Monday, November 28, 2011

Russell Crows: Ricochet (1991)

Is one scene worth seeing a whole film?  Today's film is one of the early works by a man who has made a career out of just doing whatever.  The man- Russell Mulcahy.  His Resume is full of random films, including two Highlander films, a Jules Verne adaptation and a Resident Evil sequel.  The only things you can really pick up are that he likes Christopher Lambert (Highlander 1-2, Resurrection) and he likes the desert (Razorback, Tale of the Mummy, Resident Evil: Extinction, The Curse of King Tut's Tomb, The Scorpion King 2).  Other than that, it's random crap like 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story, The Shadow and even MTV's Teen Wolf show!  Pick something!  I mention all of this because the first film in Russell Mulcahy 'Week' is a 1991 Made-For-HBO film starring John Lithgow and Denzel Washington.  It's essentially Cape Fear, but with some little tweaks throughout.  It has one really, really silly scene that happens in the middle of it to boot.  To find out what more this film has to offer, read on...
Alongside his Basketball-Double, Denzel plays 'hoops' with Ice-T and a comic.  He's on his way to becoming a big-time cop, but he needs a big break...
Conveniently enough, Lithgow's character pulls off a hit job right next to A FAIR where our hero is doing security.  Through a bit of undressing and deception (don't ask), he stops Lithgow and gets famous, thanks to a man filming him.  Career transition!
In Prison, Lithgow is paired up in a cell with...Jesse Ventura.  He ain't got time to...ow shit, he just got his ass beat!
About thirty minutes in, we get a sword fight between Ventura and Lithgow, including them wearing phone books as armor.  That's...random, but this is by the guy who made Highlander!

Oh yeah, something like this never happens again.  RANDOM!
After escaping from jail far too easily (who lets prisoners hold power tools within 20 feet of a Judge?!?) and faking his death (because nobody does DNA tests in 1991), he begins an elaborate revenge scheme.

First up, framing his friend as a child molester and faking his suicide, even leaving a note.  Somehow, they match his hand-writing, because logic doesn't exist in this world!
He eventually kidnaps Denzel and frames him as being crazy & dopes him up on drugs.  You can test him for marks and even tell by the angle of the needle if he injected himself, but we need to have a plot here!
Through more plot contrivance, he makes Denzel look more and more irrational.  To be fair, Denzel makes this way too easy.  To be critical, Lithgow has the omniscience of Vin Diesel in The Chronicles of Riddick!
After hitting 'bottom,' Denzel reunites with Ice-T, now a drug dealer, to set up his own, convoluted plan.  First step, fake his suicide to draw Lithgow out.
 The movie's climax takes place on a radio tower, since the solution to a man seamlessly-ruining your life step-by-step is just impaling him on a spike.

Thankfully, Denzel is, well, Denzel and everyone apparently believes his story about the framing.  No, really.  The End.
Mind the plot holes!  The plot of this movie is certainly interesting in theory.  The problem: they already made this movie...twice.  It's Cape Fear!  Given the timing, it's safe to assume that this movie was HBO's answer to the remake with De Niro.  Is it comparable?  No, not really.  Even changing out a Lawyer for a Cop and modifying the revenge scheme, the movie just feels redundant.  On top of that, the gray area of the Lawyer character- him being corrupt- is gone here.  Subtext- who needs that?!?  My big problem is that the revenge scheme hinges upon people accepting facts at face value, never checking evidence and jumping to conclusions.  If they did any investigation, the plan would fall apart.  If they gave anyone the benefit of the doubt, this plot would fail.  If they would simply believe Denzel after years of honest servitude, this would be a short movie!  I would love to give this movie the benefit of the doubt and maybe forgive some of it's offenses, but I decided to just act like people in this movie.  Guilty!  Even Jesse Ventura thinks that this is silly...

1 comment:

  1. Actually, this was a theatrical release produced by Joel Silver. I caught it at the second run theater (read: dollar movie) back in college.