|Index||4 reviews in total|
Conspiracy of Fear is just plain silly. One minute they're running for
lives, the next they're dancing in the rain with a tramp playing the
I mean. what was going on there? Flashbacks, dreaminess and
music. Oh my.
Not so hot acting, idiot direction, pointless storyline and dull dialogues (Specifically the use of alternate versions of profanities).
As a fan of Geraint Wyn Davies, I wanted to see this film because he had top billing. The talents of Mr. Wyn Davies, as well as those of excellent actor Christopher Plummer, were wasted in the movie due, in part, to a poorly written script and inferior directing. Although Mr. Wyn Davies is a gifted, versatile actor, the character he portrayed was flat, meaning that the audience was never shown any depth. He was simply a remorseless killer with unrevealed motivation. Any third rate actor could have filled the part. In addition, the conflicts of the movie were superficial and the romantic elements implausible. Moreover, there were entirely too many shots of walking shoes, a device which became trite rather than adding to a feeling of suspense.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Chris King (Lowery) has his life turned upside down when his father
dies in a freak accident and leaves behind a mysterious package. Now
baddies far and wide are after him: mobsters like Zelmo (Rosato), a
hit-man, Straker (Davies), and the big boss man himself, Wakeman
(Plummer). King then teams up with the streetwise Jimmy (Hope) and goes
on the run for his life. At every turn, he must try and figure out what
is going on and how to extricate himself from the nightmare. What in
the world is a...CONSPIRACY OF FEAR?
Sadly, and we get absolutely no joy from reporting this, we have to announce that Conspiracy of Fear just plain sucks. It's filled from confusing beginning to overlong end with:
- unlikable characters - cutesy, irritating, dumb dialogue - pretentious "stylistic" touches such as unnecessary slo-mo and "different" camera angles - Tarantino-style gabby scenes filled with time-filling pop culture references - clichés by the bucketload, and not the good kind of clichés - unrealistic situations that go on way too long - inappropriate music cues - unfunny, annoying humor that just grates on your nerves
...among other items that dare, nay, defy audiences to slog through this crud. Somehow, we made it, but we're used to suffering through turkeys like this. Before watching it, we thought, "oh, a PM movie with Christopher Plummer, that should be interesting." Well, PM picked this up and released it on VHS, they did not produce it. And Plummer is just completely slumming it. Why, PM, why? We feel tricked. As is common for low-budget movies, especially ones shot in Canada pretending to be America like this one, much of the cast resemble bigger-name stars. Funnily enough, it seems like Conspiracy of Fear was cast from one of those places that provide celebrity look-alikes. The main kid looks like Chris Lemmon, the main baddie looks like Kurt Russell/Patrick Swayze, the doorman is Rodney Dangerfield, and other characters are carbon copies of Terence Stamp, David Heavener and Dennis Miller. Speaking of bits taken from elsewhere, there's even a sassy waitress named Flo - also recycled in Search and Destroy (1988).
Have you ever noticed that as a substitute for interesting dialogue, characters just yell a lot in poorly-written movies? Well, here is a prime example. This when lamely trying to be funny in an indoor voice isn't cutting it anymore. Plus the movie is WAY too long at almost two full hours. Much of that is just audience-insulting overlong dialogue scenes that don't advance the plot forward or extremely repetitive chase sequences. Truly awful movies don't seem to care if they've overstayed their welcome with the audience. Take the unbelievably bad and way-too-long Iron Thunder as a perfect example. And, perhaps the ultimate insult - there's Michael Bolton music on the soundtrack. It's almost like the filmmakers were trying to create a compendium of things that make movie audiences sick.
Whatever you do, do NOT watch Conspiracy of Fear under any circumstances.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Naive nice guy Chris King (an engaging performance by Andrew Lowery) is badly shaken by his father's sudden untimely death. Things get worse for poor Chris when he finds himself neck deep in all kinds of perilous trouble that includes vicious freelance assassin Timothy Straker (a genuinely chilling portrayal by Geraint Wyn Davies), a couple of nasty dope dealers, and a bunch of CIA agents led by the smooth Joseph Wakeman (the always fine Christopher Plummer). Chris joins forces with scrappy, but lovely petty thief Jamimah "Jimmy" Camely (the delightful Leslie Hope) to get figure out what's going on. Director John Eyres, working from a convoluted, yet still compelling script by Ray Sallows, relates the lively and eventful story at a constant snappy pace, stages the thrilling action scenes with rip-snorting gusto, and further enhances the infectiously wacky narrative with a winning sense of breezy humor. Moreover, there's a really sweet, loose and appealing chemistry between leads Lowery and Hope that's a true treat to watch. Nice supporting performances by Tony Rosato as Wakeman's sensible partner Jim Raintree, Don Francks as amiable wino Norman, Kenneth Welsh as hard-nosed police Captain Alex Rose, David Nerman as sleazy drug dealer Wolfe, and Rino Romano as Wolfe's scuzzy buddy Zelmo. Peter Benison's polished, energetic cinematography and the jangly, rattling, spirited score by Stephen Edwards are both up to speed. Granted, the plot is admittedly pretty ridiculous and far-fetched, but it's this film's very cheerful sense of all-out absurdity which makes it so entertaining. A hugely enjoyable blast.
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