1 item from 1999
Having held his own masterfully opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in 1997's "Double Team", thespian rebounder Dennis Rodman has above-the-title billing all to himself in "Simon Sez", a martial arts action-comedy that's as bad as it wants to be.
While Rodman ponders his next career move, this endlessly irritating, flat-footed clunker will do his resume no favors. To be fair, the filmmakers have seen fit to surround him with so many shrill, over-the-top characters and performances that he comes across as practically demure by comparison.
Simon sez, "Go swiftly to video".
Rodman is the Simon in question, a tough-guy operative with a yellow motorcycle who gets roped into a purported kidnapping case by a bumbling private investigator Nick (Dane Cook), a classmate of Simon During's their Interpol days.
It turns out the hostage in question (Natalia Cigliuti) not only is unaware of having been kidnapped, but she has no desire to return to her wealthy American executive father, preferring to remain with her French boyfriend (Filip Nicolic).
But the boyfriend's father (Henri Courseaux) happens to be a bagman for a diabolical arms dealer (Jerome Pradon) eager to get his hands on a valuable piece of computer software that falls into Simon's hands. Thus, the shenanigans ensue.
Under the novice direction of writer-producer Kevin Elders (the "Iron Eagle" movies), the picture doesn't lack energy, and some of the fight sequences are well-choreographed.
On the other hand, the plot-deprived, shtick-heavy script, credited to former actors Andrew Miller and Andrew Lowery, keeps rearing its ugly head.
As for Rodman, despite there being enough metal hooked into his face to fill a tackle box, his performance remains surprisingly wooden given his colorful on- and off-court persona.
It's still preferable to the intended comic-relief turns of his improvising cast mates. As his hyper partner in crime-fighting, muggy comedian Cook makes for the most annoying sidekick since Jar Jar Binks. And John Pinette and Ricky Harris quickly overstay their welcome as undercover, high-tech monks who make like a third-rate Abbott and Costello.
A Signature Films production
Director: Kevin Elders
Screenwriters: Andrew Miller & Andrew Lowery
Story: Moshe Diamant & Rudy Cohen
Producers: Moshe Diamant, Ringo Lam
Executive producers: Rudy Cohen, Dan Frisch, Kevin Jones
Director of photography: Avraham Karpick
Production designer: Damien Lanfranchi
Editor: Alain Jakubowicz
Music: Brian Tyler
Simon: Dennis Rodman
Nick: Dane Cook
Claire: Natalia Cigliuti
Michael: Filip Nicolic
Macro: John Pinette
Ashton: Jerome Pradon
Micro: Ricky Harris
Bernard: Henri Courseaux
The Dancer: Emma Sjoberg
Running time -- 90 minutes
MPAA rating: PG-13
1 item from 1999
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