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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Plot Summary : In 1993, a young poor employee named (Mahdy) fails to
marry his fiancée, or face his executives' corruption. The government
gives high hopes by declaring that everything will get better in 2000,
hence (Mahdy) insists on freezing himself till 2000 in a big
refrigerator. After the project goes wrong, and (Mahdy) dies, his soul
meets other characters inside the refrigerator, where "Love Can't Die",
like the rooster of his neighbor (Khol'y), who knew about (Khol'y)'s
cheating wife. Then (Khol'y) himself, who gets killed and cut off by
his wife. However (Mahdy) becomes wrongfully accused of killing
(Khol'y), and the court gives him a death sentence ! In the morgue's
refrigerator, (Mahdy) meets so many people, as wronged and dead as him,
and plans with them for a revolution. The security forces vanquish that
revolution, and melt the dead people.
(Maher Awad) is one of the craziest scriptwriters in the Egyptian cinema's history. He was born in 1952, studied cinema in the Egyptian cinema institute, and wrote some memorable movies in short time; such as (Alaqzam Kademon) or (The Dwarfs are Coming) in (1987), (El Daraga El Talta) or (The Third-Class) in (1988), (Sam' Hoos) or (Silence Please) in (1991), and (Ya Mahalabia Ya) or (Oh, Mahalabia, Oh) in (1991). Through these movies, he presented so creative and so clever styles and atmospheres, which challenged boldly the common commercial movie, and its pretty old formulas.
This is the debut of Sudanese director (Said Hamed). He studied cinema in the Egyptian cinema institute as well, and it's clear that he and (Awad) aspired after a unique taste which the Egyptian cinema maybe never had before. So they showcased the daily life frustrations of the ordinary Egyptian citizen, yet through sci-fi and black comedy, which were, and still are, extremely scarce genres in the Arabic cinema.
The movie is funny and outlandish in the same time; and this is where its singularity shines. That wouldn't happen without a list of talents included : Star (Yehia El Fakhranni) as the lead character (watch well how his feelings of defeat transform into resistance). Editor (Sa'ed El Shikh). Director of photography (Mohosen Ahmed). Art director (Mohmed Hamam). And, for sure, (Mody El-Emam) who wrote the movie's music. Add to them a cartoon artist, I know personally, named (Osama Abo Zeed), who was hired to draw a storyboard for the whole movie, which was again something unfamiliar in the Egyptian cinema (and actually still is !).
On the other hand, the movie had some problems that led it to not "clicking" with the audience. The very low budget disappointed what could have been dazzling moments. The general pessimistic feel and the unhappy ending are there; which usually mean, in any cinema I think, turning into a flop in the box office. True that after 19 years, the "frozen people" did a "revolution" which defeated the "wrong" (in the January 25 Egyptian Revolution). And true that sometimes the sad ending generates enthusiasm more than the one generated by the happy ending. However, this movie didn't have much luck in its time. Additionally, it used elements which weren't close to the audience's taste and culture at that very time. For instance, in the 1990s start, zombies wasn't a popular subject at all in the Egyptian literature and cinema. So with low budget, melancholy and strangeness in the face of an exhausted, and not familiar with new experiments audience, the result wasn't a big hit.
(Hob fi Eltalaga) or (Love in the Refrigerator) is a bitter satire in a form of sci-fi black comedy. Imaginative, dark, ironic and daring to include all of the above together. Well, in our cinema you're allowed to do comedy, action, romance, musical, melodrama, but sci-fi ?? And black comedy ?? According to our movies of such genres, they're not genres, rather goners. Till now, 2016, it's not very frequent to dream a dream like (Love in the Refrigerator) in the Egyptian cinema. This is what makes it a courageous experiment. And despite its problems, it's still fresh.
P.S : Although director (Said Hamed) did many hit comedies later, between 1997 to this day, but none of them had anything to do with sci-fi or black comedy !
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
While Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer are specialized in parody
movies, just mentioning their names makes you scared more than
optimistic. They are famous for being the ones who actually killed the
genre in the 2000s by their many horrible comedies. Though, in this
parody of Twilight (2008), the matter is surprisingly different !
On one hand, it has its share of downsides. Bore is on their top. It is the archenemy of comedy, and regrettably there are kinds of it here. For instance, the heavy editing, which doesn't "cut" at the right moment, mostly cuts after it. The old jokes that seem recycled from The Naked Gun franchise (3 movies from 1988 to 1994), like the electric underwear, and having a funny fight in the background of a funny dialog. Jenn Proske, as the lead character, tucked her hair behind her ear for at least 7996 times ! True that this is a spoof of Kristen Stewart's performance in the original movie, but doing it in every moment of every scene gets on your nerves sorely, and gives the bore a party. And naturally, it isn't a Friedberg & Seltzer movie without their signature repulsive and dated gags; concerning farts, bloody wounds, sexual humor, handicapped people, contemporary products and The Kardashians !
But on the other hand, there are some positive points which's something totally new for Friedberg & Seltzer. Since the double meaning title, I felt some creative spirit that, thank god, didn't end there. Look at ideas like how Becca sees Edward in everyone and everything, how Jacob turns into Chihuahua, how his gang of werewolves looks gay. The second half was energetic and largely funny, having proofs of effort and smartness. Nearly everything related to the heroine's annoying sidekick is clever. And despite couple of gross out moments in it, the prom's climactic sequence was, and still is, the best Friedberg & Seltzer comedic sequence ever made to date.
This time it's clear that Friedberg & Seltzer didn't lean completely on the ugly dirty stuff which they adore. Hence, this is a PG-13 movie. But whether that was their choice, or something they were forced to do, they managed to handle the semi-clean comedy well. It pushes you to pray "God, make all of Friedberg & Seltzer's movies PG-13, because this is the way for their comedies to be not only bearable, but funny as well !".
As most of their movies, the cast consists of newcomers with no name actors. Fairly, they were OK, with a bit of charisma and talent. However, 2 performances stood alone; Anneliese van der Pol, from That's So Raven, and Diedrich Bader who can steal any show. By the way, I still wonder how come that Bader isn't in a lot of movies, as a lead or even co-lead, as he deserves ?!
Compared to Friedberg & Seltzer's previous duds, you can notice cinematic improvement. I mean this time there is things like music score, cinematography, atmosphere, and coherence. Generally, Vampires Suck is more movie-like, not static and poor TV sketches-like as we used to have from them, for years, under the name of parody.
So yes, this parody has some comedy, some cinema, some entertainment, being far from bad. However, it's not perfectly good either. It's rather half good. And as for Friedberg & Seltzer's known by heart level, this is quite super !
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(Mohammed Saad) is such a good comedian. Through some minor and
co-starring roles in plays, TV shows and movies, he proved his talent
in performing slapstick and improvising jokes. After the smash success
of his breakthrough movie (Ellemby 2000), with playing a
half-retarded half-stoned guy, whether the producers forced him to play
variations on that character again and again, or simply he has
nothing to do but that !
In his first decade as a star, hope not to be his last, he's always a character that has problems speaking, moving, and thinking. Whatever the name of the movie, or the name of his character is (always the same by the way) he speaks in absolute nonsense, moves in too exaggerated ways, and acts between dumbness and hysteria. Now in (Karkar), double all of that into 20 !
There is nothing in this movie but (Saad). And, most probably, there is nothing he does is written. And, surely, there is nothing of his material that works. (Karkar) is not merely one the worst movies (Saad) ever did; it's some of the worst moments ever captured on film !
(Saad) plays half of the movie's characters, all bizarre noisy characters, using every possible way he has to make laughs, which turns out to be the ugliest : shrill screams, incomprehensible words, dead gags, nasty curses, slaps to everybody, disgusting dances, with repeating all of that non-stop to the last atom in your patience. The women he played (more of a drag queen) is emetic, the father is boring if not creepy, and the title character isn't anywhere close to be bearable. Yet, no one will irritate you more than (Saad) himself !
Aside from (Saad), all who participated in this movie should be ashamed of themselves. Was there one element, rather one moment, that anybody could call creative or clever ?! As for the script, it's pretty obvious that there wasn't a "real" script. Instead, a general agreement about some scenes, and all the blanks would be perfectly filled later by (Saad)'s gobbledygook !
As for the pace, it's something this movie doesn't know, so how about being a comedy ? Actually comedy without a pace is like a beach without a sea ! The movie makers let (Saad) do anything he wants in front of the camera, for all the time he needs. I felt that he for a rare time in any cinema was left to improvise while the camera was shooting, with no editing after. Originally, forget about the editing because I think there wasn't any, maybe some moments were edited out for other actors to make you concentrate on the main star only. Look at the dance of Karkar's father, that father's speech about marriage, the madhouse's scene, or imitating the cats on the bed. OH MY GOD. It's ridiculous to tormenting extent !
As for the cast, (Hassan Hosny) does the same of what he used to do in his last 100 movies, done in the last 10 years, however with being kissed on the mouth by Saad this time. (Alaa Mourse) is here to be slapped on the face endlessly. And (Yassmen Abd El Aziz) ?? How could she bear being in this ?! Fairly, the sole funny thing in this movie was its leaning to be extremely serious near the end !
With (Saad) playing many awful characters, directors surrendering utterly to fulfill all what he desires, and producers spending money on things like this historical dudthen we're in a case of vanity, artlessness, and foolishness. Hence the result is something not entertaining, just painful.
"Karkar" in Arabic slang stands for guffaw. According to this movie, I don't think so. Because silliness wasn't more hard, heavy and free like that before. And during the past 15 years, the call for an Egyptian Razzie never buzzed this loud. I believe (Mohammed Saad) is a force of nature. Like the lightning's electricity, he needs to be controlled to be used correctly. Otherwise, terrible disasters, like (Karkar), are what happen when he's left loose. So eventually this movie can be fit for one thing; being a good warning message for both : The producers and (Saad). If only they would learn !
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After many extremely awful parodies, such as Date Movie, Epic Movie,
Meet the Spartans, Disaster Movie, and The Starving Gamesfinally the
writing and directing duo, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, did
something good. This time, while they parody The Fast and the Furious
franchise, there is some kind of plot, actual funny lines and
situations, a number of really nice ideas, and a conscience to review
the downsides of its original. Well, late is better than never !
The script created plenty of lovable moments; like the scene of the plan's explanation, the running gag of misunderstanding the girlfriend's carriage, and the evil guy's anger towards his dumb henchman. Not to mention, it satirized the original's stereotypes as Rapper Cameo, Cool Asian Guy, and Model Turned Actress. And cleverly spoofed its leads' marks : Dwayne Johnson's muscles, Michelle Rodriguez's masculinity, and Paul Walker's idiotic aspect.
But while it's surely less stupid than Friedberg & Seltzer's previous dogs, Superfast isn't wholly smart. It lacks cinematic craft, and sometimes lacks cinema itself. For obvious examples : Couple of scenes dragged to the edge of bore, the editing is heavy-handed in some places, and the direction is between lazy and nonexistent. It's a tangible problem in their previous work too, which assures that they don't have enough potential to direct.
Over and above, few jokes were pretty old to be used (the foot that gets longer after being ran over by a car, keeping the skeleton of a dead guy.. ). The production was beyond poor; the movie looks made in one warehouse and one street. Save Dale Pavinski as Vin Diesel's caricature, Omar Chaparro as the laughably nervous evil guy, and the beautiful Lili Mirojnickthe cast consists of some actors with the least charisma and talent.
Despite its foibles, this is surprisingly enjoyable comedy. I don't think that this has something to do with its PG-13 rating. Because Friedberg & Seltzer's 2013 movie, The Starving Games, was PG-13 as well, though crowded with blood, farts, and other sources of hideousness. I believe it has something to do with the way how they challenged themselves to accomplish a comedy that doesn't count on toilet humor, sex jokes, bad language, and free nudity (namely the easy filthiness and cheapness), while having in the same time the ambition of early classic parodies such as The Naked Gun series, in terms of coherence and visual comedy.
Superfast is the first movie by Friedberg & Seltzer that could be watched more than once (or watched in the first place !). And after 15 years of ruthless flops, that's a historical achievement which the entire human race must learn from, and follow its example !
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sure Robert Redford the movie's director, producer, and star had an
ambition of a movie that could say something about the 1960s
anti-establishment activist youth, and their dream of changing the
world, while being in the same time a thriller, a la The Fugitive,
with a chased innocent hero who's chasing the truth. Wonderful ambition
that is. But who said that good movies are made by wonderful ambitions
The plot is all over the place. We have a running lead who meets many old friends, chatters with them, then continues running. We have a reporter who does researches, chatters with his boss, then continues researching. We have different friends that have a past with the lead, a police officer who's determined to catch the lead, and a daughter who the lead abandoned years ago, and grew up not knowing her real parents (a straggling story-line from an old Indian melodrama !). So for most of the time, you would feel lost and bored; just the second is the worst thing could happen in a thriller if you asked me !
Moreover, the script makes many mistakes along the way. For starters, the time-line was a mess. According to the movie, the Weather Underground militant did their bank robbery in 1980 as a part of their refusal to Vietnam war; while Vietnam war itself ended in 1975 ! Actually the script was capable of making its accident happen in 1970, as it could have been logically, while saying that the present events take place 30 years later, in 2000. But it didn't do that, maybe to avert recreating the 2000 atmosphere. So, instead, it made its leads crazy people, who oppose a war 5 years after its end !
Shia LaBeouf plays a young reporter who discovers that the lead deluded the police for 30 years, then discovers his long-concealed first daughter, then discovers his exact whereabouts near the end ??!! Well, he must be smart. Ultra Columbo, and Einstein, smart !! The police are mobilizing all their forces, and scientific weapons, for locating the lead; as if he's the most wanted man on the plant ! The lead escapes from his cabin in the woods, to surrender to the police seconds later ?! Then, in the end, what could be the reasons that pushed Julie Christie's character to change her mind, and confess to the police ?! What could be the reasons that made the reporter change his mind, and avoid exposing the lead's history ?! And how that adopted daughter's story-line was left incomplete as if it's unnecessary ?!
This movie has one of the best casts ever. It could have been a blast, a blessing, but no such luck. They're strangely wasted. Save Susan Sarandon's character, there aren't nicely written characters, or characters, to perform. I'm asking bitterly what Brendan Gleeson, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Sam Elliott, and Terrence Howard are doing here exactly ?!! What a pity to use all of them for merely saying couple of lines. Neglecting the characters, to become that empty, is enraging (even cameos have to be memorable than this !). And when these very characters are handled to a long list of highly gifted actors; then it's disappointing too !
Redford as an actor was at his weakest condition. His reactions were inanimate more than low key. And for most of the time, he looked unfocused or uninvolved. Not to mention that he was 20 years older than his character, being 76 year old at the time. Hence matters like having an 11 year old child, and implying making love with his old girlfriend (old indeed !), were more like unfunny jokes ! Speaking about his old flame, Julie Christie was 71 year old, and worse seemed suffering a gluttony of Botox, to have the most stretched face in movie history. It was so stretched you can see the camera in it ! Shia LaBeouf looks nerdy already, so when they put him in a makeup and haircut to emphasize that nerdy look; the result was EXTREME nerd !
Film critic Rex Reed wrote in The New York Observer that the movie has "keen, well-crafted direction of a master filmmaker at the top of his form" !! OK, you can say that about other movies by Redford, like Ordinary People (1980), and Quiz Show (1994), but this time, it's baloney. Because Redford is executing more than directing. The dialogs are filmed blandly, with artless cadres and monotonous cuts. He even didn't want to underline the thrilling parts, even if they were few. Therefore the whole movie felt like an endless and pointless talk show.
Pros : Sarandon's "clarity" interview while she was in custody, Redford and Christie's reproach talk by the fire, and Redford and Richard Jenkins's conversation about SDS ("Students for a Democratic Society"; the 1960s activist movement), and the never coming second American revolution, in a fine art exhibition; as if the noble ideas have become no more than paintings in some hall, not applied principles in the society.
The Company You Keep is about those knights of the 1960s, whom dreamed of changing their country, and while some of them committed shameful sins, all of them ended up defeated, detached, and desperate. Though, someone must tell their story to the kids of today; as the movie says in its best line, and embodies in its last shot. However in terms of that story, Redford didn't achieve any victory. He couldn't make a fine movie about it, or a fine thriller out of it either. Even that last shot was quasi-naive, and too artistic for this movie's own good !
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With a career of all horrible comedies, how come that Jason Friedberg
and Aaron Seltzer are still in business to this day ?! It could be the
most confusing mystery in the modern history !
While The Starving Games (2013) is a parody of a weak movie named The Hunger Games (2012), it's weaker than it. Rather, it hit the bottom of "weakness", whether as a comedy, or as a movie !
Saying that it has laughs is like saying that there are birds in space. There is no fun to be seen. It's like a horror of weird stuff, shown successively, with the least talents. Actually there is something creepy about poor movie that enjoys mixing blood, farts, bad jokes, terrible bore, and cinematic primitiveness !
While making a comedy needs vitality and sharpness, this one is ruled by laziness and dullness. For little example, look how the heroine runs haphazardly into The Expendables, The Avengers, and The Lord of The Ring's leads. It's a pathetic way to mock at these movies, especially when the result is always dry micro-sketches that have no smart line, no stars as cameos, and no criticism for any ironic fault in these very movies !
At one moment, the heroine's colleague has a deep wound in his back, which the movie oddly focuses on its sticky repulsive sight. And at another no less repulsive moment, the heroine spits heavy blood. Then, the movie loves the 2 moments to the extent of showing them AGAIN in the blooper reel. Let alone that there is more than one scene for human and animalistic excretion. Well, in my book, when a movie succeeds in making you nauseated; then it's not a comedy at all !
And while it pocks fun of an action, how come that it's more violent than it ?! Seriously, the original movie doesn't have half of this parody's violence where many killings, by arrows or spears, are shown shockingly and bluntly. You can argue that this is a black comedy. But according to the movie's lQ; it's color blind !
It even ends abruptly, like it's a sudden death !
But still one matter that kills me. Why repeating the shots ?? I mean, the catatonic mother, the sequence of beating the competitors by different weapons, the copious unchangeable cadres of President Snowballs, his assistants, and the stage's wealthy viewers while they're watching the games Why to repeat all of this FOR ALL THE TIME ??!! It's an agony before being another source of stupidity !
Trying to be objective here, and find any positive points to talk about, needs superpower, but I'll try : Maiara Walsh and Diedrich Bader have charisma, and delivered something close to good performance. The first scene of President Snowballs, with the goofy introduction and speech, was the only time where I smelled "effort". Bringing up matters like the degeneration of some reality TV shows, and begging sequels by simply adding a lesbian love story in other shows, was into the point satire. Else that, and with all the superpowers in the world, you won't find an extra iota of positiveness in this !
The Starving Games is ugly and sanguinary comedy that has no comedy in the first place. So how come that Friedberg & Seltzer are paid money for making comedies with nothing funny like that, while notice well others have to pay for watching that itself ?!!
As for my title's question, the answer is : "It's my fate". And as for the rest of my questions concerning Friedberg & Seltzer.. I have no answer whatsoever !
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is painful to watch. A bad movie which is a parody of another bad
movie. So how low can Hollywood go these days ??
In all the comedies of the Wayans family, there are strong crude and sexual content, and no laughing. This one is no exception. It's nearly a comedy about the human genitals and excretory organs; which's disgusting and unfunny enough ! So I was about to say "If you want to watch human feces, go and watch this", however, WHO WOULD WATCH HUMAN FECES IN THE FIRST PLACE ??!!
There is no plot whatsoever. No attempt to understand the leads' characters or problems either (for even pocking fun of them rightly). And accordingly the movie is nothing but huge jelly made of horrible sex jokes. So when you delete drama, as well as comedy, and immerse me as a viewer in tons of filth, then this is the perfect recipe for forgettable ugly crap !
They could have made a comedy about a pervert soft porn masquerading as a romance. But No. Nudity, nastiness, and repulsiveness are way easier. Therefore, when this parody tries to have a conscience, and criticizes its original, Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), by saying that its novel was written by a third graderit all falls apart. Because considering the condition of this very parody; IT IS written by the same third grader !
Fairly, a few moments were kind of comic, and showed a bit of smartness (The scene of unlocking the cuffs, and couple of lines). But the rest of the movie, namely 95 % of it, was between provocatively stupid and vomit-causing. I don't know, is that the legacy that Marlon Wayans wants to leave to the next generations, or even his own kids; "I was unfunny dude, who used to hide his ridiculousness under nauseating language and shocking images, to be even more unfunny" ??!!
Watching a Hollywood movie nowadays became a real torture. It's a hard porn of badness, that addresses the lowest desires in the human self, with superabundance of nudity, drugs, and cursing. Fifty Shades of Black doesn't satirize that sarcastically; it is that itself, yet without any workable sarcasm. So what an appalling failure and complete torture that is !
There is something rotten in the state of Hollywood ? No. Hollywood has become a rotten state already !
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So when you watch a movie, what do you expect ? Maybe some fun, or some
thing to think about, or both. The trouble with The Warriors is that it
has none of the above, AND an army of lovers as well !
While everybody says that it's a great movie, they always forget to tell why. And when I watched it, I didn't find it great at all, yet for endless reasons..
It has a very thin, fragile, rather nonexistent plot. So someone framed some ones, therefore they're chased by other some ones. In other movies, that could make an action, comedy, kids cartoon, or art house movie. But here, it isn't this or that. It's a desert, full of air, with horrifying silence !
Why The Warriors are framed ? The movie's ghost of a script answers proudly through the framer himself : "No reason. I just like doing things like that !". Smart motive ? Nope. It's stupid laziness !
Then, who's the movie's "evil guy" ? OK, he was some guy, who looks confident, and does nothing but listening to the news flash every now and then. For me, he was useful only for a good laugh; especially when he shows up wearing sunglasses at night, and in doors !
So what about the conflict ? Well, it's a loop; where the leads meet one gang, fight them, and then escape, one time after another. What may change is merely the gang's name, costume, and gender. I believe that in the lowest movies, video games, or comics, there must be a kind of aggravation; where the conflict's steps get harder, and the fights get hotter, leading to a big climax. This time, FORGET IT UTTERLY. Nobody cared of doing anything like this. Insignificance was the name of the game, and they played it devotedly !
What about the characterization ? Nihility my friend. The Warriors' leader is the leader for what exactly ?! I don't know, and the movie itself doesn't know. There is some rival for him, who's here to call everybody "Faggot!!", and doesn't do a thing else, not even being a "rival" in anyway. The leads are 8 copies of blank original that has no back story, no clear marks, and sometimes no dialog !
I'm clueless how that movie was criticized for its violence at the time ?! Enough to say that it's an action that has no action in the first place. Any Tom & Jerry short had tons of action compared to this sterility !
The details are strange for strangeness. I mean an empty city that has only gangs ?!! So where are the people that these gangs robe ?? Moreover, subway that has no tickets, and no passengers. Police forces, and thugs, that have no guns. And a movie that has no mind !
And after years and years of releasing it cinematically, the movie's makers remembered noting on the DVD edition that it takes place in the future. But what did happen in that future to make New York a deserted city, that has thousands of criminals, 1 newsstand, and so vigilant vice squad ?!! 2 years later, John Carpenter would fix it up, and do it more correct, in Escape from New York (1981), by turning the whole city into a huge and crowded prison. See, nice things happen when you use your head a little !
Does it have a satire ? YEAH. In one moment, a group of well-dressed boys and girls, coming out of a prom maybe, run into the dusty leads in the subway. Ahh, the war of classes, the social irony, and the eloquent visual commentary ! To tell you the truth, I'm bluffing. Because in terms of intellectual depth, seriousness, or any point of view; our dear movie is between mute and naive !
So what's here to enjoy, or to watch ?? I'll tell you : Deborah Van Valkenburgh's beauty, Andrew Laszlo's cinematography, the special atmosphere, the different gangs' designing, the songs, the no cheap dealing; by avoiding immersing us in sex, drugs, and cursing (a la today's movies !), and the pure ambition of remaking Xenophon's Anabasis in some modern time.
It's pathetic that director Walter Hill tried to make a meaning out of this joke on his 2005 Director's Cut DVD edition, when he added an opening prologue to link the movie to Anabasis, and to assure that we're about to watch "A story of courage". It takes a lot of carriage indeed to make a movie that bad, and that vapid, then dare to connect it with something surely million times better and richer !
I really can't understand how The Warriors is called a masterpiece, a cult classic, a great movie ? Actually these allegations are great crap themselves. Because this is the worst remake of The Fugitive I have ever seen, one of the emptiest movies in history, and an extremely overrated dud. It may have any meaning though in the context of America in the 1970s. However, I'm not an American, and I didn't watch it in the 1970s. Congratulations for its 70s-American-fans exclusive group then. I just hope that someday, one of them tells us a reason for this movie's greatness. Otherwise they're talking about another movie, with the same title, that I didn't watch yet !
Finally a question : How at one point the leads managed to outrun a speeding bus.. on their feet ??!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s, Arnold Schwarzenegger's
name always meant big and loud action. But since the second half of the
1990s, things weren't the same anymore with Batman & Robin (1997), End
of Days (1999), and Collateral Damage (2002). So, at the time, I
skipped The 6th Day (2000) since I wasn't so enthusiastic about it.
However after 16 years, I watched it. And sorrowfully the result
wasn't any better than what I expected !
Schwarzenegger looks rundown. While he was 53 year old, he seemed like 65 at least (how about 53 as older than his character already !). I believe he was recovering from a heart surgery that he had before filming. So you can touch the heavy make-up which tried to hide both his age and exhaustion. It's bad that there is no one beside him in the whole movie. Although Tony Goldwyn was fine as the cold-blooded evil guy, but he lacked the star power and the high charisma. Robert Duvall was pale, doing it for the paycheck. Michael Rapaport wasn't funny, and seemed strangely confused all along. Michael Rooker played the same nervous, weary, and sweaty baddie in nearly 2 million movies in the 1990s alone. And this round, nothing was enjoyable about his performance, as usual !
The action is all about endless, no dazzling, laser shootouts that take place in half dark garages. Everything feels cheap. I didn't run into production values that could be called grand. Even the climax, with saving an helicopter from crashing into skyscraper, was exposed as something done inside the studio ! Director Roger Spottiswoode, who I adored back then; thanks to his action masterpieces Shoot to Kill (1988) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)did it no less poor. I don't know why he got that fetish over the slow-motion ? He drowned his movie with it, unnecessarily and pointlessly. Then those gaudy electronic-ish cuts, like we're watching hallucinations of a robot ! And in some moment, he chose to distinguish one of the killers' failure by playing a somehow lengthy rock song in the background. So what was that about ?! As if the MTV interrupted the movie suddenly ! Sadly, Spottiswoode wanted to be "hip", but lost "cool" in the way.
The story is similar to Schwarzenegger's previous movie Total Recall (1990), yet with less imagination and surprises. It has a consumed plot, which its timeworn skeleton is visible behind every event, to the extent that you become bored with the movie very fast. For instance, the lead becomes a fugitive, while he's innocent, so he runs away from his chasers by jumping into watercourse; well.. IT IS, indeed, The Fugitive's same scene 7 years earlier ! Moreover, it opens the door for plenty of logic questions : While the lead is cloned to cover up assassinating the company's owner, which might expose the human cloning businesswasn't killing him more practical and less expensive ?? And considering the ending, what about that clone's presence in one country with his original self ?! Wasn't his death, while sacrificing for his original, more dramatic and less complicated ??
The movie says that cloning is bad; when the lead explodes the evil guy's laboratory. Then, the movie says that cloning is good; when it leads to human heroes who deserve life (therefore the lead's clone is left alive in the end). Contradiction.. Right ?! Also, notice well that the lead hated how cloning could give humanity the gift of immortality, while he accepted eventually the cloned cat; namely the cloning that could give humanity the hated immortality !! SO WHAT IS THE MOVIE'S MESSAGE ABOUT CLONING EXACTLY ??!!
The climactic sequence dragged a bit. The one-liners were so limited. The evil guys were mostly meant as comic relief, but that was done pathetically, to end up as not menacing or comedic either. The "Sim doll" was meant as a relief as well, however served as an awfully creepy factor instead; OH MY GOD, I still have the shivers !
Trevor Rabin's theme music is a clear play on John Barry's theme music of On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). Just listen to the 2 of them, and you'll easily find out that the first stole the second, yet after changing couple of notes. I think that was an early example of the "Temp Music" which fills Hollywood's movies nowadays, as masked plagiarism that proves nothing but frightening bankruptcy.
The movie's "good" side can be existed by a few advantages. The make-up of Tony Goldwyn's last imperfect clone was perfect as an execution and as an idea; since it revealed his truth as an ugly monster, or Dr. Frankenstein who turned into his grotesque creature. I loved that long list of futuristic inventions which the movie cleverly created and snappily showed as daily life details : The mirror / TV, the refrigerator that has a memory, the remote controlled helicopter, the holographic lawyer, therapist, and girlfriend.. etc. And the visual trick which gathered 2 Arnies in many cadres was semi-flawless.
Cloning Dolly the sheep in 1996 send the world into a frenzy. Hence, Hollywood kept producing one movie after another, to exploit the heck of the issue, in every possible way, for the next 10 years. Just remember : Multiplicity (1996), The Avengers (1998), Repli-Kate (2002), The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), Godsend (2004), and The Island (2005). The 6th Day (2000) was part of that cycle, as an action with satire, made under the name of super star. But it had bland action, muddled satire, and star who looked anything but super !
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A lot of remarks were jumping up and down in my mind while the viewing,
and actually.. None of them was positive !
Let's see. This is as horrible as Gillian Anderson's new haircut, and her extremely botoxed face. Sorrowfully, after years of being a distinct natural beauty, she turned into a lifeless ugly doll. How come that Mulder isn't a believer anymore ? His line about not having a single proof just killed me. I was screaming "This is Not Mulder, This is a Clone of Him !!". The pace is crazy. Everybody is speaking hurriedly. The scene of explaining the newly discovered *conspiracy* was like a talk marathon; I couldn't follow who's saying what, especially with tons of complicated dialog thrown at you unwisely !!
And that leads us to the episode's crime : THAT PLOT. The thing is, there isn't any ! Can anybody sane tell me why Sveta is the key to everything ? How Mulder knew suddenly that all of his life was a hoax only by listening to her story ?! What is her story in the first place ?!! And it's not clear on what basis they reopened The X Files unit in the end ?!?! The idea of "There is no alien conspiracy" as a reboot is shocking. It transforms all of our experience into poppycock, as if during the previous 9 seasons we, along with our hero, were truly dumb !
The original show's artistic merits are gone with the wind. Forget the stylish directing, camera-work, lighting.. etc. This is something flat, deadly customary, that suits a tasteless new sitcom, not a new season for the once proficient, once glorious, The X Files.
Still, the biggest shock here is the fact that this episode was written and directed by the show's creator, producer, and rather father Chris Carter. OH MY GOD, he became like George Lucas for Star Wars' second trilogy (1999 2005), and not even with the dazzling image !! For little instance, look at him making Scully surprised when she finds out that she has alien DNA inside of her. The man forgot that his character plus millions of devoted fans knew that by heart, and since long years !! Well, after the disastrous I Want to Believe (2008), I think that there must be a restraining order for Carter to avoid writing or directing for his show again !
According to watching the whole tenth season before writing this, My Struggle is not only the worst of that season's 6 episodes, but also worst than the worst X Files episode ever made. It's reckless, poor, and most of all disappointing. Ahh, not the late, very late, sequel that we've longed for, and not an X File we could enjoy or watch either.
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