Saturday 30 August 2014

IMDb Bottom 100 Review – Number 74 Simon Sez

This movie successfully replicates the feeling you have, when you wake up after a night of heavy drinking, and you realize you can't move your arms or legs. We are treated to the always impressively annoying Dennis Rodman leading a cast of, amazingly enough, equally annoying douchenuggets, through 90 minutes of high octane low intensity action. Interestingly, Dennis Rodman isn't the most annoying person in this flick. I can keep it secret no longer. Tonight we are looking at...

The most annoying person in this flick. Possibly of all time. 

Simon Sez (1999)

I had not been looking forward to watching this flick. Not one bit. I remember when Dennis Rodman was actually playing basketball. He was a good player, with several awards and accolades to his name (ok, I'll admit I don't know anything about basketball and his career per se, except from what I'm reading now, researching for this. But I do actually remember him as an active player). Most of what I remember about Rodman, obviously, is his look and style, which was always over the top and flamboyant. I don't have a problem with people going all out, but he seemed to be taking it to the 'so bad it has to be a cry for help/attention' level, and to top it off, his high profile pseudo-relationship with Madonna, leading to her rather infamous appearance with David Letterman. One of the most cringe worthy talk show appearances ever captured for our viewing pleasure (followed closely by this or perhaps this, even if both were later debunked as acts). But as for Rodman, his personal story seems more intricate and actually kind of interesting. But that's not really why we are here tonight, so I'll leave it at suggesting you do your own damn research, if you're so interested. I'm here to discuss Simon Sez, and Simon Sez is a movie that I really just didn't like. There, I said it. Now, granted, I don't like any of the movies on this list, so it's not that controversial a statement, is it? No, no it isn't. The kicker with this flick, I suppose, is that it could have been something at least half worth watching. It never really truly had potential, but I'll be bold and say, it could easily have been lifted out of the B100 cesspool of <2 ratings movies, and into the sweet sweet 3-5 range. It could. But alas, it was not.

Second only to Dane Cook in annoyance. Man I hate this stupid idiot's face!

In Simon Sez we find Dennis Rodman as an Interpol agent. A few questions immediately spring to mind here. First, why the fuck would you want a 6'7” black dude with piercings and tattoos and dyed hair, as a secret agent? That shit doesn't even make sense in context. Secondly, why is he, clearly American, working for the European Interpol? Alright, I suppose an American could be working for Interpol, but it just seems kind of weird. Was it to excuse the European settings? Or because the movie could then hire a lot of broken English speaking European actors for bit parts? Or was it because this movie was made and produce in, and by, Belgium? Perhaps a combination, who knows. Like I said, Rodman is an Interpol agent, working by the French Riviera. It's not really specified what he's doing or why he's there or what level of authority he is operating under. But he's there as a secret agent, and that's really all we need to know. A crazy arms dealer is pushing some local dude into holding his son's girlfriend ransom, so the girl's father, a San Franciscan software developer, will hand over a disc containing some piece of government missile launch whatever. It's a pretty basic take over the world gambit, that we've seen countless times. Simon, and his newly acquired sidekick Nick Miranda, are going to kick ass and take names. And then possibly lose the list.

Taking undercover to a whole new level, ladies and gentlemen, Dennis Rodman!

The plot advances according to the textbook on madmen taking over the world, so I won't dwell too much on that, but merely discuss a few highlights and characters, because there were quite a few REALLY annoying characters up in this film. Nick Miranda, played with usual wanton disregard for humor and charm by Dane Cook, is seriously one of the most annoying idiots I've ever had the displeasure of viewing on the silver screen. I never found this moron funny in any shape, size or form, but this drivel just takes the fucking cake. I wanted him to not be on the screen so badly, yet there he was, right before my poor mistreated eyes for the majority of the movie. Everything he does and says is annoying and filled me with a sense of personal loss. I loathed him, and everything he did before this, in this and in all potential future endeavors. There is just no two ways about it. Giving Dane Crook healthy competition as most annoying assbaron ever to don the title of actor on film, we are treated to John Pinette in the role of Micro aka. Free Willy. The joke here is, that John Pinette is anything but micro. He is gargantuan, in fact. That's not really annoying in and of itself, but when everything he does is supposed to be hilarious, but is so far from hilarious that hilarious is but a dot on the horizon for him, I just have a really hard time letting his antics slide. I felt a strong dislike for him as a person, and his annoying voice and annoying face. Oh man, I get pissed off just reliving his scenes in my poor head.

Most unbelievable moment. 350 pound guy is able to hang on using a loose grip on a slanted square iron bar. Also, moments later Rodman pulls him up like it was nothing. 

Alright, I took a 10 minute break, where I flipped turtles on to their shells in anger. My frustrations are at a normal slightly elevated level again, and we can continue. It's clear to you guys now, that Rodman, who actually did a somewhat decent job as Simon, wasn't nearly the most annoying character in Simon Sez. We are treated to a few fight scenes between him and a small selection of standard bad guys, as well as a bad ass chick from an opposing secret agent organization. Because there are loads of those around. Or something. Perhaps I had accidentally picked up my phone and wasn't paying 100% attention, right when her relation to Simon was explained, because I didn't quite catch what they had. They had something though, the classic love/hate thing that indicates something in their past was keeping them mutually attracted and repulsed. Like a Romeo and Juliet thing, only without eloquence, drama and charm. They end up in the most classic fighting-turned-into-passion scene I've ever seen, and we are treated to a fast cut flashy stroboscope light bathed sex scene. It was actually kept relatively stylish, albeit predictable. What can you do, right? Everything else unfolds with a tedious inevitability, culminating in shootouts and fisticuffs, from which Simon emerges the ultimate victor. So far so good.

Grrrr NO! No god dammit... no.

This movie was textbook. Like I might've mentioned. In and of itself, it would've just been kind of boring. Rodman lent it a little extravaganze, and like I also mentioned, he could have done a lot worse. The other characters, however, and impressively almost all of them, were supremely enervating. Like really jaw-droppingly blood curdlingly bone chillingly aggravating. I wanted them all to straight up die, right then and there. It seemed every character was played for comedic relief in every fucking scene. And nothing was funny. Nothing. At all. Not even a twitch of the edge of my mouth. Just blank stare of disbelief at the screen, wondering who the fuck wrote this crap. Looking it up, it turns out to be someone who didn't think this one off piece of shit was enough. He's produced countless other shitty flicks, so I guess it's a sociopathic thing with him. What can you do, really. Unsurprisingly, this is the directorial debut of Kevin Elders. We see this pattern emerge clearly time and time again on this list. Kevin Elders went on to greatness, however, when he wrote and produced the classic Iron Eagle with our main man Louis Gossett fucking Junior. And the subsequence X amount of sequels. I remember a good friend I lived with, was well into these Iron Eagle flicks. I guess I might've been a little too old to really appreciate them, but I could see how they carried the same coolness factor I remember experiencing when I saw Crocodile Dundee or James Bond back in the late 80s early 90s. It's a kid thing.

Jungle fever! Super stylish. They had just battled hard too, so what with the adrenaline rush it was bound to happen.

Simon Sez might've been awesome too, if you were 13 and thought quasi-agent flicks were all the rage. I doubt Dennis Rodman could've pulled off an actual acting bit in a more accomplished movie, but for all intents and purposes, he was, if not believable as an agent of a well established crime fighting agency, relatively well off kicking ass and taking names. The fighting was choreographed just well enough to not come off as super cheesy. The shooting and driving action wasn't quite as well executed, but those are really minor issues. Everything considered, I mean. Summing everything up, I'll have to say, I wasn't impressed with the overall effort. Too much lame shit, and not enough content. Next time, give Rodman a little more story and a lot less Dane Cook ([censored]). We have seen the daughter kidnapped by evil maniac bit many many times, so the success of yet another attempt relies highly on how well the characters work. And in this case, they just plain old didn't. That's really all there is to it. Better characters, slightly better story, and we could've had a movie 2-3 points above the magic 2.6 Bottom100 barrier. And I could've been spared John Pinette and Dane Cook, both of whom I now hate vehemently.  

Citroen floating by a small pink parachute? Still more believable than chubby checkers hanging on by his fingers. 


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