Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Ghoul Versus The Andy Sidaris Collection: Hard Hunted

In making a movie, the most important thing you can do is to keep the action moving as you tell the story. We don’t do long, drawn out scenes with underlying psychological bs. We set the story, set the pace and move on. We know people like our style. And, yes, we throw in nudity whenever possible and augment it with a whole bunch of chases, explosions and gunshots.” - Andy Sidaris

Crime lord Kane (Pat Morita) went full Bond villain and hired a bunch of idiots to try to kill Donna and Nicole when he had them unarmed and fully at his mercy. Donna and her legion of boring idiots killed all the assassins but instead of dealing out the same fate to Kane they secretly had a tracker planted on him so they could get dirt on his entire organization. It- it wasn't a very good movie.

It's 1992 and another Sidaris movie. That's all I got. There's not a lot of information about these films floating around out there, so let's just get to it. We have no Erik Estrada this time so we're just going to have to rely on Shane, Bruce, and Lucas to supply all the cool. ...oh no, WE'RE BONED!

We open on a yacht sailing the high seas where the crew retrieves a box floating in the sea attached to a floating red bobber. Below deck, a plain evil looking man gets a modeling show from two lingerie clad beauties, one of them played by the lovely Silk from the last film. This man is revealed to be Kane and- WAIT, WHAT?! Kane, as in Masakana Kaneshiro from the last movie? The guy that was played by Pat Morita?! Surely not, must just be an amazing coincidence. But that is Silk with him... hmm. Kane opens the box to find a small statue inside, saying it's some rare and expensive artifact that he locks up in a safe. We get further confirmation that this is indeed a continuation of the last film, as Silk is shown to still be a double agent leaking information about Kane to the Agency.

Back on land, Edy is now back in Hawaii and has reopened her resort/restaurant/whatever the hell it's supposed to be. She's still singing another catchy tune and looking jaw droppingly gorgeous while doing so, meaning all is right in the Sidarisverse once again. Her song is being broadcast live by the local radio station KSXY, which Shane now works at as a DJ. This scene is notable as the introduction of Becky, a BOMBSHELL blonde in a red bikini that brings Shane coffee. She's played by Becky Mullen, who was never a Playboy Playmate but posed in several of their special edition magazines.

Shane's shift ends and he's relived by... Ava?! You know, one of the DEAD assassins from the last movie? What the hell is going on here? We return to Kane's yacht where he has sex with Silk, unknowingly getting drugged unconscious by another undercover agent on the yacht posing as a worker. The agent breaks into his safe to get the statue, caught by a guard but she shoots him dead. She jumps off the side of the ship, meeting up with another agent named Cole via windsurfing rig and they return to the shore. Naturally she strips down real quick to take a shower before getting dressed, telling Cole she needs to get to the airport ASAP. Cole is played by Burton “Buzzy” Kerbox, a professional surfer so let's keep our fingers crossed for a surfing shootout at some point in this movie. Mika, the undercover agent, calls Edy via the radio station to secretly send a message requesting extraction as the station is the agency’s front to relay information between themselves. Edy directs her to Arizona, where a map shows Donna and Nicole are stationed.

Because Arizona isn't an abrupt enough location change for the Sidarisverse, we cut to the Pentagon in Washington DC where Very Important People are meeting about a device called the Klystron Relay. It's a new kind of trigger for a nuclear bomb that was stolen from the Chinese and delivered to Kane, and Lucas is here to recover it before he can sell it to terrorists. HOLD UP. Lucas? I don't see Lucas anywhere. Oh wait, he's played by a completely different actor now named Tony Peck, who looks absolutely NOTHING like William Bumiller. This movie is jarring as hell so far! The meeting is interrupted by a phone call from Edy, who tells Lucas about Mika and the twice stolen device.

Kane awakes and discovers Mika's treachery, commenting that “our little hummingbird has become a whore”. I laughed out loud for over a minute straight at this line, which I think is a good sign I'm going to enjoy this movie. Cole arrives on the yacht, and we learn he's a double agent working for Kane. Sooooo... why didn't he just kill Mika and retrieve the statue the second he met up with her in the water? I think the answer is because Cole isn't very bright. Kane orders his men to kill the surfer, but he saves his life by revealing he knows where Mika is heading. Fortunately, Kane just happens to have a contact in Arizona, which is no surprise seeing as how the last movie showed he has operatives in every city in the world apparently.

The contact is a man named Raven, played by Al Leong who is back to bring some more awesome to the Sidarisverse. He gets in his gyro-copter and finds Mika almost immediately, because Arizona must be the size of a broom closet in this world. He flies over her just as she makes it to the campsite Donna and Nicole are staying at, shooting the shit out of her with his cannons. He returns for another pass to take out the rest of the agents but they manage to escape in their jeep, taking Mika's bag with them. They head to the airport and book passage to Hawaii, trying to call Lucas for assistance but can't reach him. This call is intercepted by one of Raven's connections, who updates him on their destination.

Lucas rallies all the troops to meet up in Honolulu, Shane and Bruce arriving first and are surprised to see Cole there. They meet in private to discuss if he might not be on the up and up, which is the first recorded history of either of these guys displaying a single brain cell. Cole eavesdrops on them to get the news about Donna and Nicole, calling it in to his crew. The pilots arrive, Nicole going inside to get settled while Donna secures the plane. She somehow COMPLETELY misses one of Kane's goons sneaking up behind her and zapping her unconscious, despite the fact he would have literally been in her peripheral vision the entire time. He loads up Donna into a nearby plane which takes off, the goon staying behind to hold off Nicole and the others who were altered by the commotion.

He's eventually killed, but the plane has now gotten away during the shootout. It flies far out into the ocean, where Kane calls her to mock her and telling her she's going to be dropped out of the plane to her watery doom. Okay, now I TOTALLY believe this is supposed to be the same Kane because why the hell didn't he just have her men throw her out of the plane the second they got airborne and got the Klystron Relay off her? This buckskin' guy...! Oh, I see why now, it's so Donna can escape her bonds, grab the statue, and parachute out of the plane because Kane SO hasn't learned his lesson about how resilient she is. This sequence is incredibly cool and BY FAR the highlight of Donna's badassery in the series, she even signs it with an exclamation point by leaving a grenade behind to blow up the plane and the pilot.

This also draws one of the greatest reactions from Kane, who heard the entire thing go down over the radio. He lets out one of the most lackadaisical “fucks” I've ever heard, which is perfectly delivered in his over the top British accent. Kane isn't too worried though, as he JUST HAPPENS to have an operative named Pico on the island that Donna landed on. Geez, in the early 1990s at least 80% of the world's population must have been on Kane's payroll. He also orders Cole to the island as backup, because there's NO WAY Cole will fuck up his assignment again, right? After sneaking away from Kane for a moment, Silk calls Ava with this latest scoop.

On the island an unconscious Donna is found by Pico and his men, and I'm ELATED to report Pico is played by Sidaris favourite Rodrigo Obregon. This time he's sporting a bitching eye patch because Sidaris went ALL IN for this movie. Lucas lands in Hawaii just in time for the series trope of all the agents uniting to plan things out but then end up pairing off to have sex all night. In the morning Nicole and Bruce depart for the island, Shane staying behind so he can get more coffee from a topless Becky I guess. It's not like Shane is any good in a shootout thanks to the curse of the Abilene Aim, which afflicts all males in the lineage so they couldn't hit a bull in the ass with a snow shovel.

Cole makes it to Pico's camp, where we learn Donna has sustained amnesia in her parachute jump. Ohhhhhh, boy. Back in Hawaii, Kane furthers bulking up his team with the addition of the two more assassins who should look mightily familiar: Chu Chu Malave and Richard Cansino. And get this, their character names are Wiley and Coyote. BWA HA HA HAH! This movie is fucking amazing. Wiley and Coyote, who are in EPIC scenery chewing form, are tasked with killing Lucas and Edy, who also remained behind on the island. They board their hoverboat and pull out some guns, all of which are stamped with the ACME logo. This is probably the best movie ever made, I'm sure saying. The hit does not go as planned thanks to their incompetence, and their shiny new craft ends up getting destroyed by Edy's exploding high heels.

Nicole and Bruce land their plane on Pico's island and go stealth mode to enter his camp. Naturally Bruce screws up and alerts the entire camp to their presence, a gunfight breaking out. Cole grabs Donna and the statue and books it, Nicole chasing after them but is too slow and they escape on a jet ski. She returns to the camp just in time to save Bruce from getting stabbed by Pico, taking him out with a volley of bullets to the back. The two agents are kind out of options at this point, so they do what they do best: fucking! I actually was thinking Nicole was going to go the entire movie without getting naked, as it seemed way too late into the run time for Sidaris to work that in somehow. Silly me, underestimating the master!

We see Cole and Donna have docked at another island, Cole trying to convince Donna he's a good guy and they used to be lovers. This works and they begin having sex, which brings the fun to a SCREECHING HALT. Really? We're doing this? Did a movie that just had two goofball assassins using ACME brand weapons need a rape scene? God, Cole is now the most despicable character to befoul this blog since the Rock 'n Roll Rapist from Showgirls.

Fast forwarding through this disgusting scene takes us to Kane, who is now sailing to the island to end this nonsense once and for all. He's joined by basically every other character from the movie, as we're deep into endgame territory. Donna gets her memory back just in time for the festivities, grabbing a machete and stabbing Cole through the fucking chest with it. To add insult to injury, she tells him she faked her orgasm. Blegh, can this please be done now? She joins up with Nicole and Bruce only for Raven to get the advantage on them and reclaim the statue. When Donna finally learns what was inside of it, she looks about as concerned as if her assistant had bought her store brand hydrogen peroxide instead of the lavish, name brand version. Basically what I'm saying is Dona Speir is TOTALLY out of fucks to give in these movies anymore.

Raven gets in his chopper and tries to kill them from above, but Donna isn't having any of that shit and blows his ass up with a grenade launcher. I wonder how many helicopters have been destroyed in this series? I'm going to guess A LOT. Kane, witnessing the loss of his precious relay, storms the beach to get revenge despite the fact they appear to have no weapons and Donna is angrily pointing her weapon right at him. Fortunately for him she's out of ammo, so he's able to turn tail at the last second to fight another day. Hey, a recurring villain... that's kind of a novel idea that they should have thought of MUCH earlier.

Cue the credits.

This was heart breaking. Up until the rape this was seriously up there with Hard Ticket To Hawaii or Guns, but after that happened all the fun was sucked out with an industrial vacuum. You had so many great elements here: a classic Bond style villain, some genuine bad ass action, and laugh out loud moments, how do you screw that all up THIS hard? The Sidarisverse has always had issues with an uneven tone in their stories, however this just went too far.

I really would like to recommend this because the vast majority of it harkens back to the early days of enjoyable Sidaris films, but not when the movie leaves you with a VERY bitter aftertaste. On the positive side, one ONE MORE FILM to do with the current crop of bland agents and then we're onto some new blood for a desperately needed injection of freshness into the franchise. And I mean that in regards to the creative team as well as the actors, Andy's son Christian Drew is taking over the writing and directing duties for the next couple of films.

But first, Fit To Kill...