Thelma & Louise having worked well for him, Ridley continues to ride the feminist wave. Here, however, he has a female protagonist who’s smarter than the two of them combined.
Love her or hate her, you have to admit that Demi Moore went balls-out for this movie. She’s ripped as fuck (While somehow managing to hold on to her gigantic breasts. Hmmm. . .), bald as Sinead, and more than willing to get dirty and bloody. My opinion? I think she’s a good actress, and hot as hell, so this movie works for me.
The script by David Twohy and some chick treads on familiar territory; The set-up isn’t too dissimilar from brother Tony’s Top Gun. The difference here is in the grittiness, and attention to detail. It does end up being as much of a recruitment film as Top Gun, because SEAL training looks really fucking fun.
Bancroft is fun in this, as is Viggo. Music is almost comically intense at all times. The only thing I really disliked was the “bouncy zoom” shootout near the end.
8 out of 10
ENEMY OF THE STATE (1998)
You decide which is stranger: That this movie was made before the Patriot Act, and the main villain’s birthday is 9/11? Or that it’s a mainstream action thriller who’s primary bad guys are played by actors like Jamie Kennedy, Seth Green and Jack Black?
Again, Tony knows how to bring a really fun cast together. Whether it’s Gabriel Byrne in a bit role, or Lisa Bonet and Will Smith in a little Cosby/Fresh Prince crossover, you’ve got some great actors giving their all.
Hackman is much better in this than in Crimson Tide, but for being second billed it’s amazing how little you see of him. I don’t think he shows up for about an hour at least, and then disappears for another half hour. He’s so intense in this, it’s like he wandered in from another, more serious, movie.
I thought the ending was pretty weak, but I’m not sure what I would’ve done differently; The writers seemingly painted themselves into a corner. That aside, this is very enjoyable. Oh, but I wouldn’t recommend ever ending a movie with Larry King.
8 out of 10
PLUNKETT & MACLEANE (1999)
Oh-ho, a new man enters the fray! Jake, son of Ridley and respectable music video director, makes his feature debut. There are parallels to be made between this film and Ridley’s debut The Duellists: They both feature duels, fine attention to period detail, and are roughly around the same time period (Give or take a hundred years). How do they stack up?
Well, it seems like Jake forgoes “artsy” in favor of “fun”. A couple years before A Knight’s Tale, we have a period piece that is scored by a mixture of classical and contemporary music. The editing, language, violence and sexuality are as in your face as they can get; That’s the bit that reminds me of Tony. He also has some dreamlike moments and long shots that have me thinking “There’s his father’s son!”. But all influences aside, Jake has his own distinctive style, and makes a right good use of it.
The script by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (Best known for killing, and then resurrecting, the Bond franchise), is entertaining, and moves along at a nice pace. Ken Stott is awesome as the villain; Why haven’t we seen more of this guy?! Oh, probably because this movie fell flat on it’s face at the box office. Really, if you can’t sell a movie starring Robert Carlyle and Johnny Lee Miller, I just don’t know what to do with you.
In line with the other members of the family, this had some really nice visuals.
7 out of 10