Thursday: Worst car chase movies ever...
When a film starts out about Formula One but has to switch to being about the American C.A.R.T. series because Bernie Ecclestone thought it was awful and refused to let F1 be the subject DESPITE BEING OFFERED MONEY, then you know it is going to be awful.
But the level of awfulness that Renny Harlin and Sylvester Stallone’s “why they race” flick descends to so damn quickly is staggering. Awful acting, terrible writing, a wandering utterly improbably plot, thoroughly awful CG effects and, well, just everything about it really.
This may just be a coincidence, but the C.A.R.T. series didn’t last much longer after this came, and it merged with the IRL just before it fell over entirely. This movie may actually be the reason for that...
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Not the 1974 original. The original is awesome - a big messy, plotless romp that is basically a completely improvised car chase for its entire run time.
The 2000 Nicolas Cage remake, however, is just about one of the worst things to assault our eyes. Angelina Jolie proves she should never be allowed to open her mouth on camera and the usually brilliant Robert Duvall spends the whole movie looking like someone had tricked him into doing it. Which they probably had.
The biggest sin, however, was that they managed to do something we would have thought was impossible - make car chases boring. Boring and stupid. Just like the entire film, really.
Vanishing Point (1997)
Again, we don’t mean the brilliantly weird drugged-out 1971 original, we mean the thoroughly appalling 1997 made-for-TV remake.
Draining the plot of all its sex, drugs and, well, life really, the remake was a family-friendly run through of a cult classic that was more cutting social commentary than “just” a car chase movie. They just really kept the “car chase” bits and made them awful too.
It was a bit like making a family version of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, taking all the violent bits out and replacing them with Viggo Mortensen and Jason Priestly. Which is exactly what happened in the 1997 version of Vanishing Point.
That’s right, Mortensen was wholesome, drug-free version of Kowalski, while Jason Priestly played the role of the DJ that was originally played by the awesomely brilliant Cleavon Little in the original. That should tell you everything you need to know really...
Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
Proof that Dan Ackroyd should have been cryogenically frozen directly after Ghostbusters, his sequel to The Blues Brothers was not only a thoroughly awful and insulting film, it also felt the need to top the car chase in the original in the most excessive, stupid and depressing way possible.
After putting up with what seems like an endless amount of time watching Ackroyd carefully take apart everything that was awesome about the original movie with a ridiculous plot, awful musical numbers and some thoroughly awful acting from everybody involved, we finally get to the car chase that quickly descends into a nonsensical mess of stupidity with cars literally being thrown into a big pile.
Just to top the number of cars wrecked in the original...
Some parts of the Fast and Furious franchise are okay. Not in the sense that any one particular movie is actually good, but if you took good bits from all of them you would have a nice tight 45 minutes or so of solid entertainment.
So it takes a pretty serious effort to rip off the F&F franchise and make it so thoroughly awful that you almost cause the world’s economy to collapse, but Redline does just that.
Basically a vanity project so that writer/producer Daniel Sadek could show off his collection of supercars, pretty much everything about Redline was bad, the writing (as you might have expected), the acting and, as it turned out, so was the driving and the financing!
Karma got involved during the production of the movie when “actor” Eddie Griffin badly crashed Sadek’s Enzo and then really wound up the cosmic revenge when the entire subprime mortgage crisis plunged the USA (and pretty much the whole world) into a recession.
Oh, that’s right - guess how Sadek funded the movie? With subprime loans issued by his own finance company...