In a world where, unbeknownst to the public, all famous pulp fiction heroes are actually real, one of them - Jake Speed, agrees to help desperate Margaret Winston save her sister from sadistic white slaver Sid, who's operating in Africa.
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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>
The movie is both tribute to and satire on pulp novels and their heroes. As a tribute to these stories, the movie is set in an alternate reality where, unknowingly to the general public, all the famous pulp fiction heroes like Remo Williams (aka The Destroyer), Mack Bolan (aka The Executioner) and Doc Savage are actually real, and the novels about them are factual testimonies about their real life adventures. In the movie, the film's male protagonist Jake Speed is just one of these real life pulp heroes and even talks about his famous colleagues once or twice. However, in real life, unlike Remo Williams, Mack Bolan and Doc Savage, Jake Speed is not an actual pulp fiction character and was entirely made up for this movie as satire on pulp archetypes and cliches. See more »
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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