Saturday, 7 March 2015

IMDb Bottom 100 Review - Number 58 Santa with Muscles

Christmas spent with Hulk Hogan in a sleeveless Santa outfit could just as well be the epitome of holiday feel good to me. As it happens, it is not. After viewing today’s entry, I understand why. Boosted in a very small way by a happy looking young Mila Kunis only to again be drug back down by the always annoying looking Clint Howard, this movie only manages to move past vomit inducing annoyance into the, for movies on this list, coveted ‘bearable watch on a hungover lazy Sunday afternoon’ bracket. It doesn’t make it good, but that is kind of why we are here. So move your eyes over the following picture, and feast upon the review of the Christmas movie…

Totally believable Santa. Jolly smile and fluffy white hair. 
Santa. With Muscles. I think you need to just lean back in your chair, and let that concept sink in. Then ask yourself: could this movie have been made without Hulk Hogan. After that, try to consider why somebody ever figured Hulk Hogan should be in movies. Even try and comprehend why Hulk Hogan thought it. I was never a huge wrestling fan, but I am obviously aware of Hulk’s fame. I don’t know exactly when his reign was at its highest, but I’m assuming early to mid-90s were his prime, since most movies featuring him are from that period. And him being a big name meant somebody thought they could cash in on that name. Sadly everybody forgot to consider the simple fact, that Hulk can’t act and that wrestlers acting like their wrestling personas in movies never ever do well. It’s one of the golden rules of C-list movies.
Hulk sneaks up on his own mansion. I'm not sure what the point of this exercise is. Perhaps to test his crew's anti-theft routines?
The plot of this movie is fairly formulaic. Local orphanage is targeted by evil dude with nefarious purpose and a crew of inept but well meaning henchmen. Hulk plays a Dickensian rich douchy Scrooge like guy, whose purpose in life is making body building supplements and being a general idiot who fights his staff for fun. We open with a cute little orphan girl reading her letter to Santa aloud, complete with sugary voice and golden locks. She needs help, urgently. And since Santa gives presents, surely he can also save their orphanage. The science checks out. Santa doesn’t show, but luckily for her, Hulk is out being stupid, and after dressing in a Santa suit to escape his police followers, then hits his head when falling down a garbage chute at the local mall. Upon waking up, he has lost all memory of who he is, but naturally assumes he is actually Santa. Because suit. It’s a no brainer. As luck would have it, the mall happens to need a Santa, and Hulk is only too happy to oblige. Best as he promises kids whatever they ask for, two thugs decide a crowded mall during Christmas shopping is the perfect time to rob the donation bucket from the orphanage's stand. This is sound judgment. Hulk isn’t having it though, and decides to kick some ass. Thug life just isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Now a local hero, he visits the orphanage where the little golden haired girl is excited that her Santa prayers were Santa answered. It’s a Christmas miracle!
Look everybody. It's Mila Kunis and That Kid. That Kid looks like his acting - bemused and despair inducing. 
Hulk, having nowhere else to go, bunks up in the orphanage. They have placed kids left and right, apparently, and only three are left, so there are plenty of bunk beds for Hulk to crash in. This also enables him to protect the orphanage from the pressure of Mr. Evil and his Goonies, with kicks and punches. There is some back and forth, and I believe they even managed to toss in a montage. Montages are important in the B100niverse. They take up time with minimal effort, just the way we like it. The orphanage is located in an old church, and Hulk is dramatically tossed out of the clocktower after a kerfuffle with some baddies, and lands in a garbage truck. This restores his memory to his old self, and he wakes up in his old house, confused as fuck. Now we have quite a predicament, because he doesn’t remember being Santa and Mr. Evil is going for the orphanage in a big fucking way now. With no Santa Hulk to defend their honor, they are pretty much up shit creek only they seem to have mislaid their paddles. Of course it all gets wrapped up rather nicely in the end, when the now reformed Hulk finds out he was formerly a kid at the orphanage, and vows to protect it at all costs. Binga Bango Bongo, Hulk deals with the terrorist threat, blows up an orphanage (collateral damage) and saves Christmas. Hell, he could be the Tea Party's presidential candidate.
I wanted to write something about Clint Howard in the review, but I dislike him so much, I couldn't make myself, because it would've turned ugly. 
Whether Hulk Hogan has ever been in a movie that didn’t immediately trebuchet your mind down the Bottom 100 lane is something for historians to ponder over the next millennia. I’m not a betting man, but if you were to hand me a thousand dollar note (yes they exist) and force me, at gunpoint, to place a wager on whether he had or not, I'd probably have to go with not. I believe I mentioned, that I am not a wrestling fan. I remember as a kid I watched some, and while sweaty seemingly angry men beating each other up in a cartoonish fashion bore certain amounts of hilarity to my purile mind, I questioned the validity even at that point. When an 8 year old kid questions reality, you know things are not all good. So I only really know Hulk from my vast, albeit broad, knowledge of pup culture. He is perhaps the 'greatest' (that's right... quotations) wrestler of all time, possibly only surpassed by the, in my opinion, far more characteristic and talented Dwayne Ze Rock Johnson. So when I see Hulk in these movies, I can't draw on a childhood warm fuzzy feeling of admiration for a character essentially famous for having the best wrestling pre-game smack talk. Also I just wasted a whole paragraph just on dissing Hulk Hogan. And I didn't even touch upon his reality TV stint.

Me: 1 – Hulk: 0.
The outfits are the real punishment. 
There are a few well known faces in this flick, besides the Hulkster. Mila Kunis, I believe I mentioned. Mila 'Married Ashton Kutcher for some fucked up reason' Kunis. Mila... what is there even to say about her. She is a star now, but we all have to start somewhere. I'm not sure what can safely be said to have been her 'break' but one thing I know for sure is, it wasn't Santa with Muscles. She turns in a passable performance as ridiculously cute and unbelievably still left unadopted girl at the orphanage. I mean, don't get me wrong. Perhaps she was a conniving little fucker, but I have the hardest time believing Mila wouldn't be adopted right off the bat. People would walk in, look at one kid, then Mila and go 'YOU HAD ME AT HELLO!'. Anyway, besides her, we have the pleasure of that kid. Yes, that kid. The one you've seen in a trillion things. One of those kids, that literally had a bit part in like 50 flicks and looked identical in each one, making me once again question reality, because how the hell can he squeeze in so much work in so little time OR manage to look exactly the same for years and years. I mean kids grow, don't they? I thought they did. I'll refrain from posting his name here, out of respect. Also because I'm typing this on a train without internet, and I literally can't be assed to look it up on my phone. You deserve better than me, you really do. Sadly for you, you are stuck with me.
The crystal cave fucks shit up. Thanks a lot Mr. Evil. You ruined another perfectly good orphanage. 
Santa with Muscles is, like I've touched upon, a Christmas movie. It doesn't really have much in terms of Christmas messages bar the usual be kind to people bullshit. I'm all for being kind to others, but Hulk kind of makes me want to kick and scream. His mustache alone gets me riled up. And not in a good way. The goal of the bad guys in this flick are vast caves underneath the orphanage, containing crystals that, I think, generate electricity? I'm unclear on this, because I had literally lost interest at this point. There were crystals in the cave, and somebody touched them and made the patented 'I'm experiencing electrical shock in a movie' spastic body movements. Can't they come up with something new? The comedic effect of this trope wore off in the early 80s. Why Mr. Evil didn't just alert the orphanage to the magnificence of the crystal cave, and offer to help monetize it I don't know. The three kids seemed to know about it, but didn't say anything. Or perhaps everybody knew but didn't understand how to turn a profit. Perhaps they knew how to turn a profit, but couldn't open the last door? Come to think of it, this movie was pretty much too complicated for me to follow. Remember when I said you deserved better than me? I need my girl by my side when I watch movies like this. She calms my mind and I see things so much clearer. If she reads this, she should know that she is needed. Dearly! If not for me, then for the hungry readers.
Seriously though. Santa with fucking muscles. This outfit just isn't OK. Not even for daytime television.

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