Well, the good bits anyway. Bits of this film are really dull. But the good bits and by that I mean the really bad bits were pure comedy gold. The ending was clearly this was meant to be the Ultimate Trip, the kind that would leave Kubrick whimpering. Forget , this was , baby! This is where Furlong and Julie enter the Spiritual Switchboard, past loads of pixels, squares, time lapse skies and altering environments, culminating in a confrontation with McCandless, who seems to be able to smoke cigars in this virtual world — how does that work?
The thing is, he actually can! It must be McCandless, god damned McCandless! Michelette shakes his head in despair, laughs to himself and attempts to go out in a blaze of glory before being instantly gunned down by Vacendak. Haul Ass to Lollapalooza! Cue anthemic metal from whistle-friendly favourites the Scorpions and roll those credits. Terrible ending. I remember hearing the guitar squeals over that old Sky ad for the movie and I remember thinking this film was going to be ace.
We also have future Breaking Bad legend Jonathan Banks in the role of Michelette, and compared to the dry, been-there-done-that persona of Mike Ehrmentraut, his character here is entertainingly obnoxious, stressed-out and seemingly despised by everybody. The scene where Jagger crushes a Faberge egg and chucks it over to him whilst calling him an asshole is one of the funniest in the film. I love their sixties stuff, I love their seventies stuff and I even like some of their eighties stuff. And I love Mick Jagger.
What a frontman. Like David Bowie, Nicolas Roeg found something intrinsically cinematic about him and both of them enjoyed their best big-screen performances under his wing. There was Ned Kelly , and then there was Freejack. His best extended sequence outside of the Faberge bit is the chase scene involving the ugliest and reddest tank in history. I hate the dark! So what about the book that Freejack was based on? To be honest, to adapt it faithfully might have made for a pretty crammed feature-length film, but compromises could nevertheless have been made and we could have got a striking, spectacular SF experience.
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When you come down to it, Freejack is mostly a lot of chases, fights and shoot outs, only really going into overdrive some would say for the worse for its finale. Immortality, Inc. I mean, there were suicide booths in the novel! Why would you not put something like that in the film? At least Futurama recognised a great if fucked-up SF idea when it saw one. If there are better examples of just how dumb the worst of Hollywood can be in adapting other mediums, then please let me know.
Of course, there was nothing in Immortality, Inc. PS: Amazingly, one of the co-writers is Dan Gilroy, who would end up directing the terrific Nightcrawler! PSSS: two non-Jagger highlights from the tank chase scene to mention — the music by Trevor Jones here is really enjoyable, great chase music.
And secondly, yes that is a sample of James Brown screaming as a pedestrian jumps out of the way. Hit me! Please note that none of the imagery in the above poster for Samurai Cop actually takes place in the film itself.
From the sub- Streets of Rage title music onwards, there is absolutely nothing in this film that is intentionally worthwhile. Join our two McBain wannabes Joe and Frank as they take on the killer from Maniac Cop and his endless parade of disposable henchmen!
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Prepare your flabber to be well and truly gasted at the horrors to follow!! Of course, I really enjoyed this film for the most part — there are plenty of dull bits but there are also loads of moments to laugh yourself silly to. Paul Kersey is back! Charles Bronson is back! Michael Winner is back! Golan and Globus are back! Three films into the Death Wish series, and Michael Winner has finally succeeded in creating an entirely fantastic world of magic unrealism, avant-garde logic and outrageous madness.
Nothing here resembles reality. Of course the first film remains the best, but nothing else in the series matches Death Wish 3 for sheer hilarity. It is so far beyond mere rubbish, occupying a realm of wonderful badness that makes it one of the all-time best worst films. After this, Winner bailed on the series and it became just another shit low-rent franchise, but for one glorious moment, everything clicked. Well, I say everything else…. The first hour or so is essentially just a random mish-mash of scenes depicting the anarchy of the tenements, Kersey taking out the odd bad guy and chief criminal Fraker getting more and more infuriated with the whole thing.
Plus, like Jeff Goldblum and Laurence Fishburne before him, we get to see poor Alex Winter become the third actor in a row to tarnish his early CV with a misguided appearance in a grimy vigilante exploitation flick. By the way, this scene follows an opening credit sequence that boasts the most horrible jazz funk bollox music score imaginable. The credits say that the music was composed by Jimmy Page. Yes, that genius from Led Zeppelin.
Kersey takes on two hoodlums outside the tenement. He goes out to see what all the fuss is about. With what, they respond?
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With the car! The two hoodlums laugh. Poor Mr and Mrs. Rodriguez is knocked over, but just like magic, Kersey appears out of nowhere he does this a fair bit whenever a random crime is occurring and punches the dickhead slam in the face. Instead of taking on this 70 year old, the dickhead simply runs away. After the rotten and box-ticking ugliness of the rape scene inflicted upon poor Mrs. Rodriguez , her husband and Kersey learn of the attack over the phone, after which they head on over to the hospital.
I know expired and death are the same kind of thing, but come ON, you do not break that kind of news with that kind of terminology. The death of The Giggler, a thief who can outrun anyone and has a tendency to break out in fits of amusement, is a most welcome moment. The crowd start cheering.
After which, we cut to Fraker and his gang. Er, what? Was there a verbal contract going on here? Looks like the good people have crossed the line with that act, I suppose. Again, not a very nice scene, but utterly hilarious in the scheme of things. Kersey, like he did with his family before, looks only mildly inconvenienced by this turn of events.
At least it means he can get on with the ending his preferred kind of climax, to be fair without distraction.
Only Commando rivals it for sheer glee, but Commando is ultimately a much, much better film than this. Which makes this ending all the more hilarious. I think.
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