Sunday, June 22, 2014
THE ROOKIE (1990)
Directed By: Clint Eastwood
Written By: Scott Spiegel & Boaz Yakin
Cinematography By: Jack N. Green
Editor: Joel Cox
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Charlie Sheen, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga, Tom Skeritt, Lara Flynn Boyle, Tony Plana, Pepe Serna, Xander Berkeley, Hal Williams, Paul Ben-Victor
Nick Pulovski is a cop, who is presently assigned to the auto theft division and who for the most part of his career has not done anything worthwhile. But when he discovers that a man named Strom is the brains behind a major car theft and chop shop ring, he sees this as his opportunity to do something. After his partner is killed, the case is then transfered to homicide, so he is taken off the case. And he is assigned a new partner, David Ackerman. a cop who has just recently been promoted to detective. But Pulovski feeling as if Strom is his decides to continue pursuing him but Ackerman who tries to play by the rules is not sure what to do, and he is also a little afraid cause of a childhood incident.
There is a certain guilty shame when it comes to this film. It is just so generic and by the book with strange little avenues that It takes that certainly make no sense and feel more at home in a Canon film, an Action Comedy that takes itself seriously, but here impacted with a seriousness that also feels tongue in cheek. That eventually makes the film feel almost like a spoof that takes itself seriously. Full of camp yet tries to deny it. This film feels more like a paycheck job that also allowed for a genre exercise. That it's offbeat ways are what actually make the film watchable.
The movie was to be directed by Craig R. Baxley starring Matthew Modine and Gene Hackman in 1988 but the production was stopped by the Screen Actors Guild strike. Which explains a bunch as this film feels like it could be an anonymous forgettable B-movie. That somehow became more of a major Release.
When I was young and I first saw this movie. I thought it was a cool action comedy. Now I look back and wonder if I was mentally handicapped. This film is bad even of t wasn't horribly dated and makes little to no sense.
It has the typical buddy cop formula of by the book rookie Charlie Sheen ring partnered up with grizzled veteran detective Clint Eastwood. While trying to take down crime lord Raul Julia and Sonia Braga playing Germans (that's right) and yet everyone who works do them in their criminal enterprise is Hispanic and plays Hispanic. You might be able to see how this might be confusing at times.
In a 1991 interview entitled "Firestarter Brazilian actress Sonia Braga brings sizzle to the screen" published in Orange Coast Magazine, actress Braga said of working on this movie, that she had "never done action before" and "had to learn running and kicking and hitting". Braga said, When you act with the director, you don't have any barriers because you're giving and taking at the same time". Who gives nearly a non-verbal performance, mostly physical.
The movie was controversial for its depiction of a provocative and unconventional woman-on-man rape sequence with it garnering much publicity.
Now the arc's are sheen never takes risks because of a hold good accident and since he was raised white collar, his becoming a cop is a rebellious act against his father and Eastwood's partner gets killed in the beginning and is seeks revenge against who he suspects killed him.
Into all this ridiculousness in the middle of the film e bad guys kidnap Clint Eastwood taking him outbid commission and is in a way raped by Sonia Braga in a pleasing way for him. Who is supposed to be torturing him. Then Charlie gets his father to pay the ransom money and in one scene overcomes his childhood trauma by bashing his own head into a mirror repeatedly. Then after that becomes a total bad-ass. This scene and he one later in the film where he shoots an attacking dog and burns down a biker bar he was seeking information in are some particular highlights. That I once thought were so cool. Looking at the film now. It looks and feels like typical 80's action trash that was made in the early 90's. That felt like the film has an identity crisis. It wants to be a typical 80's buddy cop movie but wants to try something new and be a bit hip. It makes me wonder if it was written straight and during production was decided to make it more humorous. Or wasn't written to be more comedic and Eastwood decided to harden it a bit. Either way this film never even comes close to having any style or even trying to be artistic.
The film featured over twice as many stuntmen as it did actors. Held the world record for the biggest ratio of stuntmen/actors. Reportedly, over eighty stuntmen worked on the movie.
According to the article 'Slam, Bang, Crash, Boom for The Rookie" published in American Cinematographer in January 1991, the movie's stunt scenes were mostly shot at night with no use of blue screens and with no use of miniatures.
Some of the more ridiculous elements of the film include a line green Lamborghini, a car driving out Of a building 10 stories up to another building because the first building was about to explode. Or when the captain is yelling "it's not a job it's a goddamn career" then they do an extreme close-up. That scene always struck me as strange and out of place, but that is part of the movies charm or some backwards slogan to try and get new recruits?
In really have no idea why Clint Eastwood made this film just about as puzzling as why he made PINK CADILLAC. It just wasn't the best choices, but truly puzzling ones. Maybe he needed the money? Maybe he wanted stay in the public eye with popularity and these were the best scripts sent to him? Maybe he wanted to seem relevant when it came to action films. A few years earlier he had made HEARTBREAK RIDGE that film was excellent, but here he looks tired and bored. Which might be because he also directed the movie.
Clint Eastwood agreed to do this movie in exchange for the Warner Brothers studio letting him make his personal film project, White Hunter Black Heart. Another clue as to what went wrong (Or right) with this movie.
Third of four films that co-starred both Sonia Braga and Raul Julia. The movies were this film, MOON OVER PARADOR, THE BURNING SEASON and KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN
The reason this movie is so monumental is that this is the performance of Charlie sheen he is playing the role for all it's worth. Spouting the lines they are Shakespeare even though they are far from it.
Back in the day This magazine named MOVIELINE used to come out and I always was reading it. It had a lot of cool features. Like Hollywood ink which would tell you what projects, studios, directors, producers and actors were thinking of making. This was before the internet and when the Hollywood reporter would give you the full cast and crew of projects filming. Another cool feature was called bad movies we love. Where movies like this one THE CRUSH, SINGLE WHITE FEMALE would be dissected into what was wrong and what made the films so enjoyable. It definitely has an effect on not only my way of looking at and assessing movies, bit the way I reviewed and criticized them and for that I will always be grateful. Now the magazine has morphed into Hollywood life magazine and is more of a Hollywood lifestyle fashion magazine/website. It awoke me to a lot of things wrong with this movie in its heyday.
This is just a long drawn out way for me to say that this is a bad movie I love. I suggest just renting it to see the audacity of the movie: it used to always be shown on television as cable. It's sort of like MTV and it's dating shows it one when they had nothing else to or as just filler.