Monday, 24 January 2011
Directed by: Steve Carver
Written by: T.K. Landford, B.J. Goldman, Fred Olen Ray
Starring: Gary Busey, Darlanne Fluegel, Henry Silva, L.Q. Jones
So if you're a cop and you are about to bust a gang of heavily armed drug dealers in their warehouse hideout, what do you do? Well, if you're Gary Busey you treat the whole thing as if it's a big joke, scale the dangerous rafters of said warehouse for no good reason, to then be seen by the heavily armed drug dealers who say "What the fuck is this?", to which Busey replies "You're worst nightmare, butthorn", before falling off the rafter and getting shot but still somehow managing to thwart the drug dealers after a subsequent car chase that involves a heavily armed ice cream truck. Proceedings then get increasingly barmier. Welcome to the world of Bulletproof, butthorn.
So if this opening scene wasn't ridiculous enough, what with Busey single handily taking out the bad guys by doing, well, pretty much nothing other than calling them butthorn, then the rest of Bulletproof is action cinema at its most bonkers. Some kind of army down Mexico way, which seems to bizarrely consist of Middle Easterns, Russians and Latinos (basically anyone who isn't American), has kidnapped a bunch of US soldiers and their new bad ass super combat tank, the Thunderblast. Yep, Thunderblast. So was does the American army do? Send in platoons of highly trained Navy Seals and Marines? Nope. They send in Gary Busey and only Gary Busey. So, he's armed to the teeth and uses all kinds of deadly military skills to infiltrate the bad guys and rescue the hostages? Nope. He wanders on down to Mexico in tight jeans and a leather jacket and somehow (how, I'm not quite sure) manages to blow everything up, sort of rescue the hostages (most of them seem to get shot in the end shootout) and reunite with his hot, also captured, lady friend. Oh, and call a bunch people butthorn!
Yeah, action cinema is often barmy and that's usually a reason why I enjoy it so much but Bulletproof takes the biscuit for outright bonkers. Maybe it's meant as some kind of piss take of the genre as it certainly has a sense of humour but everything is played just a little too straight. Gary Busey, bless him, seems to have no idea what's going on and also somehow knows how to drive the super tank come the finale despite everyone else spending a good chunk of the film figuring out how to and it never being mentioned that Busey knows how to drive the tank. Madness. Then there are the multitude of bad guys who just keep popping up, it never clear who is the real mastermind. We get good old Henry Silva as a possibly Middle Eastern warmonger, William Smith as a crazy Russian General, Juan Fernandez as a Uzi toting henchman, some other Latino General type dude and I think Danny Trejo was in there at one point complete with short hair and a slick suit (!?). Then there is Busey's infamous catchphrase: butthorn. Pretty much everyone gets called this at some point and it's hilarious every time.
Yeah, it's crazy as hell but Bulletproof is a heap of cheesy action fun. Despite all the silliness there's plenty of bang for your buck with loads of shootouts, armoured vehicles blowing shit up left, right and centre and it's all delivered with 80s action bombast and explosive excess. In fact, the last half hour is wall-to-wall explosions and excessive gunfire. On top of this you get Busey being, well, Busey including a scene where he just happens across three enemy soldiers shooting at birds and before dispatching them utters the sure to be immortal payoff, "Bird season is over, butthorn." Priceless.
See Bulletproof now, butthorn.