B-Movie Bomb: The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (Spoilers)
At times, regret and pop culture can go hand and hand. You can have that one older relative that looks at his leisure suit and go “Oh God...did I really do The Hustle?”
A yuppy can look at his flower power days and wonder what he was on...not sure if I mean it literally...
Or the MTV generation of the 80's and 90's can take one look at Andrew “Dice” Clay and go “What the Hell did we do?”
Clay, or “The Diceman” as he's sometimes called, got popular for one thing... having a foul mouth. It got a few chuckles here and there, like dirtying up nursery rhymes or...yeah, that's about it. Throw in some politically incorrect gags and the his overall caveman greaser character, you have a big bag of regret with misogyny thrown in. He knew where to put the F-word and such and it got a laugh for some reason that only that generation knows...at least until he tried the act ON MTV itself, getting him banned for life.
But that didn't stop the popularity train for The Diceman, because we were given The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.
And like a Ford, this thing feels like it should've been fixed or repaired daily.
What we got was a script that was written for Dice...right after it was written to be a regular detective story. Yep, an 11th hour change is the reason why we have this thing...goodie goodie.
So the movie opens with Ford Fairlane (Andrew “Dice” Clay) being moody about the events that lead him up to him being moody on a beach, thus flashing back to when it all started: Vince Neil dressed in shiny get up hoping around and dying on stage.
I just had to type Vince Neil... MONTLY CRU'S VINCE NEIL...was hopping around on stage in shiny get up...VINCE...NEIL...I don't mean heavy metal leather, I mean glam metal right down to tassles on it...this is a sign of things to come, isn't it?
After he dies, we see Fairlane, driving his namesake, in the middle of a case where he has to hunt down a flasher that takes him to a night club in LA called “Greed.” Get it? This is a movie about the music industry and the club is called “Greed.” I thought I'd point that out because the writing is, you know, moronic? Ford runs into a few girls he's banged, complete with Dice's mouth running...oog...and after meeting his producer friend and flaming alcohol milkshake...
Which...defeats the purpose of a milkshake...
...he sees the pervert in the club and when he tries to run, Cla---I mean Fair---oh, screw it, there's no difference between the man and the character and that's in a bad way. Anyway, Clay takes out his gun, aims for the disco ball causing it to land right on the pervert. And the whole time, Clay was complaining about being a rock and roll detective. Keep this in mind, it will hurt later.
We jump to the next day, where the loudest alarm playing Hendrix wakes up the Diceman and the two girls he took home that night with the girls pissed off. I don't know...having Hendrix as an alarm would be awesome. This allows us to meet, via phone call, Clay's assistant, Jazz (Lauren H---LAUREN HOLLY!?), and his kid friend...
Because it was the 90's and nobody stopped to think about that.
...the kid (Brandon Call). Oh, and he still has the pervert in the back of the trunk. Why? So he can take him to his office, after running into standard 90's bad movie fodder Ton Loc of course. The reason for this is because the girls that spotted the pervert were there and needed to confirm his id. This leads to a gag where he jokes about cutting his junk off...only to land right on the boom box of Loc and his crew, causing a beat down.
Or what you feel like after seeing a typical Clay performance.
After all of this, Clay gets a call from an old DJ friend of his (Gilbert Gottfried) to find a woman named Zuzu Petals (Maddie Corman) after bullshitting him she's some form of relation of his, but Clay doesn't care as long as he gets paid. Seems too perfect though, as shortly after he leaves, the DJ gets attacked on the air and Clay returns just in time to see the man die.
Insert your own Gottfried stand up joke here.
This causes Clay to have to stay and talk to the cops, lead by Lt. Amos (Ed O---ED O'NIEL!?). Amos doesn't like Clay, not because he's a rock and roll detective, but because it turns out during Clay's first few years in LA, he was a producer and 86'd Amos's disco career. This leads to having to hear Al Bundy going “Booty time” while doing the people's native dance...you can't see me, but I promise you, I am hurting.
After being told to leave, he finds the name Art Moony on a clue and was then stopped by Amos after asking...why he's leaving...didn't you just asked him t---screw it. He then gets hired at his place by Colleen Sutton (Priscilla Presley) to find Zuzu Pedals. He says no because it sounds too much like a scam since that's who he's supposed to find for his late friend...then she gives $5,000 and says ok.
Money makes you do stupid...I think we found out what makes this movie go round.
This leads to Clay...
Again, you can't separate character from actor, so...yeah.
...to ask his producer friend (Morris Day. And if you're Jay and Silent Bob or music fans, yes, THAT Morris Day) from earlier about the DJ. Turns out he has a reputation for being an asshole...
Insert your own Gilbert Gottfried joke here.
...and there's a line for those that want him dead.
Again, insert your own Gilbert Gottfried joke here.
He then sees what the record is pushing as a new voice, this wimpy voiced kid, and makes fun of the boss for picking the guy. Turns out he should've kept his mouth shut as the sleazy boss, Julian Grendel (Wayne Newton....nope, no, uh-uh, nope, nada, no way, nope, no, no, no, HELL no, no) who more or less tells Clay to shut his mouth...to which he responds by recording his own song, which stops the movie.
Well...it stopped the movie...but he's singing...so...what's the trade off?
After encountering some weird looking goons in black thinking they're part of a band...
Meh, it's 1990, I'll give the movie that one.
He acts on a tip his producer friend gave him, that the DJ had a boat on the docks...which was easy to find because it's called “Mighty Penis.” Yeah...why not just say “Hiding things from bad guys, don't look?” Dice goes in and, after finding a kinky tape between the DJ and a woman, he finds a party invite from Sutton and...a bad British...I think... sounding Robert Englund trying to kill him.
Robert, what are you doing? It's 1990, you're a year away from the picture that's supposed to kill you...until New Line buys Jason anyway! You do this stuff AFTER you turn in the glove!
Well, because it's Robert Englund, The Diceman knows you can't let him get his groove going or he'll start winning, so he takes 3 shotguns that were mounted inside the boat and...started shooting...yeah, if I need to tell you the end result, you need to spend a few years in bumper boats before a real one.
Dice gets out and asks Jazz to join him at the party the next day. Taking it as a date, she shows up in a gown...and he starts blabbing about the fact he can see her boobs. Remember, this entire movie is Clay's stand up routine, you can guess how funny this comes off. Trying to both hide something and protect herself from whoever else wants Zuzu, Sutton grabs Jazz and puts a disc down her back...prior to a scene involving the rich eating shark...
Hey, Frank Miller says the rich swim naked in the moon light, eating shark is nothing.
After acting like a frat boy that got the hot teacher when Jazz tells him to grab the disc, the Diceman tries to play the disc only to find it's a computer one, something Jazz is good at. This causes him to give her a complement...while staring at her chest and blaming her for it because of the dress.
I don't know what's greater fiction, Andrew “Dice” Clay a hero or that a Fairlane can actually work this long.
Clay heads home after a long day only to see Zuzu on MTV as it turns out she's a groopie for the late rocker Niel played, so it's off to his funeral...with a BJ joke and the dead body in a glass case...K. He finds her, but so does Englund so it leads to a car chase with a limo and a hearse with Clay driving the hearse and a dead body in the back... only to reveal itself to be not dead and was just back there because the guys Dice jacked the hearse from were really freakin' kinky.
During the chase, Jazz calls and reveals the disc is worthless but says that somebody else has invested interest in Sutton's record company...her ex-husband, Grendel...I think...yeah...if the plot seems a bit “Wait, slow down,” that's ether because it is or the movie took the brain cells that tell you to keep up. After that, the chase ends with a crash and Dice gets Zuzu only for Amos to show up and say Zuzu is the one who killed the rock star.
Well, I know video killed the radio star, but Zuzu, as we're gonna find out, has less brains than a jar of Mayo to hold a gun, let alone plan a murder. How do I know this? Well, after she hides from Amos and leaves with the Diceman, he sees they killed the puppet kola.
Oh yeah, it's a puppet. Didn't mention it because it's stupid and just there for a stupid gag at the end. If you haven't guessed, the password for this movie is “Stupid.”
After seeing her pick up a trapped phone and getting her away from it before it went boom, Zuzu sees the microwave counting down and can only ask what's cooking. The Diceman, the only one there with common sense...
I know, I know.
...gets out of there before the whole thing goes kablooy, only to meet The Kid and seeing he got walloped by the goons, which causes Dice to be concerned...and The Kid to snap back and call Clay a liar for not finding his dad.
Oh, yeah, that's another plot point. Yeah, the kid wants the Diceman to find his dad, his clue only being a Fred Flintstone ring. I would've brought it up sooner, except my brain are going numb by the minute. Dice and Zuzu hitchhike and have two sorority girls pick them up and take 'em to their house where they do things like pillow fighting and...hold chants repeating Dice's and Zuzu's names for some reason...which the bad guys find out via threatening Jazz and then tossing her off of a two story building.
There's faster ways of getting out of the picture. And yes, she'll be fine later, thanks for asking.
The bad guys show up, shoot up the place, but everybody turns out fine and they leave just in time for Jazz...who walked all the way from the office... from a two story fall... I'd bring it up but my brain is currently going “I LIKE SPACE COW GO WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” at the moment.
Anyways, they catch up and Zuzu reveals she has the first disc. This causes the Diceman to decide it's time to confront Sutton and her ex in her office...only for Grendel to shoot her after Dice says the wrong theory. She tries to get the last words out to be “Art Mooney,” but the Diceman first thinks it's about Aardvarks...K. Right after that, Grendel goes on a speil on how he'll rig it so that somebody else gets the blame, threatens Diceman's Hendrix guitar, blah, blah, blah.
Yeah, if it seems like I don't care, I don't. The plot of the bad guy can be summed up in one sentence: He wants money, industry evil. But because this movie tries to be more than Andrew “Dice” Clay's mouth running for two hours, it just rambles on and on.
Eventually, Dice and Zuzu escape on to the roof and find they're on the Capitol Records building...which I think he would've known anyway since he's so freakin' close to the industry he was actually a producer for while...whatever. Anyway, the bad guys go after them and Dice sees British...or Australian...I don't know, it's a bad accent... Englund is wearing a Fred Flintstone ring that the kid said his dad had, so he's reluctant to do anything.
But, in the fight, they fall down a couple of sections of the building and when they land, Dice sees his guitar is safe and scratched...and actually has to think about sacrificing it to save Zuzu's life...
...Ok...I get it's a piece of rock and roll history...I get it's tied to Hendrix, Hell, I am a BIG fan of classic rock...but c'mon! I'm supposed to like this guy!? Really!?
Eventually, they all fall...complete with Dice's reaction only being “My hair” and cartoon physics saving the good guys...
I don't remember and I don't care.
...Zuzu spots Art Mooney's name on the Walk Of Fame and finds the third cd, with all three revealing that Grendel was making counterfeit copies of his own music to make some extra cash.
Alright, main motivation revealed, the “Find my daddy subplot” kicked back in, the red haring's dead, let's just plow through this thing and wrap it up.
Grendel tries to get his goons to kill the producer friend of Clay's when the good guys show up, having Jazz to try to fight the hired goons to help the friend only to get her butt kicked, thus needed to be saved by the now reformed pervert from earlier.
Well, to be fair, if you got beaten up by a bad movie staple, that'd shape you up too.
Clay goes in with Zuzu and the two of 'em, via hidden mic, gets Grendel to confess everything from the bootlegs to peeing in the punch. This leads to an on stage fight where somebody hands Dice the flaming milkshake from earlier, tosses it on Grendel, and Dice flicks a cigerette on him, causing the jerk to be on fire and die on stage.
...yes, I just typed that Wayne Newton died on stage. Feel free to grab your own low hanging fruit on that one.
This leads to Amos showing up, about to arrest Zuzu... who then punches him in the nuts, causing him to say “Booty Time” again...K...when Jazz tries to go up to Dice...only for Zuzu to hug him, causing her to get pissy and leave. Well, with all that wrapped up, there's just one subplot left: Bad accent Englund and that ring...turns out to be nothing, because Englund killed the dad. Dice lies, says he wants it fist to fist only to pull out his hidden gun and shoot him in the head.
I'm sorry if this seems like I'm rushing, but this movie banked on the hope that Dice's mouth would bring in the bucks...you can tell just why I'm rushing the ending just from that, huh?
Dice tries to lie to the kid to make him happy, saying he's the dad, but seeing as the kid is one of the few with brains, sees right through it but Dice promises to take care of the kid. Jazz shows up, Dice says his love for her, a radio station giving away a huge ammount of money calls him...
Apperently, phones in 1990 could withstand Earth-shattering kabooms.
...and the movie... FINALLY... MERCIFULLY... ends with Dice, Jazz, the kid, and the still living puppet koala...
Complete with Dice asking the audience if they really thought they'd kill it.
...sailing away in the ocean.
If you ever wanted a physical example on how regret and pop culture can go hand and hand, this is your movie.
Dice got popular from his mouth. The 80's generation made him popular because of his mouth. Because of this, this movie was made and the jokes were mainly dependent on his mouth...his misogynistic, sexist, un-PC mouth.
So, yeah, when the clock turned to 1990 and MTV banned him for his mouth, his popularity sunk. And even if it didn't, it still wouldn't save this movie.
It's a mess. From the casting (Wayne Newton as the bad guy? Really?) to the characters (Why do you think I kept calling Ford his actor's name?), almost everything from the get go when they rewrote it to suit the Diceman failed.
I say almost everything because giving a detective a unique gimmick isn't new and, if this were done ether the way it was originally intended or with even a better actor that would fit the music scene better like Bruce Willis, the whole “Rock & Roll Detective” thing would work so much better. I won't deny that Dice comes off knowing and appreciating the music around him, but that can only go so far when the entire shtick is a mouth that got him banned from MTV.
Bottom line, it's a miscasted, poorly written, waste of a concept mess and if MTV didn't banned him from the network from his mouth, they would've at least said “HELL NO” to airing this.
FINAL VERDICT: For bad writing, miscasting (Really, Wayne Newton as the scum of the Earth?), and Dice's mouth, this movie gets a MEGA ATOMIC B-MOVIE BOMB. If you're a fan of the Diceman...yes, he has fans, yes I'm scared at that...you MIGHT like it. For everybody else, this leaves a sour note. Now if you'll excuse me, a friend of mine got an idea from this movie and started an Anime-&-Manga detective type agency...and most of his clients want him to find some missing hentai...uh...might wanna re-think this...
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