After discovering that his wife is cheating on him, an insomniac aerospace engineer accidentally meets, and tries to help, a beautiful model on the run from some extremely dangerous people.After discovering that his wife is cheating on him, an insomniac aerospace engineer accidentally meets, and tries to help, a beautiful model on the run from some extremely dangerous people.After discovering that his wife is cheating on him, an insomniac aerospace engineer accidentally meets, and tries to help, a beautiful model on the run from some extremely dangerous people.
The first time I saw this flick I stumbled across it accidentally when I was on holidays. Instead of going out for the night in the rain I decided to stay in and watch some telly. Well, from the opening scene I was totally captivated by its maniac humour, trigger-happy cameos, kooky situations and that this road movie took place mostly at night. I don't why, but I just dig that last point about the flick. Years later I had forgot what the title was called, but I still could remember certain scenes and it entered on my ever-growing film list to track down. After a while I kind of forgot about it, but like my first viewing I came across it unknowingly on cable and it came flooding back again. That time I got the title! And I tracked down the DVD only a couple of weeks ago. From my second viewing of it I thought it was John Landis' best film, so when I got the DVD, I was hoping that it would be as good as I remembered it to be. So was it? Oh yeah, it was! I'll definitely go to say that this is my favourite Landis flick, yeah even more than "Animal House", yep more so than "Trading Places", a tad better than "An American Werewolf in London" and way ahead of "The Blues Brothers". I know that's a pretty big statement, but I thoroughly had a wowser with Landis' woozy attempt at film noir.
There's no denying that it's pretty much a self-indulgent flick with Landis getting a whole bunch of friends to join in the act, or is it just one big joke? But I didn't care as I just rolled with the punches and tried to pick up on all the familiar faces. Gee, there are a lot of them popping up, especially directors. The story of a bored guy meets strange gal and get into some weird mess where they're both risk their lives on a plan to get rich has been done time after time, well bits and pieces out of the story obviously have. Though, it just has a knack with its quirkiness, murderous impulse and unpredictable pattern. I can see why some people say it's disjointed, overly padded and that it doesn't know what it wants to be. Sure some things lack depth and meaning, but those out-of-the-blue situations make it more eventful and the pacing can somewhat become plodded, but I always found something noticeable in every frame to keep my full attention. Hmm, maybe it's just me? One moment would be when "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" is playing on a TV and what's happening there seems to fit in to what's going on in the particular scene. The dialog just seems to clash with the action. But then again maybe I'm reading things that aren't there?
This is not all a light-hearted comedy even if it has some slapstick shenanigans mixed with some offbeat and eccentric charm. The thriller element gives it a serious boot and the violence doesn't hold back with some outrageous murders. That especially goes for the tense and forceful climax, where nothing goes to plan. The story's idea is cleverly conducted with its many unexpected turns, scheming and plenty of fruitful characters adding to the zaniness. When it gets going, it gets going. Now what did get going was the simply smooth and steamy soundtrack. It ran with an oozing blues score and legendary musician B.B King was involved and he provided the main theme song. The melodies and score had a strangely hypnotic appeal weaved into them. The glowing performances are all great, though it's Michelle Pfeiffer that heads the top. She was just gracefully attractive with her glittering appearance and believably convincing as the mysterious Diana. Jeff Goldblum as Ed was his usual glum and awkward self with his dry sarcasm. But he has a watchable screen presence even though he seems to be sleepwalking. Even saying that, both of the leads are fleshed out rather well and they fit their parts perfectly. The sensational supporting cast provide a lot of odd and wonderful characters too. With the likes of Irene Papas, Paul Mazursky, Roger Vadim, Richard Farnsworth, John Landis, David Bowie, Kathryn Harrold, Clue Gulager, Dan Aykroyd, Vera Miles and Carl Perkins. Then you got the blink and you'll miss them cameos, which are rather diverting from Amy Heckerling, Jim Henson, Don Siegel, Rick Baker and David Cronenberg. I told ya it was long, but that's just the tip. All of these familiar faces had a witty script to work along with too. Well, what can I say; stimulating madness that dabs some touches of film-noir, comedy and thriller to proceedings.
An excitingly dangerous and unusual night road flick that has a variety of ingredients chucked into this very much 80s product.
- Feb 21, 2006