single person dies.  The mobsters at the end might die under all the debris, but I’m pretty sure they just gave up on fighting.  It fades to black, so I guess we’ll never know.

[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING]

Arnold vs. Bear

Arnold fights a bear.  And wins.  Yeah, ok, so it’s a guy in a suit.  And it’s really obvious, but whatever.  It’s all this movie’s got.  I’m actually surprised they had the presence of mind to shoot the scene in low light.  Not that it helps.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

I think Arnold Stang’s character may be obsessed with Hercules, but perhaps that is just because he  is a sad leech of a person.  There’s a moment, before a weightlifting competition (go figure, right?), where Stang is rubbing Arnie’s muscles around.  It’s a bit creepy, but it doesn’t even get to first base.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

Zeus treats Juno as an annoying, stuck-up wife (though probably not to the degree that an attempted child murderer deserves), always berating her and telling her he doesn’t want to hear her opinions.  Still, this movie doesn’t bother too much with characterization, so women aren’t even treated like objects.  It’s too shallow for that.

Deity Hoes

…With the exception of Zeus’s groupy bitches.

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

Though I would never use the word epic to describe much of anything in this film, I would say that, other than the bear fight, the Hercules vs. College Athletes scene probably comes the closest.  Hercules shows up on a college campus and challenges the best athletes at each of their sports.  He stomps them (and ludicrously so) in every category, including discus throwing, javelin tossing, and the running long jump.

The Oak

The one-liner occurs after a cabbie tells Hercules, using the slang terms “bucks” and “dough” to describe currency, that he owes money for the ride he has just taken.

Hercules: “Bucks?  Doe?  What is is all this illogical talk about male and female animals?”

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

Know your place, listen to your parents, and be careful about picking your scripts.

[THE SIGNS OF SCHWARZENEGGER: 2 outta 5]

[X] Performs A Ridiculous Feat(s) of Strength
[  ] Says, “I’ll be back.”
[X] Shows Off Buffness
[  ] Unnecessarily Violent Opponent Dispatch
[  ] Wields A Big Gun or Sword With One Arm

[THE CHECKLIST: 12 outta 25]

[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[  ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[  ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[  ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation*
[  ] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[  ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[  ] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[  ] Tis The Season
[  ] Torture Sequence(s)
[  ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[  ] Vigilante Justice

*I’d say a chariot is pretty manly.

Ahoy!

Look ahead!  A Shining Future In Action Flicks Awaits!

Homageday: Originality Has An Expiration Date

Doomsday 01

[THE CHALK-OUTLINE]

Doomsday (2008): Breakdown by Rantbo

Studio Head: So, what’s your idea?
Neil Marshall: Well, I want to make an homage film to 80s sci-fi, set in a post-apocalyptic UK.
Studio Head: Hmm, and who do you see starring in it?
Neil Marshall: OK, my idea on that is—wait do you know who Snake Plisskin is?
Studio Head: Of course.
Neil Marshall: OK. Picture him in your head. —Now imagine that he’s a super hot chick…
Studio Head: Sold.

[THE EXECUTION]

DOOMSDAY chronicles the first (and sadly, most likely last) adventure of Sinclair (that hot chick Kevin Bacon raped in HOLLOW MAN), a child survivor of a deadly virus breakout in Scotland. Now in her early thirties, she works for the Department of Domestic Security (DDS), basically kicking ass and killing criminal scum. When news comes from her handler, Bill Nelson (Bob Hoskins) that the virus responsible for killing millions is back and in London. She is then asked by Nelson to lead a team beyond the barrier wall dividing Scotland and Britain, where there is reason to believe immune survivors exist amongst the rubble of Glasgow. Sinclair accepts and the game is on.

Doomsday 02

Hmm, a rag-tag team of soldiers and scientists lead by a strong female character, that happens to know the territory of said excursion from a long time ago—whom is known only by her last name, are sent into a danger zone of unknown hostile activity to search for survivors in large armor plated tank-trucks. Sound familiar?

As for the film as a whole, I think they really should have called it:

HOMAGEDAY: Originality has a expiration date.

There really isn’t an original idea in the entire film. It just lifts a bunch of them from other movies, including, but not limited to: 28 DAYS LATER, ALIENS, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, MAD MAX 2 and THE WARRIORS. And with 28 DAYS excluded, it never even come close to being as good as any of the films it re-imagines. But the truth is, I fucking love these referential movies. Before the eighties there really wasn’t much of a “pop-culture”, at least not like there is today with the internet and home video. You could say that STAR WARS was the first big casserole of film homages, but I think Tarantino is the most responsible for creating the “genre”, if it has indeed become that. Every film he has done has lifted heavily from the films that he loved growing up and DOOMSDAY is more of the same. Of course with an 80s, rather than a 70s, twist and certainly not as well shot or well written as a Tarantino joint, it’s still a really fun picture even with all of it’s little flaws.

Doomsday 03

My only real big complaint is the god damn editing. Using the slow-mo button, you’re able to see what I think Marshall had intended: a string of re-enacted action scenes featuring the best the 80s had to offer. But, apparently this was not exciting enough, so they took a pair of scissors and went to town on the print. The action is quick-cut to annoying levels and it makes the sequences seem like they are trying to hide a lack of professional stunt talent. This is made worse by the fact that the supporting characters are almost all indistinguishable from one another, are poorly developed and all but two of them die literally 10 minutes (or less) after being introduced. Sure, they add to the body count, but it’s frustrating as you never really care when they get picked off. It would be like if the team from ALIENS were all introduced mid-way through the film and all but Hicks, Ripley and Newt were killed off ten minutes later.

Doomsday 04

In closing, the sum of DOOMSDAY’s many parts never live up to the random sequences it’s paying homage to, but at the same time, it was just so much fun to watch a movie made by people who love the same films I do. So I dug it. And as long as you don’t watch it with hopes of it being better than the films it lifts from, I think you’ll have a good time also.

[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]

Doomsday 05

Rhona Mitra is Maj. Sinclair

“What did they call you before Major?” – “Eden.”

Take a bunch of cool aspects from some of the best 80s sci-fi action heroes and put it into a model/actress and bingo—you have Eden Sinclair. And I love her. But, I can’t really put my finger on why, as she doesn’t bring a whole hellova lot to the picture. Eden sports a black tank-top and rocks an eye patch like Snake, but she never really deliverers his likability and I never saw her as the “Anti-Hero” like I did Kurt Russell or Mel Gibson. But I think a large part of this goes to her lack of witty dialogue.

Eden says stuff like “Bollocks” and “There’s something you don’t see every day” but it’s always delivered in a deadpan that I just don’t find humorous. The only thing that Mitra really does to sell the character well is leave us with a self-satisfying smirk in the final shot of the film. I figure it’s that look, the circumstances as to why she gives it and the fact that she is unbelievably boner inducingly hot, that attracts me so much to her character. I guess I’m just a sucker for skinny brunettes in tank-tops. And I feel no shame about it.

[THE BODY COUNT: FUCKED IF I KNOW]

More than D-Day, but less than Judgment Day. I tried to count the kills, but got frustrated with the bad editing. It was hard enough trying to keep track of Eden’s, which I believe was 39, give or take a couple. Pretty good numbers for a chick, especially by this decade’s pussified, child-friendly, PG-13 action movie standards. On top of the massive body count, we are given multiple explosions, car chases and hand-to-hand combat sequences that build and build to a pretty satisfying ending. If this film is good for anything, it would have to be its non-stop hard R violence peppered throughout. It’s a bloody good time.

[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING & DEATH]

Just before Eden is sent onto a medieval gladiatorial battlefield, (don’t ask, you just need to watch) she has a chat with the castle’s ruler, Kane (Malcolm McFuckingDowell). Kane explains his newfound psychotic and religious outlook as a result from losing his family in the outbreak and asks “What have YOU ever lost.” To which Eden replies, “…”. Um, OK?

Eden coldly marches out to her fate and proceeds to kick ass against all odds. After disarming her executioner she says, “I’ll tell you what I’ve lost—I’ve lost my bloody mind” and buries his own pike deep into his mongoloid melon.

Doomsday 06

This is as cool as her character ever gets, (until the very last scene) and it is a pretty big let down. It’s not a terrible line, but the delivery is WAY off. It was no mistake that I quoted it without an exclamation point, that’s just the way she says it. Quietly and so only the gladiator could have heard it. But he isn’t that one who asked her, it was Kane. Why she didn’t shout this as a warcry for Kane to hear, I’ll never understand, as it really would have improved the badassness of the fight. But regardless of the missed opportunity, it’s still the best of the film. It’s fun to watch and not as badly edited as the previous ones. It’s reminiscent of Snake’s fight in EFNY and one of the few times Mitra sells her stone-cold cynical Plisskin-esque demeanor.

[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]

Doomsday 07

Aside from the legions of shirtless cyberpunks, I didn’t notice any. You might think that all the bare skinned cannibals would be enough to orbit this movie into the homoverse, but these creatures are far from appealing. Stringy, tattooed, covered in their own feces… This is not attractive and thus renders this film almost completely hetero.

[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]

I’m glad that even in a post-apocalyptic society, the ladies never lost the tradition of shaving their armpits and legs. And that’s a good thing. But sadly, much like their male counterparts, the fine young lady cannibals only seem interested in teasing us with exposed mid-riffs and some occasional sweaty cleavage.

Doomsday 08

There is however an instance near the beginning of the film where Eden shotguns a naked female human trafficker while she’s taking a bath. Which was pretty sweet, but that’s it as far as nudity. Thankfully though, this flick doesn’t skimp on the feminine torture. Despite the fact that the women of the film are tough-as-nails, take-no-shit leaders, it doesn’t stop them from getting tortured and scarred for being defiant in the eyes of their male overlords.

Doomsday 09

[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]

Mad Eden: The Road Dominatrix

Doomsday 10

Sol and the cannibals are waiting with a caravan of cadaver-filled, carnage-creating, death machines as Sinclair makes for the Scotland-England border. The high speed chase that ensues is as fast and furious as it is unbelievable and nonsensical. It powers along, crescendoing to the film’s moneyshot, and even though they blew their wad in the trailer, it still pumped my nads. It caps off the end of the race with a big satisfying bang and aside from the digital fire, was done practically and it really shows.

The one-liner I took the liking to however, did not belong to the heroine, but to Malcolm McDowell. When expressing his feelings toward the suffering public of London and their need for a cure, he exclaims:

Doomsday 11

“They started this fire. They can BURN in it!”

Super badass.

[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]

In the land of the infected, the immune man is king. And if you’re hungry, have a piece of your friend.

[THE CHECKLIST: 19 outta 25]

[  ] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[  ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[  ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[X] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[  ] Manly Embrace(s)
[  ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[X] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[X] Tis The Season [Doomsday]*
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[  ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice

*Cheap? Maybe. Funny? Definitely.

Doomsday 12

“It’s Feeding Time At The FUCKIN’ ZOO!”

Doomsday (2008) © Rogue Pictures and Universal Studios Home Entertainment