|Source of story||An original screen play|
|Writers/Script||Shane Black with story contributions by Greg Hicks|
|Starring||Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Chelsea Field, Danielle Harris, Halle Berry, Joe Santos,|
Elevator Pitch: Joe Hallenbeck is a former secret service operative who has become a private detective, and seems to prefer sleeping in his car to being at home with his attractive wife and precocious 13 year old daughter. After getting the job of guarding a stripper, but arriving too late to save her from being killed, he joins forces with her boyfriend, an ex-football star, to find out why she was killed. The duo are soon involved in a major underworld attempt to influence gambling on football, and the villain’s plan is to frame Joe for the murder of the senator leading the investigation into sports gambling, that is should he be lucky enough to survive.
Content: There is a bit of strip club nudity, lots of drinking smoking and consumption of drugs, and quite a bit of sex oriented talk. IMDb says there are 102 uses of the “F” word, many of them in relation to the act, rather than as an expletive. There are some fun car chases, also some cars are blown up, and there are gunfights and executions. Joe and Jimmy, the ex-footballer, argue a bit and are in the hands of the villains quite a bit, surviving by smart talk, and sometimes with the assistance of Joe’s daughter. Her life is also threatened by the villains, causing Joe to take extreme action.
A View: The critics were divided about this outing and even those who liked it felt it was a guilty pleasure. Vanessa Letts of the Spectator typically said “Violent, chauvinistic and funny, I enjoyed it tremendously”. The general public were more positive. The plot is quite difficult to follow, but the relationship between Jimmy, the footballer and Joe, the detective, is well done. When the credits rolled I felt pleased that I had seen it, so if you go for the smart underworld action flick, this one is worth the minimal cost of a download.
Additional Info: A couple of things. Shane Black sold the script for $1.75 million, a record at the time, and a name new to me emerges, the editor, Stuart Baird, a Brit called in when the studio is in trouble.