Friday, August 15, 2008
The Destructors a.k.a. The Marseille Contract.
Last seen on: ... TCM? (Turner Classic Movies). Yeah, that was it, because afterward they had ads for upcoming pics with Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle. Oh, weren't they great together? On the other hand, they're not yet in HD. Get on that, guys! Ted, pay the extra 50 bucks. Make the conversion.
Anyway, let me wrap this up before I lose interest altogether. Michael Caine was in fine form as always, but it takes about a half hour before he even enters the damn picture! Somehow the stuff at the beginning wasn't terribly credible with two-time Oscar winner Anthony Quinn able to outrun and kick the sh... snot out of these younger tough guys with guns. What was he, sixty? Somehow those big barrels on the stairwell weren't an accident either. Oh, his running was more painful to watch than Harrison Ford in Clear and Present Danger, I tells ya. So the whole setup was a bit half baked to me and my viewing companions. It seemed to be an uneasy amalgam of The Day of the Jackal and The French Connection. Guess they thought the title The Marseille Contract was a little too similar. An interesting idea, though. The two leads knowing each other was a nice twist. And as the picture awkwardly attempts to suggest, there were some things worth stealing... I mean, paying homage to, from this picture. In fact, somehow the plot reminded me of The Departed, even though it's clearly less complex, and therefore not as good. And where this gives you only one thrilling car chase, Ronin gives you... six? Seven? I lost count after about seven. There was a car chase in the skating rink with Katarina Witt, right? Someone thought it was like The Bourne Identity, but that's extremely unfair to my man Jason Bourne. Oh yeah, not to mention the car chase used as foreplay, something even the most sterile, asexual reader of Maxim magazine can appreciate. It's the kind of thing you just don't see in movies these days.
Near as I can tell, the only big name worth remembering in the crew was Douglas Slocombe, who most film geeks will know off the top as the cameraman of the three GOOD Indiana Jones pics... Sorry, Stevie, but you know it's true. But I'm sorry. Judd Parrish? Robert Bernard? Never heard of 'em. See? Let's see if anyone cares I got the names wrong. And speaking of names, Steve Ventura? I'm sorry. That violates the #1 rule of movie names. In a movie like this, the main guy, the Alpha Dog is named Jack, and his best friend is named Frank. End of story. I learned that from The Day After Tomorrow, and you can too. Steven Seagal as well: four movies he's named Jack, three John, the more formal Jack. One movie he's named Frank, but it was an Albert Pyun movie. Clearly a charity case.
Guess that's about all that can be said about it. And to all my wealthy readers, I don't know how many times I have to keep telling you this. Never EVER supervise your own drug deals! Just don't do it. Are you really that bored with the good life? Oh, good help is just so hard to find these days.
so sayeth the Movie Hooligan