||Issue No. 145||19 July 2002|
Two Wings Flapping
Interview: In The Tent
Bad Boss: The Desk Nazi
Media: Hold the Presses
Workplace: Putting Bullies In Their Place
Industrial: Women and Work
International: Whine and Dine
History: Black Adder
Review: Bad Movie
Poetry: I Remember
The Locker Room
Week in Review
Hooray for Frank!
Reform or Die
By Tara de Bohmler
In a nutshell: CIA spy extraordinaire Jake Hayes (played by Chris Rock) is mercilessly gunned down while on a mission to save the world as we know it.
Fortunately for the CIA news breaks of an identical twin brother, Kevin Pope (allegedly also played by Rock).
Unfortunately he is from the 'wrong side of the tracks' and getting killed while spying for the US Government is way down on his 'must do' list.
Fortunately the CIA pre-empts all this and - in between sheltering Kev from the truth - feeds him a load of old cobblers about his future being safe in their hands. Plus there is a small matter of $25,000 being on offer for successfully completing the mission.
But money does not un-maketh the bad boss and no amount of remuneration would excuse the lack of respect this kid receives on the job. Kev is largely left on his own without a clue - or even a bullet proof vest - while terrorists seek his scalp. Meanwhile, this movie is supposed to be funny.
It does deliver a couple of good one-liners and the acting is faultless but it is so full of tired old clichés no one really needs to see the film to know what happens next. The car chase scene is good for the first fifteen minutes. The 'running against the clock' scene works for a while. Kidnapping the girlfriend works in every other movie so why not this one?
But there is one scene that says it all. Sitting in a park near the very start of the movie Kev is playing a game of chess when his girlfriend rings. Suddenly he feels the game has gone on for long enough. Leaning forward to his opponent he moves all pieces from both sides around the board until he has finally checkmated his way to victory. Lets face it, he says, it would have happened this way anyway. Then he asks for $20.
Watching the movie inspires the same feelings of dejavu - along with a strong desire to press fast-forward through much of the 'action'. For this reason alone, it might be worth waiting until Bad Company comes out on video. Personally I'd rather the $20.
Then there is also the small matter of the US Government's recent announcement that it intends to recruit at least 4% of American's citizens as spies (no this is not still part of the movie plot). Presumably these would be the domestic style of spy that we currently recognise as nosey neighbours.
But armed with the support of the US Government and a clear brief to find terrorists and report them, who knows in what sticky situations they might find themselves in the line of duty.
The trouble is that if too many folk see Bad Company, the US Government might have a little trouble trying to recruit people able to swallow the bait. Heavens forbid that folk may suspect the US Government could treat them with the same disregard shown to Kev. Even worse: they might expect a wage.
In order for America to save the world as we know it, now might be a good time for Hollywood to re-focus the propaganda on this issue.
one out of five stars (a must not see movie)
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