Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Day One Hundred and Seventy - Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins,"...but never continues. And there's a reason for that."
I can occasionally stretch my suspension of disbelief for things like secret government hit squads that recruit with deadly force, or comically ridiculous villains with diamonds imbedded in their teeth, or wise Asian senseis imparting ancient martial arts techniques to headstrong young pupils, but all of those together?
You better be working with some serious charm and style (a la Buckaroo Banzai) if you want my vote, and Remo Williams never even tries, I think. The entire film is played so serious that when the miraculous happens and the filmmakers expect you to accept it, I couldn't help but bust out laughing at the sheer arrogance and pomposity.
Still, I was feeling nostalgic so, instead of stopping it immediately when it was clearly no longer the action sensation I remembered from my youth, I powered on through, hoping for some late game redemption.
Sadly, there was none to be had.
I mean, it's always great to see Kate Mulgrew (whom most probably know as Captain Janeway of Voyager), even if I have no clue what role her Army Major supposed to play. It's not quite damsel in distress, not quite love interest, the role that her character inhabits. I mean, honestly, if I were the bad guys, she'd be first on my "accident" list as opposed to some random New Yorker who was hitting on her and displayed the typical amount of courtesy to a rude driver, but that's me.
The Destroyer series itself is more of the same, being a "men's adventure" novel run with all the macho fantasies of a ten-year-old watching wrestling. Violence and theatricality are the norm, but rarely is there a thought deeper than one from the film where "assassination is the highest form of public service."
I think my main disappointment is the horrible caricature that Joel Grey creates as Chiun, the soft-spoken Korean master of "Sinanju" martial arts who has the preternatural ability to use chi-blasts and walk on water. It's just so patently ridiculous, both the powers and the racist pastiche of Asian sifus. I expected much more from him, but a job's a job, I suppose.
As I said before, on it's face, Remo Williams is a stupid, stupid movie... and that trend continues throughout. It really is a terrible film that should only be watched for it's riffing potential. If you're going to do the ridiculous, then just be a ridiculous movie. Don't try and play it straight if you don't have the special effects to back it up or je ne sais quoi to couch the absurd.
When the best they could do was hiding a very visible platform under the water during Chiun's waterwalking sequence, they should have given up.
Until tomorrow, Potatoes~