Mike is a struggling artist who draws the 'Brenda Starr' strip for the papers. When Brenda comes to life in the strip and sees how unappreciated she is by Mike, she leaves the strip. To get...
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Mike is a struggling artist who draws the 'Brenda Starr' strip for the papers. When Brenda comes to life in the strip and sees how unappreciated she is by Mike, she leaves the strip. To get her back, and keep his job, Mike draws himself into the strip. In her world, Brenda Starr is the Ace Reporter for the New York Flash. She is talented, fearless, smart and a very snappy dresser. The only competition she has is from the rival paper's top reporter Libby Lipscomb. Brenda heads to the Amazon jungle to find a scientist with a secret formula which will create cheap and powerful gas from ordinary water. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Witless adaptation of a comic-strip revolving around the titular female crime reporter (which had previously been the source of a 1976 TV movie with Jill St. John); Brooke Shields looks good throughout but seems undecided whether to approach the role straight, or else play it for laughs!
Indeed, this dilemma afflicts the entire production to its ultimate detriment with the result that the film was shelved for some three years (it was, in fact, shot in 1986 i.e. prior to co-star Timothy Dalton's brief stint as James Bond)! At least, the latter seems to have had a good time making it for he subsequently tackled the part of the villain in another comic-strip adaptation with, again, some powerful gizmo as the object of contention between various factions (and nationalities) namely ROCKETEER (1991; which I watched a day previously and found to be vastly superior)! Dalton's character here is actually enigmatic dashing in spite of an eye-patch, he always turns up at unexpected moments to save, guide or otherwise romance the heroine.
The chief villains are a gang of incompetent Russian agents (including a bald-headed goofball and the pint-sized cigar-smoking female leader), though also hindering Shields is the ambitious and vaguely vampish rival reporter played by Diana Scarwid. Incidentally, the plot involves a fantasy framework in which animator Tony Peck inhabits the world of his subject (they keep quarrelling about how he isn't fit to design Brenda's exploits because he continually looks down on her, something of which the film-makers themselves are guilty!) this doesn't really work and is actually rather pointless.
I was surprised to learn that renowned veteran cinematographer Freddie Francis (a beloved minor genre director in his own right) was behind this one in the former capacity; his craftsmanship at least renders the silly and positively dreary goings-on (which relocates to Brazil during the second half) pleasing to the eye. A number of guest appearances (including Eddie Albert as the Police Commissioner, Charles Durning as Starr's flamboyant boss, Henry Gibson as the obligatory eccentric scientist and Ed Nelson as the piano-playing American President) add nothing of substance to the film.
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