Bernice "Bernie" Rhodenbarr is a burglar by trade, and she runs a bookstore as well. Her friend Carl Hefler is a dog groomer. After a successful burglary, it's discovered that a dead body ...
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Bernice "Bernie" Rhodenbarr is a burglar by trade, and she runs a bookstore as well. Her friend Carl Hefler is a dog groomer. After a successful burglary, it's discovered that a dead body was in the house she burgled. As she's the only one who can be placed at the scene of the crime, she has to use her criminal skills to clear her name of the murder AND avoid getting charged with the burglary.Written by
In 1985 Whoopi Goldberg made her film debut in 'The Color Purple' and gave one of the best performances of all time. After the success of 'The Color Purple' it seemed like Hollywood wasn't really sure how to find the right fit for Goldbergs talents. In 1986 and 1987, she starred in three action comedies, 'Jumpin' Jack Flash,' 'Fatal Beauty,' and 'Burglar.' It seemed like Hollywood was trying to mold her into a female Eddie Murphy.
Of the three, 'Burglar' is easily the best. Goldberg plays Bernice Rhodenbarr, a cat burglar and used book shop owner. When an ex-cop comes to her with a threat to hand in evidence that he withheld years ago that would incriminate her, she is forced to do a job for him. She agrees to steal a dentist's jewelery back from her ex-husband after a messy split. She carries out the crime but is interrupted and has to hide. When she comes out of hiding she finds the man dead and her bag of jewels gone. In order to clear herself she must find out who would want the man dead before the cops can get to her.
While 'Fatal Beauty' was too dark, and 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' was too scatter-shot, 'Burglar' manages to find a good balance between the comedy and the action. Most of the comedy comes from Goldberg, who plays the smart-ass, streetwise type very well. The rest of the laughs come from Bobcat Goldthwait, playing Goldberg's manic friend, and Lesley Ann Warren, playing the frazzled dentist. The rest of the cast plays it straight, not attempting to upstage the star, and it works well.
The film does have it's major flaws. Some sequences drag on too long, some of the comedy falls flat, and the movie is filled with clichéd twists and turns. But when the film works, it works, thanks completely to Goldberg.
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