Thursday, 5 November 2009
SIMON SEZ (1999)
Directed by: Kevin Elders
Screenplay: Andrew Millers & Andrew Lowery
Starring: Dennis Rodman, Dane Cook, John Pinette & Ricky Harris
Someone, somewhere once thought it would be a good idea to turn Dennis Rodman into an action star. Why? Who really knows? I suppose, at the time this was made and having just co-starred with Jean Claude Van Damme in similar vehicle Double Team, Rodman’s name could sell a movie. Sort of. The one time bad boy of basketball had a short lived career in the movie world which pretty much peaked with this noisy, obnoxious vanity vehicle. Considering Rodman was more known for his flamboyant attitude and style than his acting and basketball skills he is actually the least flamboyant and most down to earth aspect of Simon Sez, which ramps up the so called comedy and overacting to stratospheric proportions.
Rodman plays some kind of ex-CIA, now Interpol agent busting crime somewhere pretty in Europe. He’s helped out by two, ahem, “comedy” monks (why they are monks is never explained) who are kinda like his Q from the James Bond flicks. Some foxy chick gets kidnapped by the campest bad guy ever, some other foxy and very athletic chick shows up for Rodman to fall out with and then bed and for reasons that defy any kind of sense or reasoning Dane Cook (Torque, Employee of the Month) joins the chase and rescue and spends most of the running time doing various impressions of animals and Star Wars characters which are neither funny or serve any purpose other than making the rest of the cast look uncomfortable. Oh dear!
Rodman was only just bearable in the lambasted Van Damme flick Double Team, mainly as he wasn’t on screen that much and that film at least had some very cool action and was fun despite it’s over abundance of crazy style and general loopiness. Simon Sez is like a toned down spin-off with not as much action, too much rubbish comedy and a more knockabout adventure vibe. But it’s all rubbish. The comedy is so forced and thrust in your face, you just want to punch most of the characters in the face and who ever thought it was a good idea to let Dane Cook loose with his “comedy” skills has hopefully left the movie business hanging their head in shame. If you are not a fan of his now, then certainly don’t check out this as he was arguably worse ten years ago. Though his dinosaur impression is kinda funny. Well, it’s not really but he does stop a whole fight scene so he go “Jurassic” (what ever that means) on one of the characters. Brilliant.
Yeah, Simon Sez isn’t to be taken seriously but it’s even a little too lame as just a fun, over-the-top caper. The painful comedy takes up too much time, Rodman is barely there (hence why Dane Cook gets a lot of screen time) and the action is nothing to write home about. Actually, it’s not that bad. Infused with Hong Kong flavour by action director Xin Xin Xiong (Double Team, The Blade) the action scenes are fairly creative and energetic, shot and cut well and add a little adrenaline to the piece. There is a nice running battle in a kitchen, Xiong gets acrobatic in a few scenes and there are some cool car stunts courtesy of Remy Julienne (loads of James Bond films) and his team.
But really, Simon Sez sucks. Unless who have to see Dane Cook go “Jurassic” or watch an action film where a Citroen flies of a cliff, glides down onto a beach by means of a pink (yep, pink!) parachute, only for Cook to then throw up while even Rodman looks on in disbelief, then this is the flick for you. And to think I’ve actually watched this film twice. Oh dear, indeed.