Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Film Cemetery 

Case Study #6

Where we explore the more 
obscure movies that bombed

The Saint

Basically, Shue and Kilmer 
never worked again....

What does that tell you?

First things first. As I've stated before, the movies found in Film Cemetery didn't have to be a financial ruin or destroy careers, although some come damn close. 

Mainly these are films that were disappointing, and then quickly forgotten. The first one in this series, Cutthroat Island, did kill a studio...but that's kinda rare.

And now on to The Saint...

First off, though, I need to address the issue in the picture below. That's the pin Simon Templar would leave around because he was so cool, in the movie, as well as the TV show. 

But what is it supposed to be? A gay angel?

Secondly, I saw The Saint in the theater back in 1997 with very high expectations....although not for the reasons you might expect. 

Yes, I was looking forward to a new flick with Val Kilmer, and I was also a huge fan of Elisabeth Shue. She was still on fire from Leaving Las Vegas and a string of hits. 

Plus, she was smokin' hot.

Umm, can I get your number?

Kilmer, well, you never really knew what to expect from him, as his career was all over the place. I thought he was a good actor, though, and still do.

You handsome man, you

But what I really wanted to see was the new Volvo C70. Anyone out there that knows me is well aware that I'm a Volvo fan. I've had eleven so far, and back in '97 this car was very big deal. 

Well....to us Volvo guys and gals, at least. 

Volvo was keeping the unreleased C70 under wraps and the only way to get a decent look at their new flagship was to see this movie.

The car, of course, wasn't enough to save this film disaster, however.

Love me some Volvo

This James Bond wannebe was taken from a popular British 60s TV show, but it fell flat. And it could have been great, because the title character inspired Ian Fleming when he wrote James Bond.

Shue plays a scientist named Emma Russell, and she has a formula for a new free energy source. Kilmer plays a professional thief named Simon Templar, who has been hired to steal her cold fusion formula by a Russian oil billionaire - played by Rade Serbedzija, one of the films few bright spots. 

This man is seriously underutilized in Hollywood.

Rade...remember him from Harry Potter?

Templar steals the formula after sleeping with Emma, not knowing that it is incomplete. 

They hook back up and spend the rest of the movie running into and out of improbable situations. A lot, lot, lot of running. Through sewers, through suburbs, through crowds. 

You name it, and they run through it.

I need to stop here and explain that Templar is a master of disguise, but during the movie his disguises are so ridiculous they beggar belief. The look he uses to seduce Emma can only be described as 70s porn-star....and Kilmer's over-the-top acting doesn't help.

The plot of this movie is incomprehensible, and much of it relies on wild coincidence. Emma, by the way, has a heart condition. Templar can't bring himself to love anyone. Russian intrigue. A wonderful new power source. 

Put these things together correctly and you could possibly have a decent flick.

What we got instead was laughable. 

And I don't mean the good kind of ha-ha.

But that isn't this movie's only shortcoming. You see, until recently, James Bond films were very tongue-in-cheek....and for The Saint to succeed, it should have been played the same way. 

This mostly falls on Kilmer's shoulders, yet the director - Phillip Noyce - shares some of the blame. 

This movie needed to take itself way less seriously, but it didn't. Noyce, by the way, had a series of hit movies under his belt....and after The Saint? TV shows only.

FYI, there is a lot of running

Shue has been in only two big movies since The Saint

She had a small part in Hollow Man, a definite career-killer, and as a cop in Piranha 3D....which I guess is where she went to put a few more nails in her coffin. 

Shame, too, because I really liked her in Adventures In Babysitting.

As for Kilmer....sigh. 

Okay, this is what ticks me off - Kilmer has pissed away his talent. Plus, he can't pick scripts worth a shit, and after Red Planet, scripts aren't going to be picking him. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see him in Deja Vu back in 2004, but since then...nothing.

The Saint, it seems, was the beginning of the end for two talented actors and one director.

What TV remake 
have you enjoyed?


Elizabeth J. Neal said...

I need to address the issue in the picture below. That's the pin Simon Templar would leave around because he was so cool, in the movie, as well as the TV show. Used Cars Las Vegas NV

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