Saturday, June 1, 2013

We all have to start somewhere....

Hangmen (1987)
Hangmen Starring: Rick Washburne, Keith Bogard, Jake Lamotta, and Sandra Bullock
Director: J. Christian Ingvordson

When renegade CIA operatives target a government agent (Washburne), his teenage son (Bogard) and his son's girlfriend (Bullock), they find their violent tendencies are exceeded only by the Vietnam veterans who rally to defend their old war-comrade.

"Hangmen" is bad on every level. Bad photography (marked by waaay too many extreme close-ups and dull long shots); lame action scenes that rely on slow motion and lots of blood-spurting squibs (and which illustrate the importance of the foley artist and sound effects t in movie making); a script so nonsensical that even the filmmakers couldn't keep track of what was supposed to be going on from one scene to the next (it's rare to see a movie so totally free of continuity control); and dialogue that was exceeded in its horribleness only by the acting of those delivering it.

This movie's remarkable for having a plot that is less interesting than most 1st-person shooters, and a bodycount that is compreble to them. It's also a landmark film in that never have such a concentration of inept renegade CIA agents been assembled in one movie for the purpose of killing people for no real reason while pointlessly disguised as New York City cops, ambulance drivers, or firemen. Finally, the film is also noteworthy for featuring a young Sandra Bullock as the hapless girlfriend of our hero-by-happenstance. While she is by far the best actor featured, her performance either illustrates that the director of the film was the George Lucas of his day (he could coax a bad performance out of anyone), or that acting is like any craft... the more you practice, the better you get.

(Note to Bullock fans: One DVD editions of "Hangmen" has her as the only actor featured on the cover, and it gives her top billing. Don't be fooled. She is a supporting actress here, with an important but small role.)

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