When a rookie filmmaker with the unfortunate name Alan Smithee realizes he's an unwitting studio puppet, being forced to make a big-budget action film he knows is horrible, he steals the master reels and tries to make a deal.
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Robert Allen Schnitzer
Director Alan Smithee comes to Hollywood to make a movie. Due to a variety of factors, he decides to disown it and direct it under a pseudonym. Unfortunately, the Director's Guild requires that if a director disowns a movie in this fashion, he *must* use the official Director's Guild pseudonym...which happens to be Alan Smithee. Written by
Starts well as a potential satire but does very little with it
Real life director Alan Smithee is an editor by trade but is signed up to direct the action movie `Trio' starring Whoopi Goldberg, Sly Stallone and Jackie Chan. However when the producer's final cut leaves it, in Alan's opinion, a mess, he steals the master negative and runs. This documentary follows the story of what happens when a director is forced to watch his art turned into a poor money spinner.
I hadn't really read the very negative reviews of this film before I watched it and am a little surprised by the strength of feeling from the majority of the critics. Having said that, I can understand why this film is so hammered as it really isn't very good. It started well and I thought it had potential it seemed that people were making fun of themselves and that it would be a good satire on the industry and in particular, studio execs. However after a certain point it doesn't really do very much other than be flabby, repeating, self indulgent and silly. After Alan actually takes his film and seeks refuge with the Brothers Brothers, the film is very messy and not very funny at all. The documentary approach had worked well up till this point but from here it was a strange mix of action and documentary. It gets increasingly silly and increasingly less clever and funny.
It had a few laughs but satire is meant to be funny not just taking easy pot shots with crude characterisations and jokes. I still maintain it had potential but it is a good idea crying out for a better script and director (I notice it is directed by Smithee I don't know if that's a joke or if the real director really did disown it). So from a good idea it goes nowhere the little touches are nice but the total plot is rubbish. In away it is both made worse and more bearable by the actors, who are a mixed bunch.
Eric Idol is awful and he simply doesn't suit the material watch the scene where he turns his hat sideways and says `cool' and you'll see what I mean. Chuck D should really have known better than to deliver a meaningless performance here although I totally expect that from Coolio! However, Stallone, Goldberg and Chan are all quite funny and make fun of themselves quite well. O'Neal and colleague as the producers are quite good but are dumbly stretched to extremes for the sake of humour. For the majority of the cast there seems to be a problem gelling it feels like every single person thinks they are in a cameo and thus add to the feeling of this not being a film so much as a cobbled together affair. The support cast is good for names but the quality of delivery isn't really that high.
Overall I'd stop short of adding to the list of boots that have been put into this film, but I'd be lying if I told you I didn't feel like I'd waste 90 minutes I do. It started with a good idea but the script was nowhere near sharp enough and the majority of the cast (certainly those required to carry the film and not just be cameos) are just not up to the job. Could have been a fun satire but instead is an unfunny messy affair that doesn't really have anywhere to go beyond taking easy shots at the producers.
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