"I COME IN PEACE" actually isn't as bad as it has every right to be, given that it is an extremely derivative sci-fi, buddy-cop picture with pieces of everything from "The Hidden" to "Lethal Weapon" in view. In addition, it stars Dolph Lundgren, yet another muscleman actor who is about as expressive as wood.
And yet, in its own unintentionally campy way, "I Come in Peace" provides some fun for fans of the genre as Houston cop Lundgren tries to track down an evil alien who is killing dozens of people with razor-sharp compact discs, when he's not injecting them with heroin to get an even more potent drug from their brains.This sounds like a formula for gore, and though there is quite a bit of violence and some of it is fairly graphic, it's not nearly as grotesque as such recent fare as "Total Recall" and "RoboCop 2."
Lundgren is reluctantly teamed up with a stiff-collar FBI agent, played with just the right amount of bemused distance by Brian Benben, and Lundgren's girlfriend, who just happens to be the coroner (Betsy Brantley), also gets into the act.
As for the story line, there's the police chief who suspends Lundgren, the alien cop who's also tracking the evil alien, the romantic arguments because Lundgren seems to care more about his job than Brantley, the coverup by the FBI once they take over, a gang of yuppie criminals - in other words just about every formula cliche we've seen in such films over the past several years.
But there's also a sense of humor, lots of stylish explosions and car chases and some zany twists that give it a jolt now and then.
"I Come in Peace," rated R for violence, profanity, drugs and nude female dancers in a bar, is no great shakes to be sure, but action and sci-fi fans could certainly do worse.
- "REPOSSESSED" is one of those "worse things" you could do.
This truly lame "anything-for-a-laugh," "no-joke-is-too-stupid" off-the-wall spoof of "The Exorcist" boasts Linda Blair as its star, reprising her role as a woman who was possessed by a demon as a child and now has been - you guessed it - "Repossessed"!
It's up to the priest who helped her the first time - Leslie Nielsen - to save her again, but he's still recovering from the trauma of his first encounter with this demon.
A young priest (Anthony Starke) is recruited to help, but then a pair of scheming televangelists, who look very much like Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker (Ned Beatty, Lana Schwab), decide to broadcast the exorcism on national television.
Taking a page from Mel Brooks and the Zucker-Abrahams team that made "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun," writer-director Bob Logan fills every frame of this movie to overflowing with puns, sight gags and goofball humor, but he can't tell his best jokes from his clunkers. While it's true that Brooks and Zucker-Abrahams also have gags that fall flat in their movies, they give the biggest emphasis to those that work. Logan is all over the map.
The biggest problem here is a matter of taste, however. Logan has none. The main running gag - and I do mean gag - has to do with vomiting green pea soup. The first time was somewhat expected by anyone familiar with "The Exorcist." But by the third or fourth time it definitely wears out its welcome.
In addition there are any number of vulgar sex gags, loads of jokes about women's breasts and three scenes exploiting female nudity. Catholics in particular are likely to be offended by the incredible number of barbs aimed at their church.
And if ever there was a PG-13 movie that deserved to be rated R, this is it.
"Repossessed" does have a few amusing bits, but it isn't long before the number of moans and groans and times you look at your watch outweigh the genuine laughs by about 100 to one. A conservative estimate.
And you have to wonder if it isn't a little late for this movie anyway. Critics criticized Mel Brooks in 1987 for "Spaceballs" because it came so long after the "Star Wars" trilogy it spoofed. "The Exorcist" came out in 1973. Are today's young moviegoers familiar enough with the film to get any of this?
"Repossessed" is rated PG-13 and has violence, sex, nudity, profanity and vulgarity.
- "LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN," despite some very good reviews from a few national critics, was a most repulsive experience for me, reveling as it does in the social disorders of Brooklyn's Red Hook area during the 1950s, played as broad melodrama laced with R-rated excesses.
Based on the book by Hubert Selby Jr., "Last Exit to Brooklyn" ties together some of his short stories andinvents a new one, examining low-life misfits who are affected by the ongoing strike at the local metals factory.
Stephen Lang is the most effective presence, abusing his wife and his privileges as the shop steward and eventually giving in to his sublimated feelings of homosexuality when he meets a transvestite and falls in love.
Jennifer Jason Leigh also plays well her role as a prostitute with a Marilyn Monroe look who is looking for something better. She spends a few days with a soldier heading out to Korea in a bizarre variation on "Pretty Woman" and eventually is gang-raped.
The third major character is played by Burt Young as a father who, at first, can't believe his daughter (Ricki Lake) is pregnant, then after the baby is born has a fight with the father, knocking the child to the floor - all this during the young couple's wedding reception.
There's no one in this movie to have sympathy for, to like or identify with - even a young boy who seems innocent is corrupted by the end, and the stalwart union leader (very well played by Jerry Orbach) sanctions violence to help end the strike.
Worse, however, is the approach, with everyone from hard hats to gays to streetwalkers being played in the broadest stereotypes, as if placing all the action in the '50s is sufficient reason to portray offensive images.
I can understand why some critics have embraced this film; one person's shocking exploitation is another's bold statement.
But after two hours of wallowing with this crowd, I felt like I needed a shower.
"Last Exit to Brooklyn" is rated R for violence, sex, nudity, profanity and drug abuse.