Thursday, March 8, 2007

Terminal Velocity

Charlie Sheen in a skydiving film. I'm sold.

Terminal Velocity wasn't good, by any means. But it wasn't bad, either. It was frighteningly average in every way. Directing, acting, stunts, explosions, camera work, music...everything. It was the epitome of a mid-90's summer action flick. 1.) Not too much plot, but enough to make you not question the film's overall legitimacy. 2.) A male lead who is a badass "I'm too cool to do anything but wear a leather jacket THE ENTIRE MOVIE" ladies' man and happens to have brown hair. and 3.) Foreign villains who are just in it for the money.

This movie was so average that I'd almost consider it a parody. Then again, with Charlie Sheen films, you can never be too sure. I really have no idea what kind of statement the director was trying to make with this movie. When I took that film class last semester, I learned that every director makes a point with every film that he/she directs. For the life of me, I can't figure out what this one is. I'm pretty sure that my film professor failed to take mid-90's action movies into consideration when he told me that. Can there really be a solid point (other than to entertain, of course) to films like this? I'm sure some sort of BS could be made up on the spot like "improving Russian and American relations, while attempting to educate younger audiences on the history of the Cold War and attempt to prevent another such occurance from happening," but I'm not writing a paper for class and I'm not trying to fill that ever-empty last half page of an essay. I'm writing this to entertain you and to give myself something to do, and I'm not going to BS you. I don't write things just to take up space, and I certainly don't write things that I don't believe. (What's the point of that?) Anyway, I've gone on this rant to prove a point: I'm not really sure what Terminal Velocity is about, and I don't think the director knew, either.

I can't even type up a summary without sighing at how sensationally mediocre the plot is. Charlie Sheen (The Three Muskateers, Young Guns) plays the aptly named Ditch Brodie, a renegade skydiver with an attitude problem and an ego the size of Josh Vanderpool's ears. Nastassja Kinski is the mysterious Russian spy with the heart of gold. James Gandolfini ("The Sopranos") plays a really awesome character, the District Attorney Ben Pinkwater who searches for the truth behind a skydiving mishap turned fatal. He is really fidgety and nerdy-looking, and he pulls it off pretty well considering how comfortable he fits into the Tony Soprano role a few years later. I hesitate to give you any more plot points, since that'll pretty much give away everything in the movie (can you tell it's not that great if THAT'S all I tell you and if I say anything else I ruin it?), so I'll stop right there for those of you who are dying to get out and catch Charlie Sheen in full throttle mode.

I'll make a concerted effort to go into more detail and depth with my next few reviews. The films that I've been watching lately haven't been kind to me in that regard. My apologies to you die-hard readers out there looking for a little bit more...all in due time. For now, all I can do is direct you to my Blood Diamond review, because that's the longest one I've written in a while. As for whether or not I though this film was worth seeing: I'd say watch Drop Zone or Cutaway instead. Both of those have similar plots and are a lot better executed. Until next time...

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