Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Fifty/Fifty



FIFTY/FIFTY (1992)

Directed by: Charles Martin Smith
Written by: Dennis Shryack & Michael Butler
Starring: Peter Weller, Robert Hays and Charles Martin Smith.

A pair of mercenaries, Wyer (Weller) and Frenchie (Hays) are roped into a mission to overthrow a cruel dictator. Dumped in the middle of the jungle, they train a bunch of ragtag wannabe revolutionaries to help protect themselves from the unruly despot. But when many of them are killed in a deadly ambush and the American government refuses to get involved, Wyer and Frenchie figure maybe it’s time to do something worthwhile rather than just run with the money.

Fifty/Fifty is as standard as they come. Harmless in an easy going kind of way, it is a mediocre affair never living up to its potential of being a fun action comedy. Basically a glorified TV-movie with swearing and a bit of violence, it is a typical meat and potatoes action flick churned out by Cannon studios. The exotic locations look good on camera but Charles Martin Smith’s direction is just too flat to work up any energy. The action is pretty much non-existant and apart from a mildly exciting helicopter ambush, is nothing you don’t see in a regular episode of the A-Team (i.e. lots of highly untrained men running around shooting and hitting nothing). In fact, the whole thing feels like an extended episode of the A-Team, only with the guy from Robocop and the bloke from Airplane! Weller and Hays try hard and have good chemistry but calling each other “skunk-humper” and “cheese-face” does not really constitute as comedy. Plus, the fact that most of the film is spent training the would-be revolutionaries who then get killed, meaning the heroes have to do the final mission by themselves, renders three quarters of the film pretty much pointless, because if two of them could it why train dozens more to go with you?

A harmless pic that will neither offend or excite, Fifty/Fifty will probably be best appreciated by guys with moustaches who wear checked shirts and like their flicks where guys are tough, wisecracks fly and stuff blows up.

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