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When her sister is kidnapped by white slavers, only Grandpa knows what to do. He puts in a call to a fictional hero, Jake Speed. She is amazed to find that he actually exists, and that as flesh and blood, is much less formidable than his reputation. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
One of my favorite films for a number of years was "Last Action Hero"; unfortunately, Arnold Schwarznegger decided to spoil my fun by becoming a corrupt scumbag politician; so now I can't bear any film he may had a hand in.
The Adventures of Jake Speed actually toys with some themes similar to those in Last...Hero; so I was pleased to find it on DVD, so I could watch these themes played out so well.
Despite the "plot-within-the-plot" involving white slavery during an African nation's civil war, this is not an action movie. The plot that the "plot-within-a-plot" is within, is actually about a question that the film has no intention to resolve: Is Jake Speed a real person that is helping the heroine save her sister from the white-slave trader; or is he actually a fictional character (which means that the heroine has somehow entered the universe that really only exists in a series of pulp novels)? I suggest that this is not all that clearly defined in the film, and that Wayne Crawford and Andrew Lane are perfectly aware of this. The film thus becomes a presentation of what audiences may want from such a fictional "adventure-story" universe. That's actually a rich theme, the potential heaviness of which is lightened by the film's amiable and campy sense of humor.
There are weaknesses to the film - primarily it's cinematography, which makes the film look like a TV show. And the pacing does sag on occasion.
But I really like these characters, and I enjoy the adventure they live, however silly. And I just find fascinating the idea that this adventure is actually taking place in a novel.
Holds up under multiple viewings -m good show!
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