The Experts (1989)
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This movie sure fills the bill because the dance and love scenes between Preston and Travolta look real to me because they obviously were!! HOT as only real can really be. After seeing this, I still liked "For the Love of the Game" because of Preston, the baseball theme, Costner doing what he really does which is playing baseball and golf, but the chemistry between Costner and Preston fades from weak to nothing.
This is the story of KGB agents who have developed an isolated town which will emulate a sleepy Midwestern American town. The purpose is to fully assimilate it's agents into American culture so that they may go undetected when they infiltrate the states (although some of the residents had been there their whole lives and seemed unlikely of doing anything in the actual America for which it serves as a template). But, sensing that the training ground is out-of-touch with modern America, one of the executives of the agency hires to bumbling New Yorkers to be their guide to what's hip in 1989 America. They lure them to the town under the guise that they're developing a night club and want those two to advise them.
Unaware of what is going on, their "experts" stick out like a sore thumb in the 50's Midwest style neighborhood, before others catch on and emulate the two newcomers' love of dirty dancing, club music, and mass materialism of electronic consumer goods in the same way that the modern teenagers in Pleasantville effected their surroundings. Only, the other agents disapprove of the changes in their people who seem wholly unaware of their artificial surroundings (much like "the experts") and don't want the Experts to stay. Meanwhile, it is only a matter of time before the Experts figure out what is really going on as they tend to rub some of the higher-up executives the wrong way with their presence.
The idea was fun, and deserved a lot more quirkiness and less family-friendly appeal in order to make one of those really funky late 80s comedies that celebrate that modern American city culture. The movie, however, by mid-state tends to drag on in repetition and by the end, becomes completely balled up in corniness as the town becomes chaotic and the filmmakers struggle for a perfect resolution in which American culture prevails over the perceived stuffiness of then-Communist Russia. It is instead a more moderate comedy with some funny moments, but overall is more or less droll. Not that hilarious, not that different. But there is some appeal, especially if you're searching out lost titles of the 80s, no matter how mild they may be.
Worth a shot, if for nothing else, than to see Arye Gross and John Travolta in ridiculous 80s garb.
Charles Martin Smith, as he did in the classic "Star Man", singlehandedly saves the film and along with Travolta makes this movie a modern classic.
It'd be a travesty if I didn't mention the gorgeous "Kelly Preston" fufilling a very hot "Jennifer Aniston-ish" from Leprachaun role. Her shimmering ramen-noodle mall hair gives me goosebumps even as I type this.
So with all this said it is only fair to submit "The Experts" as one of the great films of the 20th century up there with Karate Kid III and Troll II.
The Experts is a 20th Century fable based on the 'comedy of errors' tradition. Mistaken identities, predjudice, politics, romance, explosions, American 'Apple Pie' and a memorable Travolta & Preston dance scene that beats anything seen in 'Grease' or 'Saturday Night Fever' or even 'Dirty Dancing'!! It's the hottest! What more could you want from a fantasy! If Preston & Travolta are capable of such chemistry, why has no one capitalised on this since, unless there isn't a director up to the challenge? Bottling & exhibiting the pheromones is proof that this is a brilliant, vital film.
My Rating: 7/10 as a filmic experience, but 10/10 for escapism. If you fancy every form of visual & literary humour, plus some deliberately strong moral undertones, laced with sarcasm and all this wrapped up in highly energised performances, then this film is perfect.
Who should watch this film? The guns, army inferences, planes and 'Starsky & Hutch' buddy aspects will appeal to guys and the sexual electricity & electrical appliance jokes will appeal to females! It revels in traditional sex bias roles. This film was born to be decadently enjoyed, like chocolate, it's wonderfully sweet & addictive.
This film must be really memorable for Travolta though. He met his wife, it killed his cinematic career for a while with any film that didn't have a talking baby, and he couldn't come back for reshooting because he put on too much weight.....
Near the eastern edge of the USSR is a village populated by Russians who speak and act American, where KGB trainees go to practice.
The town is stuck in the 50's, and the new KGB chief fears his agents will fail to learn real US culture. He hires two young American hipsters to open a nightclub.
He drugs them en route to Russia, and they think they've awaken in the Midwest. There they turn a tiki lounge into a hip club, teach townies to dance, and introduce pop culture............with 'hilarious' consequences....
I'll get straight to the point, it's a terrible film, with absolutely nothing going for it. It's too stupid for an adult audience, and way too dark for a family film.
Travolta looks like he's regretting every single moment he's not on screen with Preston, and his obligatory dance scene is cringeworthy, a million miles away from Saturday Night Fever.
Arye Gross looks like his surname sake, and looks totally out of place being in the club business, or having a haircut like that. His fashion and and his actions in this are just so false, you can tell he was uncomfortable performing in this.
It's no wonder the film went on the shelf for a couple of years and vanished without a trace, the humour is non-existent, and it has the feel of the makers knowing they were dealing with an unmitigated disaster during filming....
I'd rather eat a pigs trotter...
The plot is just to ridiculous. The KGB and Soviet Union in Russia have started up a spy school to teach their spies' how to act like Americans, but the town they set up in it for training is a bit dated, so they grab two yanks from the US to spice things up. I don't know, but this seems just to out there. It gets really odd when next to no one in this all Russian town speaks in a Russian accent. Someone screwed up in the casting job.
Also, for a comedy this is painfully dry. There is one, two funny spots tops, and they are nothing to sing and dance about. The film in the end will likely put you to sleep.
And, as a twisted punch in the face, this film is so pro the US it makes me sick. The movie keeps on saying again and again, the US is God and Russia is the devil. This is the kind of smear campaign that was done against the Japanese in World War 2. It's films like these that makes everyone think that the US is full of itself.
This gets a 4 out of 10, and I'm being kind. It should really get a one, but the dance scene was funny, but then again it dragged far to long to be really funny.
Funny thing is, there was no propaganda against the USA on the other side at all. We watched all kinds of movies, including American ones,listened to all kinds of music, including American, and when I eventually decided to move to North America there was nothing epic about it, other than epically hot stewardess I was making out with during the flight.But she was Dutch and they were kinda neutral in the entire mess that was Cold War.
Somehow I missed seeing this movie until today. After seeing it I can understand why. Cheaply done, stupid, anti-Russian propaganda.I am aware Germany did create some faux USA city during WW2, I have no idea whether Russians did as well, but keeping people in it for 30+ years ... idea is stupid, characters are not believable, movie is boring, and John Travolta could never dance no matter what his PR team and few delusional souls would have you believe.
Do you know what won Cold War? Coca Cola and Blue Jeans. Better music. The way of life.
But Russians still have far better looking girls.
I wouldn't say it's a laugh out loud or timeless comedy classic, but "The Experts" is an endearing and perfectly pitched zinger with a whole bunch of fun performances. John Travolta and Arye Gross (looking good in mullets) are agreeably candid and work off each other well. They can find themselves really tearing each other apart, but they can't stay mad at each other for too long. A plucky Kelly Preston is unforgettably smoking and Deborah Foreman is likable too. James Keach is quite comical in his short role. Inoffensively light-headed and throwaway screwball comedy that wholesomely plays up its irony-laced one-idea gag of the materialistic appreciation of the American way of life and the acceptance of others. The messages might be heavy-handed, but the breezy script and evocatively original screenplay never over does it. Director Dave Thomas (a recognizable comedian actor) keeps it bright and carefree stringing together random activities with a hip soundtrack to back it up. Silly, but one of kind shenanigans.