BY MICHAEL GOODPASTER|
(FOUR) AIR AMERICA
It’s a bummer to think that this 1990 action comedy starring Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. sucked so badly. First of all it was a Vietnam war movie, which at this point we’ve had plenty of. As talented as Gibson was and Downey Jr is, they still didn’t pull this one off. They seemed bored, hokey, and didn’t seem to take the movie or time spent making it serious at all. This movie was originally a very well received book by Christopher Robbins, but the movie did not do it justice. It had some comedy to it, but from what I hear it was closer to the MASH movie than this tongue-in-cheek crap. The plot in the movie and book was that the good guy pilots found out some of the government higher ups were using their planes to smuggle heroin. They find this out and then have to defeat the bad guys before they themselves find the blame for it. The movie was crap. Instead of wasting our time and tarnishing the book, they could have ended in five minutes with (Punch bad guy) “It wasn’t meeeeee!”
It’s hard to believe the guy who co-wrote and directed L.A. Confidential and the guy who starred in the four Lethal Weapon movies couldn’t manage to put together an entertaining crime thriller. It’s based off a book, “The Hunter”, but ends up being a boring paint-by-numbers action movie. The bad guys stole his money, his woman, and his dignity. So he goes on a predicable spree of violence to get it all back. It’s a little dark, but it feels “dark for the sake of being dark”. As hard as it tries to be edgy, it’s lame. It’s a small dose of torture porn mixed in with fetishes that aren’t even on most NSFW websites. Mel Gibson does nothing here worth noting besides hamming it up. I wonder if it’s not called “Payback” because of the content or if it’s because it’s what Mel was giving someone. Did the producers of this movie save Gibson’s life or keep his racist tirades to themselves? It’s got to be something because at this point Mel still had a lot of box office life left in him.
(TWO) BIRD ON A WIRE
I love me some Goldie Hawn comedies. “Wildcats” is easily one of the best football comedies of all time. I’m serious about that. The movie was a staple of my youth. Most of her movies are normally AT LEAST entertaining, but along with “Wildcats”, I have to say “Overboard” is up there too. Her chemistry with Kurt Russell was great. “Bird on a Wire” comes off as if Kurt Russell was offered the role but read the script and found out how bad it was. Then the producers didn’t tell Goldie and she showed up to find Mel Gibson trying to look like him. At least that’s how it seemed. I wasn’t even 10 when this movie was released, but even then I didn’t like it. The plot was dumb. Melly played a rugged FBI informant on the low for years. Goldie plays his old girlfriend, who recognizes him and inadvertently causes the bad guys to seek revenge. The only thing that keeps this movie from being the worst Mel Gibson movie was a pretty fun performance by the late David Carradine as the bad guy.
(ONE) WHAT WOMEN WANT
In 2000, M-Gibby unleashed a monster. In this gem, he’s an asshole alpha male working at an ad agency and he treats women like dirt. He is passed up on a promotion for a woman (Helen Hunt) because of his chauvinist ways and to get more female appeal. He tries to win over his boss(Alan Alda) and Hunt with a new ad campaign for feminine products. He slips, falls, and electrocutes himself in a bath tub. From there, he gains the power to hear women’s thoughts. He totally manipulates this power to get over. He steals people’s ideas, wins over the ladies, and all that stuff. But in the end, of course he grows a heart and tries to make nice with everyone. The movie made A LOT of money, but that doesn’t make it any good. It’s a “chick-flick” if there ever was one. In most of these types of movie the idea is that all a woman wants to do is change the asshole attractive guy into something in their own vision of the perfect man. That’s EXACTLY what happens here. Even with a good cast of Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Alan freakin’ Alda, and Bette Midler this movie is nothing more than menstrual fodder. You’d think that if Mel Gibson really did have this magic power, he’d know that women do NOT want to be lashed out at with racial slurs, wishes of rape, and called horrible names.