Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Ghoul Versus The Andy Sidaris Collection: Fit To Kill

Toward the end, when we did Fit To Kill, Dona said to Arlene 'I feel like in this script there's a little bit more nudity,' and Arlene said 'Rest assured, Dona. You're absolutely fucking right.' There was a lot more nudity, but that's the way it's going to be. That's just the way that one worked out.” - Andy Sidaris

Bah, I don't want to relive that. Andy Sidaris gave us an IMMENSELY entertaining story that had all kinds of over the top fun... until he threw a rape in. Oh, and Kane transformed from an elderly Asian man into a white British guy in his late 20's. And like half the cast of the last movie that were killed came back from the dead with new identities- and you know what? I'm wasting my time here. What IS important is that Kane escaped death once again, so you just know he'll be showing his smug face to throw more drama into the lives of Donna and Nicole.

Speaking of Kane, did you know he's played by the son of Roger “James Bond” Moore? Geoffrey Moore's last on screen role was this very film as he now works as a producer and restaurateur, but gave acting one last attempt in 2004 when he auditioned to take his father's place as the new Bond. He faced some stiff competition against people such as Hugh Jackman, Clive Owen, Jude Law, and some guy named Daniel Craig. How'd that ever work out, anyway? Maybe I'll have to find out someday...

Moving on, today we have the next film in the Sidarisverse, 1993's Fit To Kill. It's BY FAR my most anticipated movie since I heard Erik Estrada was going to be in one of the movies, as this one boasts the FINAL APPEARANCES of Donna and Nicole! HUZZAH! I'm just going to go ahead and say it, Megan Fox's Mikaela has more screen presence than these two. Hell, the freaking Underwear Model from Bayformers: Dark Of The Moon has more screen presence than they do! Grab the brooms and get ready to sweep out a LOT of dead weight, because it's now time for A Ghoul Versus Fit To Kill!

We open in Hawaii, with Donna and Nicole getting their bikini on in a pond while armed goons sneak up on them. Or I guess not? The next shot has the two women armed to the teeth and sneaking through the grass hunting for two masked men. Did they honestly take a break from a manhunt to frolic in the water? That's all new levels of not giving a fuck for our heroic duo! Oh snap, it was just a friendly game of paintball they were playing with Bruce and Shane, which surprised me about as much as the fact as thing opened with T and A shots. The game gets interrupted by an impromptu missile attack from a remote controlled helicopter, which makes like the third of fourth one in the series. I think it's safe to say Andy Sidaris has a fondness for choppers that ranks up there with his love for boobs.

This is revealed to be Lucas just fucking with everyone to teach them the important of always staying on task. BWA HA HA HAH! With this group of idiots?! Good luck with that, Luke. We return to the KSXY radio station/pool, where Ada is doing a show while her topless assistant Sandy talks on the phone. Sandy is played by- wait for it- Sandra Wild, another Playboy model turned actress. She's one of the more high profile actors in this thing, as she had brief roles in Star Trek shows The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. Here, she continues the iconic role Becky Mullen had in the last film by... GETTING COFFEE! Although she's wearing a gold bikini instead of a red one, so I guess it's vastly different.

Las Vegas is our next stop, where we see Kane and Silk slumming it up in a fancy hotel featuring some of the WORST ADR work you'll ever hear in a movie. In case you don't know, ADR is “automated dialogue recording”, where actors re-record their lines in a studio to be played over their original on set dialogue. Usually it's done with finesse so you can't tell it wasn't filmed live, but here it literally sounds like they're sports broadcasters doing play-by-play commentary on their scene. But whatever, because after this we are introduced to JULIE “QUEEN OF THE B-MOVIES” STRAIN, as she does aerobics in a barely there bikini.

Strain is a legend that needs no introduction, she's starred in over one hundred B-movies and has been the inspiration for about a billion fantasy themed paintings by artists such as Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, and Luis Royo. She was also one of the most popular Penthouse Pets in history, winning the Pet of the Year award in 1993. AND, to top it all off, she can actually act. Certainly not the caliber of an Emily Blunt or a Diane Kruger, but she at least always puts in an effort for her movies to seem enjoyable. I suppose you could say she's like a female Erik Estrada. After flexing for the camera for a minute, she takes her bikini off and the scene ends. Yeah, that's about right.

Kane and Silk have sex so we can get Carolyn Liu's nudity requirement out of the way, while at the same time Strain sneaks into their room. Waiting until Kane is alone she shoots him in the back, but he surprises her by wearing a bulletproof vest while his men burst into the room and hold her at gunpoint. We'll have to wait for an explanation for what's going on, because we get our traditional “Lucas gathers all the agents for a meeting” scene which usually happens at the end of these things. Mixing it up, I like it! Edy enters via “comedic” pratfall, which is completely out of character for her since she's a trained dancer, but it's way too late in the series to worry about character consistency. It seems a wealthy businessman named Harris Chang is throwing a lavish party in two days, and the DEA will be providing security for the event. The DEA. The Drug Enforcement Administration. Providing security for a rich guy's party.

I should say everyone but Shane, because once again he gets radio station duty because EVERYONE knows he's worthless. Seriously, has he ever done ANYTHING in these movies? I guess he did accidentally shoot a bad guy in the leg once, that's worth keeping him around for five plus movies. Kane has dinner with Strain, where we learn her name is Blu Steele and she was hired by a former associate of Kane's to kill him. In a SHOCKING bit of continuity, the associate is the man who stole the Klystron Relay from the last film to deliver to Kane, with the agreement he'd sell it to the Middle East and they'd count the money later. With Kane fucking everything up due to hiring morons, his partner wanted revenge for costing him a fortune. But of course Kane is on top of all of this, hiring Blu to work for him in a counter-scheme that is bound to be overly complex.

Donna, Nicole, and Bruce drive out to Chang's mansion to talk shop, where he bores us with the EXTENSIVE history of the Alexa diamond, complete with stock black and white World War II footage because why not. This is told through one of the fastest exposition dumps I've ever heard, with Chang's actor talking at the rate of approximately five hundred words a second. I have no idea what he's on about, all I know is he's throwing out so many dates my head is starting to spin. Basically Chang has possession of a gigantic diamond that the Nazis stole from the Russians during the war, and now wants to return it as a sign of reusing the exact same plot from Savage Beach- I mean international unity or some shit. He wisely is doing this at his party when the world's eyes will be on him... along with every criminal organization in the world instead of clandestinely doing it in private. BEST. IDEA. EVER.

Blu buys her own remote control killcopter and then uses it to kill the dealer she bought it from in a scene that feels like the last few: PURE PADDING. I'll be okay with this if it leads to a killcopter duel at the end of the movie, however. Meanwhile at the airport, Ava meets with the Russian dignitary attending the party and JOY OF JOYS, he's played by Rodrigo Obregon! God, I love this man. Mikael Petrov is his identity this go around, and his Russian accent is a thing of pure beauty. Our principal cast attends the party, including Kane and his cohorts because he still wears his guise of a legit businessman. Things get very boring as everyone mingles and dances for what feels like an eternity, until finally Donna follows Kane upstairs where he kisses her after confessing he wants to leave his life of crime. Blu, who is hiding in the curtains, takes a picture of this and then knocks out Donna with the ol' chloroform rag. Kane breaks into Chang's safe and takes the diamond, but then gives it to Blu and has her chloroform him as well.

This turns out to be somewhat clever as it gives Kane an alibi during the diamond's theft, even though Lucas knows this is all complete bullshit. Kane returns to his yacht for celebration sex with Silk while Blu bangs one of his bodyguards. The next morning we get a virtual shot for shot remake of the last movie where Kane hired Chu Chu Malave and Richard Cansino, only this time they're named Evel and Kenevil instead of Wiley and Coyote. They're even given the exact same task as last time: kill Lucas and Edy because Sidaris was TOTALLY out of ideas at this point. There is a slight variation to this scene when Kenevil is admiring Kane's pendant and breaks the chain, which is significant because that's how the agency has been tracking him the last couple of years. Even though they've never once done anything with this information, I'm sure it'll come into play finally.

Nicole and Bruce have sex... yawn. I think at nearly an hour in, I can safely call this movie THE most boring of the Sidaris Collection. I know I've used the phrase “going through the motions” several times when talking about this series, but HOLY SHIT everyone's just going through the motions here. It feels so cold and assembly line, like “okay here we need to show this woman's boobs, then an action sequence with a helicopter, then Shane being an idiot, etc etc etc”. Evel and Kenevil come to our rescue as they go to a toy store for some LEGIT comedy, but unfortunately the scene barely lasts a minute. Awww.

Kane's goon takes his pendant to a jewelry store to get repaired, but walks right into a robbery in progress. THAT'S some luck. The thieves take the pendant and run, only to find themselves being pursued by Nicole and Bruce, who are under the impression it's Kane they're following. If you get REAL quiet and listen carefully, you can actually hear the movie grinding to a halt right here. Don't believe me? The next scene is Lucas doing a photo shoot with Edy which is AWKWARDLY cut with scenes of them having sex. Thankfully this is where Evel and Kenevil are planning their hit, but first they have a brief discussion about who is the better actor: Homer Simpson or Fred Flintstone. This is the ONLY bit of clever dialogue in the entire franchise, making me wonder if Sidaris hadn't watched Reservoir Dogs before writing this script and tried to copy it because this feels very Tarantino-esque.

Just like the last movie, they botch the job with their patented brand of hijinx and get caught by the agents. I'd bitch about how pointless that was, but so far it's the only thing in the movie that entertained me so... success? More pointlessness follows as Nicole and Bruce get into a shootout with the robbers and recover the pendant to kill another couple of minutes. They should have called this “Is It 90 Minutes Yet?: The Motion Picture”. Donna tries to get in on the action by spying on Kane's boat, only to get captured by a team of Chinese assassins that infiltrate the boat. That's right, just keep throwing random subplots into this thing, one after another. One of them is BOUND to work, right guys? PLOT TWIST! Blu has been working with them the entire time! Geez, if you can't trust assassins that were hired to kill you, who CAN you trust anymore?

The team is headed by Po, Kane's aforementioned partner in the Klystron Relay debacle, and he wants the diamond. PLOT TWIST! The diamond is a fake! Well shit, now what? How about a knife wielding thug trying to kill Ava at the radio station? Luckily Mikael JUST HAPPENS to be there and fights him off, the thug quickly running out the back door. That's a good enough reason for them to start boning, isn't it? Yep. Moving on, we go back to Kane's boat which Po is sailing back to Chang's estate. Kane and Donna break down the entire plot for us and try to align all the double crosses and fakeouts, but it's just too late for me to care any longer. We also get an epic back story reveal that Kane's father was the one who stole the diamond from the Nazis, only to get betrayed by his friend Chang. Chang killed Kane's parents to claim the diamond for himself, so Kane's ENTIRE character arc has been to become rich and powerful enough to one day gain revenge against Chang.

So Kane's SYMPATHETIC now? Okay, whatever. The reveals keep coming as we learn Mikael masterminded the whole thug attacking Ava thing so he could nail her, but if she doesn't care she was assaulted then why should I? There's twelve minutes left, let's just keep this fucking thing on task. OR NOT, because the next scene is Kane having a fantasy where he's James Bond and Donna is a Bond Girl getting naked for him. Holy shit, the movie has completely lost its mind! That seriously just happened, I had to rewind to make sure I didn't hallucinate it. The yacht arrives at Chang's, who has transformed into a full on mustache-twirling villain as he bores us with his plan to embarrass the agency by releasing the photos Blu took of Donna and Kane making out. Right, I'd forgotten about that particular subplot, but who can blame me when there's like fifty going on at any given moment?

We're not done with the plot twists just yet though, as Kane tells Chang that Po DOESN'T have the best interests of China at heart like he thought he did. I don't even know what's going on right now. Chang thought Po was an agent of China instead of a petty mercenary? But then why did he- oh wait, the movie's almost over. Let's focus on that instead. Po shoots Chang dead, which leads to a shootout joined in progress by Nicole and Bruce. Why are they magically there when they had no reason to be? Did I mention the movie is ALMOST OVER?
Many bullets are fired and all the bad guys are wheedled down to Po and Blu, who breaks out her killcopter. Lucas shows up with his entry, and we are FINALLY treated to the rabidly anticipated Killcopter Duel To The Death 2000! ...which is boring as shit, surprise surprise. Lucas gets shot in the shoulder before he can take out Po's hijacked yacht, so Donna tags in and saves the day because she IS the star of the series, ostensibly. Donna surveys the wreckage says and “My work is done here”, which made me standup and applaud. Not because it was heroic, but because we ARE DONE WITH DONNA HAMILTON (and Nicole Justin) FOREVER! This segues to the wrapping up of the dangling plot threads, like Ava giving Mikael the real diamond. This really made me miss Taryn, because you KNOW she would have given him the fake and kept the real one for herself.

Donna and Nicole stand at the beach and stare off into the water, Nicole wondering where Kane has fled to. Donna tells her not to worry since Silk has planted another tracker on him, as well as the fact he'll likely cut down on his evil empire building now that Chang is dead. Sandy interrupts to give Donna a letter, which contains the photo of her kissing Kane with a message saying they'll meet again soon. Yeah, you- you won't. We're done here.

Cue the credits.

And thus ends the dramatastic saga of Donna Hamilton, DEA agent extraordinaire. Seven movies of one of the most generic and plain Jane characters to ever darken the silver screen, in which she got naked a lot, killed people, and acted with all the enthusiasm of a coma patient. Her adventures managed to be both confusing AND boring as hell in one felled swoop, and the quality steadily went down with each sequel as franchises are apt to do. These do get a slight pass for this because of how blatantly proud Andy Sidaris was of their exploitative nature, as these were ONLY ever about boobs and not the other bullshit more directors spout when they're talking about the “artistic nature” of their films.

Unfortunately, boobs can't carry a movie no matter how much Michael Bay thinks otherwise. Earlier films the series were fun because they were either batshit crazy (Hard Ticket To Hawaii) or a gloriously 80s-style adventure (Guns), but most were just bland as SHIT paint-by-numbers nonsense. It absolutely didn't help things that this particular movie ripped off major elements from the previously worst Sidaris film, Savage Beach, wholesale. Of ALL the films to heavily borrow from, you chose THAT one?! Just a miserable all around experience that will find you begging for any kind of distraction to take your attention away from the boredom, except for when Chu Chu Malave and Richard Cansino are doing their thing. Those guys rule!