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need more Catman!

Read about the first Smithee Movie watched of 2012. I think.

I'm beginning to suspect that Gary Daniels makes a perfectly adequate Community Access Programming martial arts action hero. Daniels, a bona fide kickboxing champion, should look like he knows what he's doing and not like one of those "Three weeks of intensive martial arts training for the role" actors. Yet...he's that guy who is always trying just a little too hard. You know, that one guy at the gym who's gotta make all the noise while he's doing crazy heavy lifts so you'll look over and go "Oh, we'll he's got to be a man's man, look at all that weight and effort!"

It's a little tiring to watch. His style, which has lots of flashy martial arts moves for sure, always seems more powerhouse cinematic than it needs to be. He doesn't flow, there's not enough economy of motion and more often than not I just want to tell the man to relax and have fun. But no. Serious Gary Daniels is serious. And full of unnecessary power. Float like a cinderblock, sting like a steam shovel.

Also if Australia has a Texas, Gary Daniels is most certainly from that region judging from the way he speaks. I didn't think you could have an Aussie drawl but that's about the only thing Daniels does distinctively.

I might be bitter seeings that this is the second (unless I haven't found them all) surprise Daniels flick I've found in my house. I think Daniels is The Earl's Smithee hick cousin and Smithee Auntie Earl keeps phoning up The Earl and asking him to set her boy up with that nice Promotions Ninja. But enough about me and my general annoyance with most Gary Daniels flicks.

Ok, maybe not. The movie du jour was "Witness to a Kill" which I guess technically had a witness since the guy who shot the titular killed character saw the whole thing. But then the movie would have been the killer looking for himself to murder because he knew too much about the murder he just committed.

That actually sounds kinda awesome-very "Fight Club".

This "Witness to a Kill" (or "Diamond Cut Diamond" if you prefer but that makes a different sort of nonsense) is about the sister of a government official who knew too much about her brother's work. Brother (or more appropriately, Bruder since they are German) is knocked off by The Bad Guy (who looks like the love child of Hugh Laurie and Eddie Izzard) but not before Laurzzard finds out about sister (or Schwester just to keep the synergy going).

The SAS decides to take Schwester into hiding in South Africa, for Schwester is like the adopted daughter to the General of Very Important Stuff. Captain Strong (Gary Daniels) is the General's personal Captain of Awesome so he gets Schwester babysitting detail. Incidentally, does it seem like every time you say Captain Strong it ought to come with its own fanfare? Or is that just me?

Anyway, so Captan of Awesome and his hick Aussie accent SAS Schwester to South Africa for safe keeping. But lo! Who should be in South Africa but the dastardly Laurzzard! Wait...is Schwester bait now? Has the SAS smuggled her to South Africa just to lure Laurzzard out into the open? They might have, kittens.

Captain of Awesome and Schwester soon find out this news via the timely introduction of Captain of Awesome's old reporter flame. I do not like where this movie is going but fortunately I did not have to endure a Gary Daniels / Francoise Yip sex scenes since I was, at the time, preparing snacks. It does explain the wails of anguish from my two non-snack movie watching companions though when it looked like there would be another such scene. There is not; just demure next morning full bed sheet sexy night implications. While Captain of Awesome and Reporter Flame are sheeting around, Laurzzard kidnaps Schwester and Captain of Awesome is alerted by the kerfluffle. He runs back to Schwester's floor at the same time Laurzzard and Minions pop out onto Reporter Flame's floor. Reporter Flame accidentally sees them kill a random hotel worker and oh look, a two-fer kidnapping.

Now Captain of Awesome has to run after both his girls in an amusing Wizard of Oz / Al Capone Flick chase through a multi story parking ramp. Then there is the obligatory fight on the top of a train and finally everyone but the dead Captain of Awesome, who was shot off the roof of the train, arrives at Laurzzard's super secret industrial lair.

Except Captain of Awesome isn't dead since the film isn't over, but instead has switched clothes with his attacker and thrown that body in full Captain of Awesome regalia off the train. Who didn't see that coming besides the girls and Laurzzard's crew? Anyone? Excellent, award yourselves 10 Smithee points.

Laurzzard tells the Reporter Flame his genius plan while she "surreptitiously" films the whole thing with a grapefruit sized camcorder Laurzzard doesn't know she has. Yeah...let's gloss over that and just say it happened and move on. She escapes, the Good Guys review the footage and find The Important Clue which allows them to pull the mask off of the ghost and...sorry. Which allows them to find the mole in their organization and the back-up mole. YAY! The President is safe from assassination by Laurzzard! Oh but wait, the Good Guys have a better idea; stage the death of the president so Laurzzard doesn't suspect they are on to him.

Meanwhile Schwester, remember Schwester? She's still back at the super secret industrial headquarters doing pretty much nothing except being a hostage. Apparently when the Good Guys mention maybe rescuing Schwester, Reporter Flame complains that Schwester will just slow them down and besides, she's perfectly safe. They need her for a hostage! Wait, isn't Schwester being held captive because of the president assassination plot? So if the Good Guys set it up so that the president appears to have been killed and Laurzzard doesn't know any better, wouldn't Schwester become a liability for knowing too much about the plot? Whoops, silly me. I was thinking again. Let's have some more martialy arts goodness!

The SAS light out for the super secret industrial complex and the inevitable showdown between Captain of Awesome and Laurzzard happens. Lots of people get shot, a jeep gets blown up and some martial artsy stuff happens. The End.

As a side note, I have decided Captain of Awesome is first generation British born Australian with that Aussie drawl. At home Ma and Pa of Awesome only speak Australian and poor young Captain of Awesome had to grow up fast in a foreign country, grasping at the language so he could just get by and translating for Ma and Pa of Awesome who never quite learned British. That's the only theory I could come up with as to why a British secret service agent was so obviously Australian.

-Your Friendly Neighborhood New Year's Day Smithee Movie Watchin' Ninja JQ