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Charlie's Angels essentially comes across as one of those so called "Event
Movies" that gets hyped up by the press for months on end yet wallows in its
own silliness and/or stupidity (and regardless, the movie will make a ton of
money off of the almost brainwashed audiences). The movie itself more than
likely knows that it's playing down to the audiences' intelligence for the
sake of trying to make high entertainment yet it's ultimately all over the
map in terms of nailing down a particular tone (it really comes off as a
major loose cannon of a movie in other words). What exactly is this movie
trying to prove and be, is it a comedy, a satire/parody, or an action film.
This question can perhaps be even more justified for a movie that allegedly
used over 10 writers over the course of the production.
In return, Charlie's Angels essentially proves to fall flat with some pretty embarrassing results. Virtually everybody who's involved here are stuck practically making absolute fools of themselves right in front of the camera. Yet they seem to firmly believe that they're already in on the joke and are so clever. In the process, the cardboard and almost stereotypical (primarily based upon the opening scenes) characters are reduced to playing dress-up and spouting corny dialog (usually made up of awkward one-liners and innuendos) without much of a payoff or anything to really push it forward from a storytelling point of view. Speaking of the story itself, it's basically something that doesn't have a good sense about actual reasoning for why certain things are happening on screen.
Certain things occur ultimately without much of a point behind them for motivation in the first place like a scene involving a car chase (which was likely thrown in simply for the sake of presenting a car chase in an action film). Most of the time, the movie is seemingly made up of a string of vignettes and some borrowed ideas from a string of popular action films (e.g. the Lethal Weapon movies, Mission: Impossible 1 & 2, The Matrix, the Indiana Jones movies, The Rock, Rush Hour, the Die Hard movies, Batman, etc.) from over the past decade (it even throws in the old "Which wire do I cut?" cliche for good measure). Along the way, we get some lame and unresolved sub-plots (some of which seemingly takes a page from the Batman and Superman movies concerning being caught in a dilemma when it comes to talking about your true identity) that comes off more like padding than something that in some form or another fit into the story.
The "Wire Fu" style of action sequences (which is often made up of the defining of gravity and some pretty gratuitous usage of slow-motion here and there) really lacks a genuine sense of danger and tension. This is needed for an action sequence to make an effective payoff yet the script is totally clumsy on where to lead this. Charlie's Angels is just relentless with is camp factor but it's also so full of itself that it just about sucks most of the excitement and credibility out of it. We already know going in that we have to suspend are belief towards what's going on. While the problem isn't the action on screen, it's really the dialog that seriously ruins the atmosphere due to its absolute cheesiness as you really want to seriously cringe rather than feel amused.
The movie makes the mistake of trying to incorporate comedy to a really high degree on a frequent basis. The problem that can occur when it comes to comedy mixing in with action at the exact same time is that there's all of a sudden too much to think about all at once. This is what helped seal the fate of Batman & Robin (another over-hyped so-called "Event Movie) as being an absolutely obnoxious movie that was insulting to the intelligence. Charlie's Angels likely believes that deep down inside it's providing some sort of positive message for young females. But it ultimately (like described before) is left making absolute fools out of just about everybody (especially those characters are left with cheating and lying to certain people who are really close to them) who's involved and carries a major tendency of simply toying around with its own subject matter.
The action in Charlie's Angels occasionally makes some sort of impact as it puts the "MTV Film-making Style" to some effective usage here and there along with the hard hitting fighting. But the whole thing in a way, ultimately just comes off as simply a major stunt show. What point does it exactly serve to provide a run down of the various out-takes and goofs in the closing credits other than to raise the level of questions towards what to make out of this movie? To go along with the questions (as previously mentioned) towards whether the movie is meant to be some sort of parody (e.g. a parody of the Charlie's Angels TV series itself along with the prologue sequences, the various usage of music, and the usage of the TV show Soul Train which is only mildly amusing), a comedy that's trying to be pretty over-the-top as we see countless costume changes and disguises as well as the humor in-between the action sequences, or a martial arts film that you can argue is trying its hardest to be hip?
It's very obvious that Die Hard With a Vengeance is trying to move away from the type of formula that was found in the first two films. It doesn't set around Christmas and the action moves around a city rather than setting itself around one particular building. But there are still several aspects that are considerably similar to the original. There's German terrorist, a plot about an estranged marriage, and a situation that involves being down to only two bullets. There are some involving elements towards the way the action is structured at first. The action and/or tension seems to be based on puzzles and riddles. There are numerous large-scale, well-crafted action sequences that can stand-out but at the same time, the story seems to lose some steam towards the middle (not to mention that the pacing on certain occasions, really bogs down) to the point were a gets to a climax that's not really stimulating. Certain aspects in Die Hard With a Vengeance grows a bit tiresome after a while. First and foremost, the profanity throughout ultimately feels like a really worn-out conversational piece rather than being the exclamation point of a line. Even the "Yippie Ki Yay..." line isn't very effective because the way it's presented simply feels too obligatory and seemingly thrown in at the very last minute. Secondly, while Die Hard With a Vengeance also tries to move away from the formula of having one person taking on the terrorist to having two, the movie obviously allows itself to seriously fall into typical cliches of cop/buddy type of movies in which the cops reluctantly work with each other but slowly begin to accept one other as the movie progress.
The Flintstones seemingly tries its best to create a similar feeling towards the television series. While the movie atmosphere (i.e. the set design) can be really amusing, there's still something lacking in terms of the script. One problem that The Flintstones seems to have is that it apparently derived a majority of its material from episodes of the show. The humor itself is really one-note as it spends most of its time showcasing the special effects, mild moments of slapstick, and recreating certain gags from the show (e.g. the tip-toe sound effects during a bowling game and scenes from the opening and closing credits). It's fine if the movie was trying really hard to pay a homage to the show for which it's based on but the script doesn't really do much to greatly enhance the material. The humor probably works the best when it takes something from the present and slightly twist it. Although the story is perhaps too simple and ultimately predictable, it's somewhat understandable since it is after all based on a cartoon.
Many jokes in Blankman center on certain private body parts which are for the most part, are played out in a pathetic and forced manner (the movie perhaps relies too much on this). You can't really expect a significant level of cleverness throughout this movie. The movie is seemingly willing to tell you from the start that it will get really dumb or juvenile in order to get a laugh, but it also tends to reach an amateurish level at the most. Blankman on certain occasions becomes a parody of the (what has by now been described as campy) 1960s television series Batman (an episode of that show even appears early on in the movie). There are several parodies of the fight scenes in that show were various comic book type of words like "Pow!" would show up. But Blankman doesn't really go further with these parodies. It doesn't really exploit the various aspects of the Batman television series effectively enough. Along the way, we also get several views on urban neighborhoods, but there really isn't much to get out of this on a highly satirical level. We're told that type of things that could possibly go on in reality in these types of places but the script is unable to twist this for some more humor. Instead, Blankman is perhaps more like a low-rent, much dumber, variation of comic book themes.
The Cable Guy to a certain extent tries to satirize the various effects that watching television brings. And while the movie on certain occasions, is fairly creative with the way it brings up various television programs from the past, it also tends to be give off a really uneasy feeling. As The Cable Guy goes on, the tone seems to become darker and darker to a point in which there's a pretty uneven balance surrounding the comedy. Its several attempts at mixing in slapstick (i.e. scenes set inside of a bathroom and a restaurant with a medieval theme) seem heavy-handed. They either hammer the point of a particular joke in protracted sequences, or feel too odd and juvenile at the same time. Some insight can possibly be found in the script with its numerous references to popular-culture, but the story falls into a fairly predictable approach which places its characters into going threw a slow process of going insane. There are many directions that The Cable Guy takes with its story. It tries to satirize the media, it tries to bring up the potential dangers of watching television (the movie even throws in a small message about reading in the process of this) and alterate things to do, it throws in a story about obsession, etc.
There's at times a sense that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is very frantic with the storytelling and trying to rush things along in order to get you to be entertained and excited. It seems like the way the story is set into motion isn't really developed fully. In spite of that, the movie manages to top some of its own action sequences and stunts. There are possibly various sequences from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom to pick from throughout that can supply some suspense. Although Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is able to maintain interest, there's a feeling at times that movies may be giving out too much of a certain thing. For example, there's a particular character's trait of whining throughout. Early on, it feels like some type of comic relief, but after a while, it can get pretty annoying and/or redundant. What helps the movie is its sense of humor which can help offset or add another perspective some of the gross-out gags. It can also offset some areas of dialog which seems too corny to be taken seriously e.g. the lines "Indy, I love you!" and "Please come back to us!"
Beverly Hills Cop III is wildly uneven for the most part with mixing humor and action. Although the action is packed and fast paced, comedy tends be lazy and uninspired and the presence of pure action seems greater as the film progress. The action itself manages to pull out some moments that have suspense(along with some mildly amusing gags here and there) but on there's also a considerably large sense of being able to expect what's going to happen next. In spite of the fact that Beverly Hills Cop III carries a fairly original premise, certain elements and gags seem to be recycled for the first film. E.g. a small gag an apartment that concerns a case of mistaken identity, the appearance of a truck in the early scenes, a particular substance that's hidden whether it's coffee hiding cocaine inside of a box or a theme park's own money hiding counterfeit dollar bills, etc.
Although Broken Arrow manages to be consistent with the action and presents some well crafted action sequences, they ultimately can't over-shadow some flaws with the story. The movie is littered with some holes in the story. For example, there really isn't a thorough explanation towards why one of the characters needs to get arrested and presents a character who switches sides with virtually no explanation. The story is also shallow with handling the motives towards the main thread in the plot and that's the theft of nuclear weapons. Broken Arrow will occasionally show on creativity with the action (even going over the top in the process) but the movie somehow is unable to generate a real sense of excitement, the action tends to play out in a predictable manner.
Flubber can be imaginative with its usage of the special effects, but the movie can also seem dull and uninvolving (perhaps it's because most of the settings in Flubber look murky). The pacing is leisurely and script tends resort to some tiresome slapstick throughout. Every once in a while, some interest and/or some energy can be generated but the special effects in certain areas serve more as an exhibition that really doesn't bare a connection with the story and feels like padding in the process. For example, there's a dance sequence involving the Flubber. Scenes on certain occasions feel stretched out and the movie at one point, throws in an absolutely manipulative thread into the story.
Superman II doesn't really have a sense of building up the story as it supposedly takes place about a day after the original. The movie sets into full motion from the start based an action sequences and continues the stretch of being action packed. While Superman II manages to be fairly quick with the pacing, expand the characters, and provides some good special effects for its time (i.e. pre-computer graphics), the script on certain occasions can get so simple-minded, that the movie tends to lose a sense of anything logical. When the film tries to be very ingenious and/or showy in certain areas, it's either pretty confusing or silly. Not to mention that the movie throws in an absolutely ridiculous "cop-out" resolution for the relationship of the main characters. Still, Superman II manages to be very entertaining throughout and is definitely superior to the films in the series that followed (Superman III, which was ultimately hampered by awkward and juvenile humor and a certain devoid of action while Superman IV was ultimately hampered by cheesy special effects, a thin story, and some considerable derivation from Superman II).
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