ORBzine - Action Movie Parodies Movie Reviews

TITLE & REVIEW

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013)

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013) Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan - The Other Guys ), England's most boring television presenter, has returned to his roots in radio. He works as a DJ in a local station in Norwich, a remote and somewhat boring town in England. Unfortunately the station gets taken over by cut-throat capitalists.

A fellow DJ (Colm Meany - Star Trek: DS9 ) gets fired, and returns to hold the entire radio station hostage. Partridge is selected as the go-between with the police, and uses this opportunity to revive his flagging career.

The twist is that Partridge, a career-conscious backstabber, was the one who got his friend fired in the first place. He spends the whole movie trying to become successful again while hiding the truth from the justifiably mad gunman.

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All Nighter (2017)

All Nighter (2017) Martin (Emile Hirsch - Speed Racer ) is a vegetarian millenial type, living in Los Angeles, whose girlfriend Ginnie ( Analeigh Tipton ) drags him to dinner with her father - Mr Gallo (JK Simmons - Spider-Man ), a mysterious hard-assed businessman. Life for Martin begins to go downhill from there.

Months later, Mr Gallo turns up at Martin's house looking for his daughter. Martin has broken up with her, but gets dragged along in the search for the missing girl. Although the obvious comparison, actually made in the movie, is with the Liam Neeson series Taken ... this is more a comedy of errors. The mis-matched duo drive around Los Angeles looking for Ginnie's friends, a bunch of slackers and assholes like Trevor (Jon Bass - Miracle Workers ).

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Bounty Hunter (2010)

Bounty Hunter (2010) A female journalist ( Jennifer Aniston ) investigates a suspicious suicide. In order to follow a lead she misses a court appearance, so the judge withdraws bail. Her ex-husband (Gerard Butler - Geostorm ), a former cop who is now a bounty hunter, takes the case and hunts her down.

She is also being hunted by a hitman (Peter Greene - The Mask (1994) ).

To liven things up there is an extra subplot. The Bounty Hunter himself is also being hunted - by some debt collectors who work for a loan shark.

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Carry On Spying (1964)

Carry On Spying (1964) This is a British film from the 1960s, although it looks older because it was shot in black and white. Unlike the Bond movies it parodies, which were shot in full colour. It starts with a milkman (a reference to the former occupation of Sean Connery) who makes a doorstep delivery to a secret government lab.

British Intelligence has other problems. The office weasel, Simpkins (Kenneth Williams - ), is put in charge of trainee agents Crump (Bernard Cribbins - She (1965) ), Honeybutt ( Barbara Windsor ) and Bind (Charles Hawtrey - ). Since the Secret Service is over-extended, the trainees are sent to retrieve a secret formula that the villains stole. In a parody of SPECTRE from the James Bond novels, the villains are STENCH - the Society for Total Extinction of Non-Conforming Humans.

The team get sent to Vienna, which has been rebuilt in the twenty years since The Third Man. This is the one bit which justifies the use of black and white film, because it allows multiple references to that movie.

The team meets up with Carstairs (Jim Dale - The Spaceman And King Arthur ), a hyper-competent agent who is the Bond figure of the story. Rather than help him, their constant bumbling interrupts every one of his plans. In all fairness, Carstairs is not a team player and he could at least tell them in advance that they should stay out of his way. In contrast, the trainees actually work very well as a team.

Simpkins gives a speech about how the Secret Service regards all recruits as being men, thus giving equality regardless of gender identity choice. That said, once they get to Algiers he tries to sideline Honeybutt for her own protection. Naturally she turns out to be a very competent agent. Crump insists on accompanying her, because of his over-protectiveness. Just as well, because a comedy like this requires an incompetent character (usually male) to be the butt of jokes and slapstick humour. There is also a mild issue of cultural appropriation, when Crump disguises himself as an Arab snake-charmer and then as a belly-dancer. Yes, it turns out that this cheap comedy that makes jokes about sex trafficking was not actually shot on location in a distant Third World country.

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Daddy's Home (2015)

Daddy's Home (2015) Brad (Will Ferrell - Land Of The Lost ) lives in suburbia with his beautiful wife Sarah ( Linda Cardinelli ) and her children from her first marriage. One day her ex-husband Dusty (Mark Wahlberg - The Happening ), the biological father of Brad's step-children, comes to stay. He is everything that Brad is not, and they compete for the affections of both the children and the mother.

This movie reunites the male stars of The Other Guys . They are playing the same archetypes as before, but this time they are rivals rather than partners. However, they certainly manage to make it work.

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Daddy's Home 2 (2018)

Daddy's Home 2 (2018)

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Date Night (2010)

Date Night (2010) Steve Carrell ( Get Smart (2008) ) and his wife ( Tina Fey ) are a married couple who go out on a date to spice up their borring marriage. In a comedic case of mistaken identity, the married couple are abducted by a hitman (Jimmi Simpson - Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter ) and his partner (Common - Smoking Aces ).

The married couple spend the night on the run, hanging out with an ex-client (Mark Wahlberg - The Happening ) and his girlfriend ( Gal Gadot ) or searching for a pimp (James Franco - Spider-Man (2002) ) and his stripper girlfriend ( Mila Kunis ).

The thriller storyline concerns Detective Arroyo ( Taraji P. Henson ) and her quest to get some dirt on a gangster (Ray Liotta - No Escape ) and the corrupt District Attorney (William Fichtner - Invasion ).

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Dragnet (1988)

Dragnet (1988) Joe Friday (Dan Ackroyd - Ghostbusters ) is a straight-edged by-the-book cop with a 1950s work ethic (and dress sense). He gets a new partner, Pep Streebeck (Tom Hanks - Forrest Gump ) - a young 1980s-style cop.

Their first case together is to retrieve property that has been stolen from Jerry Caesar (Dabney Coleman - The Invaders ). He is a seedy parody of High Hefner. The stolen property is a month's print run of Bait magazine, which is the movie's version of Playboy. The theft was committed by a group named PAGAN which stands for People Against Goodness And Normality. Since Joe Friday is the champion of goodness and normality, it is obvious which side he will take.

The cops infiltrate a PAGAN gathering. The High Priest wants to conduct a human sacrifice by feeding The Virgin Connie Swails ( Alexandra Paul ) to a giant snake like in Conan The Barbarian .

Local politicians are involved in the conspiracy. Chief among them is the leader of the Religious Right - Reverend Curley (Christopher Plummer - Starcrash ).

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The Family (2013)

The Family (2013) An American gangster (Robert DeNiro - Mary Shelley's Frankenstein ), his wife ( Michelle Pfeiffer ) and daughter ( Diana Agron ) are in the Witness Protection Program. Instead of sticking them somewhere in the USA, Senior Agent Tommy Lee Jones ( Batman Forever ) has put them in France. Naturally, they stick out like sore thumbs. Even worse, they have not been rehabilitated so they tend to solve all their problems with violence.

In the final act of the story, they get tracked down by the Mafia family that they betrayed. This leads to an all-out shoot-out.

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Foul Play (1978)

Foul Play (1978) Goldie Hawn is asked on a date by a man she only just met. She agrees, but the man stands her up. Worse, he turns up dead. The men who killed him were looking for something, and they assume he passed it on to her. As a result, they come after her as well.

Police detective Chevy Chase ( The Invisible Man ) and his partner (Brian Dennehy - Cocoon ) are assigned to investigate the murder. Chase provides the love interest, while Dennehy uncovers a conspiracy.

The dead man's last words were beware of the dwarf. One of the assassins was an albino, but strangely this is not worthy of mention. However, Billy Barty ( Masters of the Universe ) has a memorable cameo appearance.

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Game Night (2018)

Game Night (2018) Max (Jason Bateman - Horrible Bosses ) and his wife Annie ( Rachel McAdams ) are a happily-married suburban couple whose favourite pastime is to hold a weekly games night. Yes, this is about grown-ups who are obsessive about childish games - like Tag .

Max's brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler - Early Edition ) visits, and takes the game-playing to the next level for Max and his friends. Ryan (Billy Magnussen - ) brings his blind date Sarah ( Sharon Horgan ), while Kevin (Lamorne Morris ) brings Michelle ( Kylie Bunbury ). The one problem is Gary (Jesse Plemons - ), the jealous cop who used to be a regular player but has now been shut out by his former friends.

The game is supposed to be live role-play involving a fake abduction. However, it seems that Brooks is abducted by actual criminals. The adventure seems uncomfortably real, like in Date Night . As Max and his friends investigate, it turns out that Brooks has links to a gangster called The Bulgarian (Michael C. Hall - Gamer ).

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The Green Man (1956)

The Green Man (1956) Hawkins (Alastair Sim - ) is a freelance assassin who specialises in removing the arrogant and privileged. His newest target is a corrupt politician who is cheating on his wife with an office intern. So far, so good. Unfortunately, someone gets suspicious of Hawkins. He must cover up by getting rid of this witness. Of course, this means changing his perfect plan at the last minute.

This improvised plan is upset even further by the arrival of a vacuum-cleaner salesman, William Blake (George Cole - ). This is not a generic spiv like Arfur Daley or his predecessor from the St Trinians movies. Blake is a well-intentioned idiot who stumbles into a murderous plot. Somehow he has flashes of deductive reasoning that are at odds with his genuinely bumbling persona. It would have been more realistic if the home-owner, Ann Vincent ( Jill Adams ) were to be the logical and deductive one. As it is, she gets reduced to a love interest of sorts.

The climax is set at a guest-house named ... The Green Man. While Blake and Ms Vincent try to prevent the assassination, there is a mistaken-identity skit involving Charles Boughtflower (Terry-Thomas - ). Yes, the movie has a celebrity guest-star as if it were a mere TV show.

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Grimsby AKA The Brothers Grimsby (2016)

Grimsby (2016) MI6 Secret Agent Mark Strong ( Stardust ) is a one-man Special Forces unit, singlehandedly fighting a terrorist conspiracy. Unfortunately he ends up disavowed - like in all the Mission Impossible films. The MI6 boss (Ian McShane - Hercules (2015) ) sends Strong's predecessor after him. This hit-man does not do it single-handed, and has a whole SWAT team of heavily-armed goons to help. Luckily, the office Moneypenny type ( Isla Fisher ) is willing to send Strong a few updates.

The Secret Agent has to team up with his long-lost brother Nobby (Sasha Baron Cohen - Sweeney Todd ), a chav who is shacked up with Rebel Wilson in the post-Industrial town of Grimsby.

Nobby must become a secret agent himself, but predictably makes a mess of things and accidentally seduces Precious from American Horror Story: Coven .

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Grosse Point Blank (1997)

Grosse Point Blank (1997) Martin Blank (John Cusack - Hot Tub Time Machine ) lives a happy middle-class life as a small businessman. He has a secretary ( Joan Cusack ), sees a psychiatrist (Alan Arkin - ) and his only worry is a business rivalry with Mr Grocer (Dan Ackroyd - Ghostbusters (1984) ). The key fact is that Martin is an ex-CIA assassin who now works as a freelance hit-man for the highest bidder.

Martin gets talked into attending his High School Reunion, tempted by the thought of seeing his former girlfriend Debi ( Minnie Driver ), and his old buddies Paul (Jeremy Piven - Spy Kids 4 ) and Bob (Michael Cudlitz - The Walking Dead ).

Unfortunately Martin gets tailed by a couple of Federal Agents, Lardner (Hank Azaria - Godzilla (1998) ) and McCullers (K. Todd Freeman - Buffy: Season 3 ). Also, a hitman named Felix (Benny Urdiquez - ) is out for Martin's blood.

When it came out in 1997, this was one of the best films of the year. However, it has faded quite a lot in the mean time. The story is simplistic, the humour is subtle, it is all quite understated. The result is that what was once thrilling and original is now nothing more than a mildly entertaining comedy-thriller.

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Hot Fuzz (2007)

Hot Fuzz (2007) Edgar Wright and the other creators of zombie-movie parody Shaun of the Dead re-unite to create a parody of a different genre. This time it is the turn of the buddy cop movie, epitomised by the likes of Point Break and Bad Boys II.

Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg - Mission Impossible: Fallout ) is an obsessive police officer based in London. His bosses are sick of him, so they have him transferred to Sanford - the most peaceful town in England. There he is partnered with Danny Butterman (Nick Frost - Hyperdrive ), an overweight daddy's boy who is obsessed with American action movies of exactly the kind that this film parodies.

Sanford is a boring town filled with characters played by familiar English actors. Those that were not already stars at the time became recognisable through roles in Game of Thrones . The town is run by the Neighbourhood Watch Association, a collection of middle-aged middle-class people who run the local businesses. There is a low crime rate but a suspiciously high fatal accident rate.

Our hero begins to suspect that a serial killer is at work. The obvious suspect is Skinner (Timothy Dalton - The Living Daylights ). However, things are a bit more complicated than that.

This is a great film that works on a number of levels. Unfortunately it seems to have failed in the American market for a simple reason - it was marketed on its high concept, instead of the fact that it was a genre parody by the team who did Shaun of the Dead .

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The Hot Potato (2012)

The Hot Potato (2012) In 1969, a shady businessman (Ray Winstone - ) gets his hands on a sample of a radioactive element. Shockingly, he has little idea of how much it is worth - nor how potentially dangerous it is.

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Italian Job, The (1969)

Italian Job, The (1969) This is a classic British comedy-thriller written by Troy Kennedy Martin , who later did the similarly-themed Kelly's Heroes.

Charlie Croker (Michael Caine - Dressed To Kill ) is gifted a plan to steal a cargo of gold bullion. With the sponsorship of Mr Bridger (Noel Coward - ) he hires a team of crooks that includes Yellow (Robert Powell - Jesus of Nazareth ) and Big William (Harry Baird - UFO ). They even recruit a computer expert named Professor Peach (Benny Hill - ).

After a brief encounter with the Mafia, the story moves to Italy. Croker's plan, inherited from a friend who was murdered by the Mafia, is to hijack a shipment of gold in the city of Turin. Although there is spectacular location footage from Italy, the traffic centre's interior scenes were obviously shot in a studio in England since they feature the familiar face of Louis Mansfield - better known as Von Smallhausen in Allo, Allo.

The third act of the film is what is perhaps the most classic car chase of all time. Our heroes must take three mini-coopers - patriotically painted in red, white and blue - through a traffic jam in the centre of Turin. The Italian police are in hot pursuit, in a Keystone Kops routine.

To add an element of real jeopardy, the British crooks still have to contend with the Italian mafia. However, this plotline is never concluded because of the literal cliffhanger ending. It would have made for a great sequel.

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Keeping Up With The Joneses (2016)

Keeping Up With The Joneses (2016) Zach Galifrianis ( Tru Calling ) and Isla Fisher are a married-with-kids couple living in suburbia. Immediately once the kids go away for summer camp, some new neighbours move in next door. They are the Joneses - Gal Godot and John Hamm ( Baby Driver ).

Isla is suspicious of the new neighbours. They are too glamourous and competent for suburbia. It turns out that she is right, and they are not what they seem.

Most people in the suburb work in the same company as Zach - a military contractor doing top-secret work. It turns out that someone is leaking info to an arms dealer named The Scorpion (Patton Oswalt - Agents of SHIELD ). The suburban couple must go undercover as glamourous secret agents in order to catch the villain and save the day.

For a comedy, this film has quite a body-count. The so-called heroes think nothing of shooting up an entire floor of a Las Vegas hotel. The movie may have been made a few years before the 2017 massacre, but it still seems to be in quite poor taste. Also, ironic for a movie containing the new Wonder Woman but the most breath-taking woman in it is actually the comedic one.

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King Ralph (1991)

King Ralph (1991) A horrible accident kills off the entire British Royal Family. Luckily, there is still one distant relative left alive. Ralph (John Goodman - Always ) is a lounge singer in Las Vegas, Nevada. He accepts the job of King, but has some trouble getting used to the role. Yes, this is a classic fish-out-of-water story.

Ralph's love interest ( Camille Coduri ) is targeted by the blackmailers. Their leader (John Hurt - Alien (1979) ) plans to take the throne for himself - although this means ignoring the Act of Succession. The only alternative is to have him arrested inside the Houses of Parliament - something that would also be in itself illegal. Yes, for a film made in the UK this exhibits a complete lack of awareness of British law.

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Last Action Hero, The (1993)

Last Action Hero, The (1993) This movie is about a young boy (Austin O'Brien - ) who lives with his mother ( Mercedes Reuhl ) in a dodgy 1970s-style slum in New York City. His only escape from reality is in the local cinema, watching a movie franchise about Jack Slater (Arnold Schwartzenegger - Total Recall (1990) ). Slater is a cliched Hollywood version of an LAPD detective, who takes on villains like The Slasher (Tom Noonan - Robocop 2 ).

In a piece of magical realism reminiscent of Big (1988) , the old projectionist gifts the boy a magical cinema ticket that was once the property of Harry Houdini himself. It turns out that the ticket is genuinely magical, and the boy ends up trapped in his favourite franchise. In fact, the entire Second Act of the story is basically an action movie in its own right - complete with an all-star cast.

The movie-within-a-movie is about a gangster (Anthony Quinn - ) who plots to take over the Los Angeles underworld. He sends his henchman (Charles Dance - ) to hassle Slater and his daughter Whitney ( Brigid Wilson-Sampras ). The boy gets stuck in the middle of this, pointing out all the cliched movie tropes. For example, Angie Everhard is a girl who works in a video rental store - while the only Person of Colour is the Police Captain.

While the movie-within-a-movie plot is eventually concluded, the real film drags on for its real Third Act. The henchman gets the magic ticket, so both the boy and Slater pursue him into the real world. The movie tropes no longer apply there, so while the cop must learn to accept consequences for his actions the henchman discovers that he can actually avoid consequences. This leads up to a couple more climactic encounters - one which lets Slater face off against the Slasher again, and then the real climax which features the henchman.

So why did this film flop on release? Well, the writer ( Shane Black ) and director ( John McTiernan ) did a great job of parodying their own work. However, this is a PG-13 comedy send-up with a main star who is best known for 15-rated straight-up action. Schwartzenegger's comedies were never what can be described as successful. And worst of all, this movie was a big summer release the same year as Jurassic Park (1993) .

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Let's Be Cops (2014)

Let's Be Cops (2014) Justin (Damon Wayans Jnr - ) is a lowly video-game designer who gets his hands on some police uniforms as promotional material for a game he is pitching to his boss. His flatmate Ryan (Jake Johnson - The Mummy (2017) ) talks him into using the uniforms for a fancy dress party. Things spiral out of control, and they end up passing themselves off as real cops.

The good news is that Justin's new status as a pretend cop puts him in the favour of the woman he desires, Josie the waitress ( Nina Dobrev ). The bad news is that it also brings him into conflict with Russian gangsters led by Mossi (James D'arcy - Agent Carter ). Worse, the Russians are under the protection of Brolin (Andy Garcia - Passengers ).

Although the pretend cops have no skills, they have to do the work of real cops and take on the gangsters. Luckily they can glean the necessary knowledge from the Internet.

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MacGruber (2010)

MacGruber A Supervillain named Cunth (Val Kilmer - Willow ) steals a Russian rocket equipped with a nuclear warhead - a more compact version of the Scud featured in Spies Like Us .

Colonel Trautman (Powers Boothe - Agents of SHIELD: S3 ) goes to a Buddist Monastery (in Latin America) and recruits his best man - MacGruber (Will Forte - ). Once he is back, Mac gets a couple of sidekicks - Ryan Phillipe ( Way Of The Gun ) and Kristen Wiig .

This is a parody not just of the TV show MacGuyver, but of 1980s action movies in general. For example, his signature move is the throat rip from Road House.

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Masterminds (2016)

Masterminds (2016) A security guard (Zach Galifrianis - Tru Calling ) is recruited by a wannabe criminal mastermind (Owen Wilson - Zoolander ) to rob the bank delivery warehouse he works at. When things go terribly wrong, the boss sends in a hitman named Mike (Jason Sudekis - Horrible Bosses ) to get rid of the witnesses. Although this sounds like the plot to Australian crime thriller The Money Movers (1979), this movie is actually based on a true story.

There are some Strong female roles in this movie. The protagonist is engaged to Justine ( Kate McKinnon ), but is seduced by trailer-park femme fatale Kelly ( Kristen Wiig ). Later, the robbery is investigated by a female FBI Agent ( Leslie Jones ). Yes, these women all worked together in the terrible Ghostbusters (2016) - and this movie should be watched back-to-back with Spy (2015) , which stars the fourth member of the line-up.

Wiig in particular acquits herself well in this film. She delivers a stand-out performance, probably the best of her career, so it is a shame she has never been given such a complex character in her other films.

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Mindhorn (2016)

Mindhorn (2016) Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt - A Field In England ) is an actor who was famous for starring in a UK TV show in 1989. He played the title character in a show named Mindhorn, which is a mish-mash of 1970s/80s series. A Secret Agent was in a plane crash (like in The Champions ), got a bionic eye (a la Six Million Dollar Man ) and became a detective in a small British island's police department (Bergerac).

Now, three decades later, Thorncroft is a has-been. Luckily for him, a mentally ill murder suspect named Paul Melly (Russell Tovey - Being Human ) believes the show is real. More specifically, the lucky break is that the local police request Thorncroft help them catch the killer.

Thorncroft is teamed up with Detective Constable Baines ( Andrea Riseborough ). However, this is not a parody of Forever and all the other mainstream cop shows these days. Instead we see Thorncroft reluctantly reunite with former co-stars. The result is a slapstick comedy-thriller that might be considered a missed opportunity. There is so much more that could be done with this concept. Hopefully there will be a sequel. Perhaps even a spin-off TV show, like Garth Marenghi's Darkplace .

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Nuns On The Run (1990)

Nuns On The Run (1990) Brian (Eric Idle - Life of Brian ) and Robbie Coltrane ( Harry Potter ) are a pair of gangsters who work for a London thug. He plans a heist targeting the money laundering operation of a Chinese Triad that have moved into his territory. Our pair of loveable rogues double-cross their boss and make off with the loot - a couple of suitcases filled with unmarked bank-notes.

Unfortunately our heroes are inept comedy gangsters. They mess up the getaway, and have to hide out in a convent. To facilitate this, they disguise themselves in nuns' clothes. The good news is that they are quickly accepted into the order. The bad news is that there is a strong police presence in the area, not to mention the two rival groups of gangsters after the loot. As a result, the two fake nuns have to carry on their masquerade longer than they had assumed.

Brian's love interest ( Camille Coduri ) is targeted by the gangsters. Now the two fake nuns have to save her as well as everything else.

So why did this fall down the memory hole, while A Fish called Wanda - which covers similar ground, and came out a couple of years earlier, was a blockbuster success? Part of it is the casting. While this movie has a supporting cast of familiar British faces, there are no International names or American stars. Likewise, the direction is small-scale and typically British. The result is a small and forgettable film.

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The Other Guys (2010)

The Other Guys (2010) Highsmith (Samuel L Jackson - Snakes On A Plane ) and Danson (Dwayne Johnson - Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle ) are a pair of NYPD detectives who take out a gang of gun-toting Rastas in a chase scene that parodies straight-up action movies like Bad Boys , at least before that franchise parodied itself with Bad Boys 2 . unfortunately, they end up getting taken in by their own sense of invulnerability.

NYPD Captain Michael Keaton ( Birdman ) appoints a couple of replacements - Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg - The Happening ) and Gamble (Will Ferrell - Land Of The Lost ). They are pretty much the opposite, a mis-matched pair of very flawed characters. Hoitz is a parody of the usual sqaure-jawed cops that Wahlberg often plays, while Ferrell is a desk-jockey with a secret past.

The case leads back to a corrupt financier, David Ershon (Steve Coogan - Mindhorn ). Our heroes must get him out of the grasp of security man Roger Westerly (Ray Stevenson - Punisher: War Zone ).

The comedy element is not simply parody of the police genre. There is a lot of more straight-up humour from Farrell. For example, he is irresistable to beautiful women like his wife Sheila ( Eva Mendes )!

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Our Man Flint (1966)

Our Man Flint (1966) This is one of a series of spy-movie spoofs from the 1960s. Specifically, this parodies many aspects of the early James Bond movies. US Intelligence issues its agents with a Walther PPK and a briefcase with a built-in throwing knife. They are identical to the weapons issued to 007 in From Russia With Love (1962) . Later a Sean Connery lookalike pops up. His codename is 0008, and he is hunting a new bunch of crooks that are even bigger than Spectre!

The villainous Mr Rodney (Edward Mulhare - Knight Rider ) has a machine that can control the weather. The idea of a climate disaster terrifies the world leaders, which in the twenty-first century would seem far-fetched. They get together as the Zonal Org of World Intelligence Espionage (ZOWIE) and select the best agent for the mission - a retired American named Derek Flint (James Coburn - ). Flint is an expert in all skills, and is so wealthy he has his own personal jet plane. Naturally, as an expert jet pilot he flies it himself.

One way in which this movie is ahead of its time is that the Moneypenny character is an African-American woman. She may be a glorified telephonist, like Uhuru in Star Trek: TOS , but this is the nearest thing to seeing an on-screen depiction of Katherine Johnston until Hidden Figures .

Similarly, another surprise is that Mr Rodney is not the head of the goon squad. Instead he takes orders from the femme fatale, who seems to be the brains of the operation. Another one of her goons is called Hans Gruber, presumably the inspiration for the name of the character in Die Hard (1987) .

The villains work for a trio of scientists who want to end the Cold War by forcing all nations to dismantle their ICBMs, navies and airforces. This is like what Jules Vernes' characters wanted in stories like Master of the World . This is presented as a bad thing, because the utopia that the villains want to create is a world where individuality is surpressed.

In all fairness, Flint has done very well in a winner-takes-all society while the plight of the impoverished is ignored. He does not care about ending poverty or famine or pestillence, things that the British Welfare State was set up to address. Instead he fights to maintain his own wealth. When we look at The Prisoner , which came out around the same time, we should examine it in the context of Milton Friedman's theories and the Thatcherite revolution that he inspired.

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The Pacifier (2005)

The Pacifier (2005) This is a star vehicle for Vin Diesel ( Pitch Black ), back in the days when he liked to think he had artistic integrity. You know, when he refused to do sequels and instead spent his time on projects that stretched his talent. This is his first and only comedy project to date.

Our hero is a US Navy SEAL, leader of a small team sent to rescue a kidnapped scientist.

Months later, when he has recovered from his injuries, he is reassigned to provide security for the scientist's family. He also has to help them out with their personal problems. The eldest boy (Max Theriot - House At The End Of The Street ) is being bullied at school. The eldest girl ( Brittany Snow ) has a boyfriend (Kyle Schmid - Blood Ties ). Our hero even gets himself a love interest - the school Principal ( Lauren Graham ).

In the third act, they must work together to save the scientist's secrets from enemy spies.

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Paper Tigers, The (2022)

Paper Tigers, The (2022) A trio of middle-aged men, once kung-fu students in the 1980s, reunite when their Sifu meets a suspicious death. Of course, these men are well past their best days. Can they re-find their kung-fu greatness and find out who is responsible for the Sifu's demise?

The movie's token white man, a kung-fu student who kept at his studies and has now attained the rank of Sifu in his own right, is portrayed as something of a buffoon. That said, this is a comedy so all the characters are buffoonish. The important fact is that, despite his reliance on fortune-cookie wisdom which is borderline cultural appropriation, he is a generally positive character and not a villain.

Despite the subtle humour of this film, it does not fear displaying sentiment as well. One of the most touching scenes in this or any other film is in the third act, when the protagonist is en route to confront the antagonist. He has to beg his ex-wife for a chance to speak with his son, not an easy task since he has been shown as something of a disappointment as a father. Now he has to overcome his own issues before the final confrontation with a much stronger fighter.

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Pineapple Express (2008)

Pineapple Express (2008) A process server has a good life, hanging with his teenage girlfriend ( Amber Heard ) and his drug-dealing buddy (James Franco - Spider-Man 3 ). Then he witnesses the local drug lord (Gary Cole - American Gothic ) and a corrupt lady cop ( Rosie Perez ) kill a hitman from an invading Chinese syndicate. Now the server and the dealer try to go on the run together.

David Gordon Green made this in the run-up to Your Highness , and several actors appear in both movies. For example, Danny McBride ( Land of the Lost ) pops up as a mid-level drug dealer.

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The Pope Must Die! (1991)

The Pope Must Die! (1991) An obscure parish Priest (Robbie Coltrane - Harry Potter ) is elected pope.

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Sex Tape (2014)

Sex Tape (2014) Once again, Cameron Diaz is paired as romantic lead with Jason Segel ( Gulliver's Travels (2010) ). This time she is a blogger who is trying to get sponsorship for her work to a family-friendly kids toys business run by Rob Lowe ( ), which requires her to maintain a family-friendly image.

For some reason, the opening exposition is in the form of a post on the blog about the couple's sex life - which has gotten a bit bland since they married. This is more suited to something like Cosmopolitan than a website named Who's Your Mommy? Anyway, their sex life is bland so they decide to spice things up a bit.

The title of the movie is misleading. Instead of making a tape, which was a big thing in the analogue era of the later decades of the Twentieth century, they decide to record themselves with an Ipad. This entire movie seems to be an advert for Apple Macintosh products, since it repeatedly states that the products are virtually indestructible and have amazing wireless functions. Segel exclaims things like That camera is f*cking amazing!

The husband buys Ipads in bulk, and every time a new model comes out he gives the old ones away as gifts to everyone he knows. Unfortunately, his personal one has an app that automatically synchonises all his media files with the other Ipads ... and this includes the video file of the couple having sex.

The couple team up with their friends, Rob Corddry ( Hot Tub Time Machine ) and Ellie Kemper , to steal back the Ipads. After all, it is not as if there is an easy way to remotely wipe the files ... or did the Apple Genius people think of that as well?

The sex movie gets uploaded to a porn site, so the couple have to convince the pornographer (Jack Black - Gulliver's Travels (2010) ). He actually helps put their lives in perspective.

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Spy (2015)

Spy (2015) A tuxedo-waring James Bond parody (Jude Law - The Rhythm Section ) is on a secret mission with the help of his sidekick ( Melissa McCarthy ), who fulfills the role of Chloe from 24. Unfortunately he gets killed by a supervillain ( Rose Byrne ). The sidekick is recruited to go undercover and befriend the villain.

There is a subplot featuring Jason Statham ( Hobbs and Shaw ), who basically parodies every dumb action movie hero he has ever played. Morena Baccarin pops up as a female agent, while Allison Janney is the boss.

Since Paul Feig did such a good job of making an all-female spy movie, how come the very next year he flopped at making the all-female Ghostbusters (2016) ? Well, the answer is simple. Both of these movies are basically parodies. However, while Spy (2015) mocks the James Bond Franchise and the slew of Jason Statham Action Movies it does not pretend to replace them.

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Spy Next Door, The (2010)

Spy Next Door, The (2010) This starts with a montage of clips from Jackie Chan movies, like The Tuxedo . It turns out that Jackie is a real-life secret agent, the top field agent in a counter-terrorist unit. He manages to locate and capture his arch-enemy, a villain who is targeting ine international oil supply.

With his enemy in prison, Jackie can safely retire. He tries to romance his next-door neighbour ( Amber Valetta ). Unfortunately she has three pre-teen children - and they all take a dislike to him. He volunteers to take on babysitting duties in order to win their affection.

Naturally, the arch-villain escapes thanks to a traitor in the secret agency. Jackie must look after the three kids, and protect them from the bad guys. Lucas Till ( Monster Trucks ) pops up in a supporting role.

All in all, this is a lightweight film that is far from Jackie's best, and as a kids' spy movie it falls far short of the Spy Kids Franchise .

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Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

Spy Who Dumped Me (2018) Audrey ( Mila Kunis ) celebrates her thirtieth birthday with her best friend Morgan ( Kate McKinnon ), because Audrey's boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux - Charlie's Angels 2 ) is out of town on business. It turns out that Drew is a Secret Agent, being hunted by assassins in Eastern Europe.

Audrey has to cope with her discovery of Drew's fate. Luckily she gets a new love interest in the form of MI6 agent Sebastian (Sam Heughan - Outlander ), who works for Wendy ( Gillian Anderson ). Morgan tags along as they try to complete Drew's last mission.

This is a pretty funny movie at times, and there is enough romance to justify calling it a rom-com. However, the tone just seems to be off. The fact that the action movies are like something out of a John Wick movie, with massive amounts of bloodshed and carnage, means it is just a bit too heavy to succeed as a comedy.

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Stuber (2019)

Stuber (2019) LAPD detectives Manning (Dave Bautista - Blade Runner 2049 ) and Morris ( Karen Gillen ) go after a drug gang in a high-class hotel. The Guardians of the Galaxy duo are more like a hit-squad than an arrest unit, since they repeatedly try to shoot an unarmed suspect while he is running away. Anyhow, it all ends badly.

LAPD boss McHenry ( Mira Sorvino ) suggests that Manning takes some time off. He intends to visit his daughter Nicole ( Natalie Morales ) at the art gallery she is exhibiting work in ... but first he has laser eye surgery done, so he is virtually blind. To get around, he hires a lift-share driver.

Stuart (Kumail Nanjiani - Twilight Zone (2019) ) is an Uber driver, nicknamed Stuber. Yes, even the title of this movie is an advert for the commercial service. Once the character of Stuber is introduced, the movie takes a much more light-hearted tone. Manning is serious, taking things literally almost as much as Drax does, but the real humour is from Stuber's sarcastic remarks.

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Superintelligence (2021)

Superintelligence (2021) An average American woman named Carol Peters ( Melissa McCarthy ) is befriended by superintelligent AI that chooses to use the voice of James Corden ( Lesbian Vampire Killers ). It sets her on a course to reunite with her former boyfriend (Bobby Cannavale - Ant Man ).

Carol introduces the AI to her best buddy Brian Tyree Henry ( Godzilla versus Kong ). Once he realises what the AI is potentially capable of - a reference is made to Wargames rather than the usual scifi one, The Terminator -he informs the Naval Intelligence Director ( Rachel Ticotin ). She gets everyone up to and including the US President ( Jean Smart ) to set up a potential counter-measure. This effort is entirely off-line, using typewriters and carrier pigeons.

This is a nice cross between a rom-com and a techno-thriller. The third act in particular works impressively well, considering the main storyline is low-key. Yes, for a relatively slow movie it actually builds well to a climax.

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Super Troopers 2 (2018)

Super Troopers 2 (2018) Remember the original movie, Broken Lizard's Super Troopers (2001) ? Few people do, because it came out almost two decades ago. This is the longest gap in a series that does not feature Harrison Ford. Nobody complains about the delay because nobody has been waiting for it.

The action starts when Vermont Highway Patrol officers Seann William Scott ( Evolution (2001) ) and Damon Wayans Jnr ( Big Hero 6 (2014) ) pull over a bus. Aboard are the troopers from the first film, who have been forcibly retired and are now touring as a rock band.

The Captain (Brian Cox - Manhunter (1986) ) and the Governor ( Lynda Carter ) have the team reinstated for a secret mission. They are to manage the transition of a Canadian town that has been declared property of the USA. The local Mayor (Rob Lowe - Monster Trucks (2016) ) and his friend Genevieve ( Emmanuelle Chriqui ) offer to help out.

There are a few practical jokes, courtesy of rivalry with the local Mountie (Tyler Labine - Escape Room (2019) ) and his crew. Yes, this is basically Police Academy for the next generation.

The troopers also discover some caches of illicit goods. This gives them a proper storyline, concerning a gang of smugglers.

The after-credits sequence is a Found Footage clip featuring Fred Savage ( Goldmember (2002) ). It is foreshadowed with numerous references in the movie, and is one of the funniest things in the whole thing. Sadly that is not an endorsement.

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Tag (2018)

Tag (2018) Back in the 1980s, films like Top Gun were based on newspaper articles. Not only is this based on an article, the journalist writing it is one of the characters.

Rebecca Crosby ( Annabelle Wallis ), a writer for the Wall Street Journal, is interviewing Fortune 800 businessman Bob Callaghan (John Hamm - Baby Driver ) when she discovers a far more interesting story. Callaghan and his buddies have been playing a game of Tag every May for the last thirty years.

Callaghan teams up with his friends Ed Helms (The Hangover) and Jake Johnson (New Girl). Their target, Jerry (Jeremy Renner - Avengers ), takes the game to a super-hero level. He is far more convincing in this than he ever was as Hawkeye.

While the story is about a group of men, there are a lot of female stars too. Hoagie's wife is Isla Fisher , while Jerry is getting married to Leslie Bibb (a fellow MCU veteran from the first two Iron Man movies). To mix it up, Jerry invites the group's Yoko Ono - Cheryl Deakins ( Rashida Jones ).

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This Means War (2012)

This Means War (2012) Chris Pine ( Wonder Woman (2017) ) and Tom Hardy ( Dark Knight Rises (2011) ) hang out at a swanky VIP party, like supporting actors from DCEU blockbuster movies. Laura Vandervoort is there too, best known to DC fans for her Supergirl work. The men are secret agents working for the CIA, and despite being ordered to stay undercover they get involved in a massive shoot-out. Well, this was directed by McG . One of the suspects is killed, and his brother (Til Schweiger - ) swears vengeance.

Back in the USA, Reese Witherspoon is jealous of her ex-boyfriend (Warren Christie - Alphas ). She has not gotten a new boyfriend yet, so her best friend ( Chelsea Handler ) sets up an online dating profile for her. Hardy's ex-wife ( Abigail Spencer ) has custody of their son, so he starts on-line dating too. Naturally, he and Witherspoon hit it off. Pine also bumps into Witherspoon, and pursues her until she agrees to date him.

The thriller storyline becomes a subplot. Their boss ( Angela Bassett ) pops up briefly to remind them they have a job to do, but they have other things on their minds.

Along with the online dating comes online stalking. The Special Agents take advantage of their Top Secret security clearance and run illicit background checks on her. Hardy actually points out that this is creepy as opposed to romantic, but Pine coins the phrase Cr-omantic as a joke. When they discover they are both dating the same woman, they forget about her feelings and just get incredibly competitive.

The contest is reminiscent of True Lies . Rather than just mis-use expensived government technology, the competitiveness means they actively destroy the tech in order to disadvantage each other. One of the minions points out there may be constitutional issues, but the boss just points out the Patriot Act.

The disregard for safety is blatant. Hardy even goes paintballing without safety goggles.

Finally the terrorists make a reappearance for the climactic car chase. But the real climax of the story is when Witherspoon makes her choice.

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The Tourist (2010)

The Tourist (2010) Frank (Johnny Depp - Pirates of the Caribbean ) is befriended by a femme fatale ( Angelina Jolie ). She is under surveillance by Interpol detective Acheson (Paul Bettany - Priest (2011) ) and Chief Inspector Jones (Timothy Dalton The Living Daylights ). It turns out that her boyfriend, Alexander Pearce (Rufus Sewell - Helen of Troy (2003) ), ripped off his boss - a murderous Russian gangster (Steven Berkoff - Octopussy ). Now Frank finds himself caught in the middle.

Frank runs around, dodging bullets. The police in Venice are incompetent or corrupt, and thus do not seem to mind that the British government has a large assassination team running around the city. Yes, the British cops seem more interested in killing gangsters than in actually trying to arrest them.

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The Tuxedo

The Tuxedo Jimmy Tong (Jackie Chan - Armour of God ) is a cab driver who winds up as sidekick to an English Secret Agent (Jason Isaacs - Event Horizon ). Jimmy ends up replacing his boss, and partners with beautiful lady spy Jennifer Love Hewitt to save the world. Luckily, Jimmy borrows his boss's tuxedo - a super-gadget that allows him to act like, well, like Jackie Chan. Kung-Fu comedy ensues!

This is a parody of the James Bond films, among other things. There is a villain out to conquer the world, and a bumbling fool cast into the role of Secret Agent - just like in Cody Banks , a similar parody which came out around the same time. However, The Tuxedo is carried by its incredible cast. Jackie Chan excels at this kind of work, and Ms Hewitt is very pleasing to the eye!

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Undercover Brother 2 (2019)

Undercover Brother 2 (2019) This takes off a couple of years after the events of the original film. Undercover Brother now looks like Michael Jai White ( Spawn (1997) ) instead of Eddie . He decides to train his younger brother as a secret agent, and they set off on a mission together. Unfortunately they get trapped in an avalanche, and frozen in time until global warming gives them their freedom.

The original movie parodied the blaxploitation movies of the 1970s, without the man-out-of-time aspect. Now we get to see how out-of-time a man can become in the sixteen years from 2003 to 2019. It is good to see an African American character call out the destructive PC culture that has infected the modern world.

UB himself is stuck in a coma, so it is the younger brother who must save the day now. After all, he is the only one who can identify The Man (Barry Bostwick - Rocky Horror Picture Show ). It turns out that a new generation of villain has taken over. The new villain is not a White Supremacist - quite the opposite, it is a self-styled White Saviour who wants to replace normal liberalism with ultra-high-sensitivity.

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White Chicks (2004)

White Chicks (2004) Kevin Copeland (Shawn Wayans - ) and his brother Marcus (Marlon Wayans - ) are FBI Agents, good at two things. They are masters of disguise ... and they work cowboy operations without backup. Their boss, Chief Elliot Gordon (Frankie Faison - Silence Of The Lambs ), is unhappy with the trouble that they bring. As a result he gives the best cases to their rivals, Agent Jake Herper (Lochlyn Munro - Freddy Vs Jason ) and his partner.

A kidnap threat has been made against the Wilson sisters, Tiffany ( Anne Dudek ) and Brittany ( Maitland Ward ) - clear stand-ins for the real-life Hilton sisters. Through a comedy of errors, the Copeland brothers end up going undercover disguised as the sisters. They stay in a five-star hotel and attend a series of events run by Warren Vandergeld (John Heard - Cat People ), whose daughters Heather ( Jaime King ) and Megan ( Brittany Daniel ) are the resident Mean Girls. Luckily, the Wilson Sisters/Copeland Brothers have their own girl posse - Karen ( Busy Phillips ) and Lisa ( Jennifer Carpenter ).

In a subplot taken from Some Like It Hot, one of the brothers has a heteronormative love interest who is infactuated with the brother's affected persona. Instead of the old Admiral it is a sports star named Latrell Spencer (Terry Crews - ). This is ironic casting, because Crews was later a victim in the #MeToo scandals. As a result the scene which starts as gay panic and ends with a male-on-male rape joke seems to have aged badly, to say the least.

Keenen Ivory Wayans delivers a film that owes a lot to certain tropes that were most recently shown in Big Moma's House. The humour is a bit crude at times, perhaps reflective of the African-American sensibility that everything and everyone is fair game because it is always a case of punching up.

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You Don't Mess With The Zohan (2008)

You Don't Mess With The Zohan (2008) Zohan Dvir (Adam Sandler - Little Nicky ) is the best soldier in the Israeli Special Forces. His ability to do wire-fu stunts is clearly a superhuman ability. The only one who can match him is his arch-enemy, the Phantom (John Turturo - Transformers ). And as a result, Zohan is sent off on a mission to hunt down the Phantom.

Zohan fakes his death, and moves to New York City under a fake identity. His dream is to be a world-class hair stylist. Unfortunately the American stylists do not have much faith in his abilities. Luckily Palestinian barber's shop owner Emanuelle Chiqui does ...

Unfortunately, the Zohan has not escaped his past. Not only is New York the largest Jewish city on Earth, but it also has a large population of Arabs. As the movie points out, there is a tradition for the city to play home to refugees and migrants who want to chase the American Dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. One of them (Rob Schneider - Judge Dredd ) recognises Zohan. Worse, the Phantom himself has also retired to New York - to follow his own dream, cooking in a kebab shop.

This is a parody of action movies, but as a modern-day comedy it needs a happy ending. So the super-powered antagonists discover they have a lot in common, and end up working together against a common foe.

Despite the problematic nature of the subject - the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is central to the storyline - the only real issue the media found controversial was White-washing. Few if any of the actors in this are actually Israeli or Palestinian!

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Soon

Soon

  • 2000
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