Sunday 20 April 2014

IMBd Bottom 100 Review - Number 89 Gigli

A lesbian hitman, a guy going full retard, for some reason Al Pacino, and finally Ben Affleck in his, as of yet, campiest role. If you're asking yourself: Did the White Queen of Narnia finally win, and I'm stuck in a world where these ingredients somehow magically make up a terrific movie? I can't blame you. But a glance about your immediate vicinity won't reveal Mr. Tumnus or any benevolent Jesusesque lions. Only a hunk of fecal matter refurbished with shiny but empty glitter that would make even Mariah Carey avert her eyes in shame. For your reading pleasure, I present to you:

Mob guy on the right, innocent dude on the left, right? Wrong. Mob guy on left. At least it's new. 

Gigli (2003)

This fucking film, am I right? Dubbed the shittiest movie ever made by plenty of pro and amateur critics alike, when it came out. While I tend to agree up to a point, whoever made that statement, clearly wasn't familiar with the likes of Troll 2 or .Com for Murder. In comparison to movies of that ilk, Gigli is a Sergio Leone meets Kurosawa masterpiece. Speaking of which, Gigli sort of reminded me of a Tarantino type flick, if Tarantino had eaten a lot of paint chips as a kid, gone blind from living near a power plant, furthered his brain damage by living near a sewer treatment facility and been whacked about the head with a wet Sunday paper every time he accidentally made a wise decision for his movie. I feel like I am repeating myself (basically because I am) when I say these ever fundamentally legitimate words: Half of the movie just doesn't make any sense. No sense is made, and whereas most of the movies on this list leave us with the feeling that somebody on the set thought it did, this particular movie lingers on the fine line between poking fun at itself, and taking itself seriously. Sometimes you're left wondering how something could be happening without anybody in charge going: “Hey guys? Are we sure this makes sense?”. Is it a comedy? Is it a drama? Is it a spoof flick? What the fuck is it? I'd enjoy looking at the outcome of a poll taken on the set of the movie. See what the crew thought. I have a feeling the results would baffle everybody.

Crazy ex-girlfriend shows up to wreak havoc. Gigli's ex, right? Wrong again. Ricki's. Because lesbian. 

Speaking of baffling, Al Pacino is in this movie. I don't know if I mentioned this. Let's discuss Mr. Pacino for a second. I'm not a big fan of his. I think he's overrated. Does he turn in decent performances here and there? Yes, sure he does. I rewatched Heat recently, and while my first viewing (which, granted, was when it came out and I possibly wasn't mature enough to get it (I might've been 16 at the time, but my brain could still be considered newborn)) left me wondering why people were so in awe of it, I freely admit that my second, and more thorough, viewing had me more impressed. Al Pacino was pretty excellent. Of course there are a few roles where he'll be superb, and a few where I at least, won't think much of him. That being said, it's hard to deny his status as a legend in his own time. That being said again, why on God's greenest of earths did he decide to turn up in this poorly executed excuse for a film? I have to assume, that somebody had his wife and kids at gunpoint. It's the only explanation.

How can you not enjoy this guy's antics? He's hilarious. Always. 

But as if blackmailing Al Pacino into accepting a small role in this movie wasn't enough for Ben and J-Lo, they have another screen legend turn up as well. Christopher Walken. His participating in this movie makes a little more sense, though. He's Christopher Walken. He's popped up in many a film in bit parts, always bringing his weird unique charm to the screen, despite the source material being absolutely abysmal. Did I say he's Christopher Walken? Him being in a movie automatically boosts it up the integrity bar. Partly because he's fun and awesome, but also partly because he's pretty much just Garey Busey but with the ability to control his insanity and channel it to awesome results. His role in Gigli is particularly weird, because it makes even less sense than the rest of the movie. He's there for one scene, he talks a lot, no sense is made, then he exits, and you're thinking: hmm, surely he's a part of the plot, and he'll be back later to clarify. But then he doesn't show up again, and you're left wondering what the point even was.

Brian needs bedtime story to sleep, and because Gigli is totally devoid of imagination, he reads from a pack of toilet paper. 

Much like Cool as Ice, the plot in this flick is stone cold crazy. Not even on a superficial and totally objective level does it make sense. It's very easy to get the idea, that the movie exists solely to show off two of, at the time, Hollywood's most coveted celeb couples. You know who they are (mostly because I just namedropped them like 3 lines ago). I don't remember if the tabloids had made names for the couples yet at that time (like Brangelina or... whatever they ended up calling Cedric Diggory turned vampire and whatsherface with the wooden acting), but if they didn't, allow me to suggest Baff-lo just because it would totally fit with how I felt watching this movie. In a nutshell (which is pretty much the only place this plot can be related without inducing acute embolisms) Ben Affleck plays Larry Gigli, a hitman/goon type for some run of the mill mafioso tasked with kidnapping some blackmailing victim's son or brother, who happens to be mentally challenged. Because said mafioso thinks Gigli is a fuck-up, he sends his trusted hit-m woman also, to make sure things go smoothly. Enter J-Lo's Ricki, a lesbian contract killer. The usual hijinks start ensuing with reliable predictability.

Gigli pretending to call the Baywatch set for Brian's benefit. For some reason, he buys it. 

Gigli takes this mentally handicapped guy Brian (laboriously played by Justin Bartha, later of The Hangover fame) to his own place, where Ricki shows up. Because characters are kept simple, Gigli, shocked to find she is a lesbian, but not adverse to the challenge, immediately starts hitting on Ricki. Meanwhile, Brian goes through the stereotypical mentally challenged in movies shenanigans. It's safe to say, that watching Rain Man was Mr. Bartha's only research for this role, since his performance slivers in the shadow of that of Dustin Hoffman right down to trying to mimic the speech pattern and movements. It fails miserably. Gigli, in true B100 style, can walk right into the mental ward wearing standard wise guy digs, casually bypass scores of nurses and orderlies, talk to Brian, and walk right out with him without anybody batting an eye. Abducting the mentally handicapped is THAT easy folks. Of course his mob boss can't get a deal negotiated with whoever he is blackmailing, and ends up wanting Gigli to outright kill the dude. This presents a problem, because by then, Gigli, Ricki and Brian has totally developed a lasting friendship. So they go on the run instead. Normally, this would be kind of tough with a highly autistic guy, because he does require special attention. But conveniently enough, he only really requires special care, when it drives the plot somehow. Otherwise he's more than happy with reading phone books or watching Baywatch. There was some weird subplot where he kept babbling about wanting to see the Baywatch cast or where it was shot or something. I didn't pay much attention at this point.

Hitman, thug, retard. Having a nice family dinner. 

I had a lot of fun remarks rummaging around my head, about the story and plot, but in the end it doesn't really matter. I could spend days poking fun at almost every scene, and you and I just don't have the time or energy for that. It is definitely a movie that belongs on the lower end of the spectrum, but I can't decide if I really think it is B100 material. There are tons upon tons of superbly shitty flicks out there, that should be allowed a stab at this honorably list. Gigli doesn't bring anything new or innovative to the table, that's easily accepted. It doesn't even try. It also doesn't provide us with some interesting dialogue, or force us to review our own lives, or take a look at ourselves. It doesn't bring any interesting technical aspect forth, like beautiful cinematography or a good soundtrack. It doesn't even pretend to try. It brings us Ben Affleck, who is probably considered a decent looking dude by many, and Jennifer Lopez who is definitely considered a decent looking chick by many. The rest of the cast are just incidentals. In the end, you watch Gigli for those two people, and them alone. Because there just isn't any reason to bother with the rest. And even then, those two only barely scrape enough witty banter or sexual chemistry together between them, to last the full 2hours and 1 minute running time this travesty has been gifted.

You can literally pinpoint the moment Al realizes, his family might not make it, because he can't take this shit anymore. 


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