Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rare Flix: V.I. Warshawski

You know that a film is overlooked when you personally have to update its Wikipedia page.  Today's film is V.I. Warshawski, a film that pre-dates the 'Turn all Crime Novels Into Films' Trend of the last few years.  You know the films- One For the Money, Jack Reacher, Alex Cross, etc.  Unfortunately, most of these films were, well, bombs.  Tyler Perry in drag- box office hit.  Tyler Perry playing a Detective- box office poison.  Weird, huh?  It seems that only Tom Cruise's movie is going to start a series of any kind.  Speaking of films that didn't start a series, this one.  This was clearly meant to go somewhere, but failed to make an impact either financially or critically.  Does that mean it is bad?  Granted- there are some terrible films like Weasels Rip My Flesh or Roller Gator that are barely-known.  At the same time, there are some good-to-great films like Neon Maniacs and Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat are also a bit obscure.  The film is about the titular Detective taking a case that quickly becomes personal.  By the end, it turns out to be about alot of money, murder and mayhem.  To find out if this film (which got a Blu-Ray release not listed on Wikipedia) is best left forgotten or deserving of a new glance, read on...
V.I. is a tough as nails lady who works in the P.I. Business, in spite of everyone's expectations.

Gee, it is like subtle commentary on the Film Industry too!  Hmm...
She ends up meeting up with a hunky Hockey player...who dies shortly thereafter.  She decides to take the case, in spite of what her father's friend- Charles Durning- tells her.  Why?
Because the dead Hockey Player has a daughter and she wants to know what happened.  It doesn't hurt that the acerbic girl reminds V.I. of herself in alot of ways.
The pair work the case in a fun way.  V.I. teaches the girl the Rules of Being A Detective, while the girl shows how she can manipulate people by feigning innocence.

She finds out the girl is the sole owner of a company- which turns out to just be one little Shack.  Hmm...
V.I. discovers that she must be getting close to something big when she's confronted by...Newman.
He breaks a big taboo by beating the crap out of V.I.  Like a true bad-ass (see Bond in Casino Royale), she continues to taunt him.  Damn!
Ultimately, V.I. must figure out which one of the Hockey Player's brothers is the man behind it all.  It turns pretty deadly in the End and there is a great twist...so I won't SPOIL it.

Of course, you could always read the Book too.  The End.
Honestly, I don't see what all the hate was about.  I may be in the minority here, but I really liked V.I. Warshawski.  Granted- I have not read any of the Books.  As such, I am only rating the film as the sum of its parts.  In comparison, the 1990s Captain America film sucks to both fans of the Comic (like myself) and lovers of film (also me).  Is the film version of V.I. like the book?  I couldn't tell you.  The film version is brash, out-spoken and actually manages to show her soft side too.  She is a fully-developed character that could have definitely been used alot more than once.  Oh well!  The story is fun, moves at a steady pace and does manage to throw you for a couple of loops.  Is it completely-unique and original?  No, not really.  A land deal leads to murder- get out!  In spite of that, it makes for a good time.  The film is actually not that Rare, but it is so overlooked that it still justifies.  Even if you don't like it all that much, remember that it always could be worse...
Next up, I cover a John Carpenter film that...doesn't disappoint me.  Finally, I don't have to keep bad-mouthing a Director that I love!  Stay tuned...

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