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Hurrah – it’s the Funny Farm’s return to the movie adaptations of EL James’s super-unsexy trilogy (I’ve never read more than one page – as the grammar alone was painful enough!).

Before the screening there’s a warning that this movie contains “Strong Sex” (I prefer the weak sort at my age), despite the film being relatively tame (presumably it’s called “Fifty Shades Darker” in a nod to the Bristol Stool Scale because there’s slightly more bumming in it). A more appropriate warning for cinema-goers would be that this film contains “Stupid Dialogue” or “Literally NO DRAMATIC tension whatsoever” (even when there’s a hint of a helicopter crash, rather than grip the edge of our seats, me and my comrades merrily chortle “Oh no! His choppers going down!”) , but most of the audience (apart from the poor two guys who gamely allowed themselves to be dragged out by their missuses) clearly know this and just want to know if you see his willy.

We start with a silly backstory shot of young Christian hiding from a shouty man who holds a cigaratte ominously. Because you’re not allowed to explore the niceties (or nasties) of BDSM without having been abused as a child.

Anastasia (Dakota Johnson kooking it up endearingly again) is still biting her lip and wobbling around like a toddler, even though she’s somehow (as a recent graduate in a humanities subject) acquired an amazing flat without an annoying slutty friend in – AND landed a “Dream Job” working for sex-pest publishing editor Jack (a Frank Sinatra lookalike with a tiny button nose), attracting envious looks from her fellow assistant Hannah the world’s slowest pretend typist, and getting gold stars from the older hacky faced improbable HR woman (all older women in the EL James world are weird and hacky faced). Clearly she’s moved on from her stalky spanky ex, as demonstrated by a credits scene where she tries to bin a massive bunch of flowers from him (with a good luck note on a business card – the romance!) in a tiny bin!

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The bin is smaller than her head. Really.

How come this clueless, spatially unaware woman is employed anywhere? Well not that clueless – as at least she’s given psycho Grey the heave-ho.

But wait. Ana goes to cute pal José’s incredibly sinister photography exhibition full of close-ups of Ana wearing a big jumper (in the world of EL James EVERY man is a stalky weirdo), which a mysterious stranger snaps up. Mysterious my butt plug – Christian’s back in town (Jamie Dornan texting in his performance) wearing his strange baby-with-wind smile that passes for enigmatic facial expression.

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Definitely wind. Just give him a pat on the back love. Oh sorry you’re not allowed to.

And it’s not long before Ana’s joined him for dinner to “reconsider the terms” (shudder) of their relationship, and is agreeing to be his proper girlfriend as long as it’s all vanilla (which she demonstrates by dragging the poor sod round the supermarket for Vanilla ice-cream) and cuddly with none of that nasty “ouch my bottom” spanky shenanigans.

Of course it doesn’t take long until she’s yelling “SPANK ME! SPANK ME MORE!”, despite having witnessed his cack-handed ineptitude whilst chopping a bell (snigger) pepper (Literally every one in the cinema is hoping he will chop a cucumber at this point, but sadly the opportunity is missed and they just have a soft focus gaspy shag instead whereupon Christian bizarrely insists on transferring £24,000 into Ana’s bank account for her missing time off work and does some blatant product placement by buying her an iphone and matching macbook – all the better to stalk her on). But there’s a shadow threatening their new found bliss, and where Sam and Frodo have Gollum, Ana finds she has acquired a non-male stalker for a change in the shape of what appears to be a 12 year old skaghead in a tatty parka with bandages round her wrists. Who can it be?

 

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Woohoo! Ana’s sex pest boss invites her to a business trip to New York (much to Christian’s chagrin) and forces her to socialise after work because he has no friends. Ana’s just about to down the pint he’s bought her when Christian shows up all possessive, buys the company in a not at all control-freaky move and whisks Ana off for a fingering to orgasm in a lift (I keep hoping for a fart noise to add a touch of class to proceedings) followed by what she describes (appallingly for someone with a literature degree) as “Kinky Fuckery”. He reveals that her stalker in a parka is is his ex “sub” Leila who, after he dumped her for wanting human interaction (warning bells much) got married only for her husband to cark it and her to have a mental breakdown for being not only the unluckiest bitch in christendom but for having the worst most reductive role in a film for quite some time.

Christian invites Ana to a charity ball at his hacky faced mums and drags her to the hairdressers to sort herself the fuck out – but who’s this hacky faced older woman running the salon?

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Why it’s Elena, the “Mrs Robinson” who seduced Christian into a life of sex devices by sticking remote controls and bicycle pumps up his arse at a tender age or something and is now his business partner. Played by Kim Basinger in what I’d like to think is a nod to 1980s emotionally retarded shagfest from back when Mickey Rourke had a face “9 and a half weeks”, Elena spends most of the film doing sideways looks and wobbling any facial features the botox will allow to move. Ana rightly flounces off at Christian’s complete and utter tactlessness and he has to hire a gay Latino coiffure and buy her drawerloads of designer undies and rails of posh frocks to get back in her good books enough to convince her to go to the ball, put on a sexy basque and let him shove silvery love eggs up her mimsy (“They’re not going up my butt” she worries sensibly, “They’re not for your butt” he explains reassuringly).

Clanking metallically around the ball like a human pool table, Ana’s told all about Christian’s bad boy past by annoying sister Rita Ora before she bids all her £24,000 whore money on the charity auction. Christian gets all hot and drags he to his scarily preserved childhood bedroom where he whips out her balls and off her dress (for some reason her basque has disappeared up her arse crack at this point) and they do yet more soft focus gaspy sex. Ana finds a picture of what could be another ex girlfriend but turns out to be his crackhead suicide mom. Oh oh! Elena shows up, face akimbo and warns her to split up with Christian. There’s yet another flounce – this time back to Christian’s where Ana’s car has been vandalised and rather than deal with it normally Christian insists she comes for a few days sailing montage on his big, shiny yacht. Ana’s still stroppy that Christian won’t let her touch him, so he uses her lipstick to thoughtfully draw out his boundaries which seem to just be his chest – which has also suddenly been pock marked with what look like ages old cigarette burns that weren’t there in the previous film. Ana of course doesn’t notice these, so ludicrously grateful is she that his hairy man eggs aren’t in the no-go zone.

Thanks to Christian being an utter arsehat Ana has to cry off her trip to New York with SexPest boss who promptly tries to lock her in the office and sex her up until Ana punches him in the face and kicks him in the nads (best bit of the film) and runs out into the waiting arms of Christian, who promptly sacks the SexPest. Now who will represent “New Fiction” at the publishers meeting. Why Ana of course, and of course we need to see the entirety of the incredibly dull meeting in order to understand how much she is actually supposed to know her shit. She impresses the kindly greying Lord High Poo Bar of the publishers so much with her ability to have breasts and express opinions about new fiction choices that he gives her the SexPests old job allowing her to recreate an entire scene from “Working Girl” (another 1980s film which Dakota’s mum Melanie Griffiths starred in) with Hannah the slow pretend typist assistant.

Somehow Ana has got over her misgivings about Christian completely controlling her life and agrees to move in with him, popping back to her apartment for a toothpaste and her mooncup or something. Typically Leila the Stalker in the Parka pops up behind Ana with a gun and a crazy twitch, but fortunately she’s the worst shot ever, giving time for Christian to rescue Ana with his domination skills. As Leila drops to the floor muttering “Master” and eyeing up Christian’s crotch like it’s her precious, Ana realises her boyfriend might not be such a catch after all and rushes off into Seattle to sulk about in a duffel coat.

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When she returns Christian is incandescent and reveals that he isn’t just a dominant, but a sadist who wants to punish women who look like his dead crack whore mom, including Ana. He explains that he can only be happy causing women pain by doing terrible awful things like leaving dirty underwear on the floor, the toilet seat up and snapping nipple clamps on their fingers. Rather than get the hump for being compared to a dead crack whore, Ana finally notices the cigarette burns on Christian that are meant to have been there since childhood but have suddenly popped up for the purpose of this plot. He kneels before her, presumably turning all sub, but Ana still fails to slip on a strap on and instead slips into bed with him for even more soft focus gaspy nooky. During the night, following another fag burning abuse nightmare Christian asks Ana to marry him. Poor Ana’s not sure if he just yelled it out during an attack of the sleep horrors (as you do). The next morning she finds him in his Pain Room, I mean gym, where he reveals that he really does want to make her his property I mean wife, whilst showing off doing sexy muscle bound poses on his pommel horse. Who could say no? Ana says she’ll think about it.

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Yeah ok some people might have finished thinking about it by now.

Annoying sister Rita Ora lets slip it’s Christian’s birthday coming up and Ana starts to wonder again what sort of man she’s moving in with. She rushes back to his place to find yet another hacky faced older woman (Yeah sure it’s his housekeeper) and wonders into his Aberdeen Angus Steakhouse of Pain, demanding that he does her with his implements.

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Same thing innit?

He agrees but takes her and the sex front axle to his bedroom for what ends up being yet more vanilla soft focus shagging. A gaspy, grateful Ana presents Christian a mysterious gift from a street vendor and makes him promise not to open it until his birthday. But oh no he may not reach his birthday as during a last minute business trip he goes on with his female assistant because HE’S ALLOWED to do shit like this without Ana having a meltdown the aforementioned chopper goes a little bit on fire and it’s all over the news like they’d have space for a story like this nowadays when there’s foreigners to be afraid of. Christian’s ENTIRE family show up awkwardly including his Shaggy from Scooby Doo drug dealer brother and Ana’s slutty friend. Christian turns up looking photogenically scuffed and the family shuffle back awkwardly into the lift leaving Ana to reveal that her birthday present is a key-ring with the word “Yes” on the back. Cheap bitch!

Christian can’t wait to announce his engagement to Ana at his birthday party and somebody has managed to invite Elena who pulls faces so hacky before calling Ana a proper slag who can’t do proper kinky sex like what she can. Ana wastes a perfectly good drink on her, before Christian’s mum slaps her round the chops and orders her to “Get Aht of Mah Mansion!” and Christian tells her to get lost as he doesn’t want to be her sex toy business partner anymore. And everything ends happily with Christian stage managing his proposal to Ana so it coincides with his birthday fireworks. Ana’s ex sexpest boss, driven stark staring mental by her rejection and the loss of his job is STILL bloody stalking her. Fin. Thank Flip!

The original film, directed by Sam Taylor Wood, seemed to play on it’s camp awfulness, but James Foley’s sequel achieves bad US soap opera levels of dullness by taking itself just that touch more seriously.

Comfortingly the cinema was nearly empty for this screening, so hopefully anybody who ever once thought this whole franchise was sexy or anything other than creepy and depressing has come to their senses and EL James will take her awful prose, dull unrealistic soft focus soft porn (the real porn being the aspirational lifestyle shots of course) and twisted Mills and Boon mentality towards relationships and stick them where the silver balls won’t rattle. 

But whatever turns you on. Preverts.

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There’s been a lot of fuss about the book (which I haven’t read. It was in our local pub once and I tried a paragraph but it was too painful) and the film – which really isn’t the sort of film I would ever go to see, but when asked by some colleagues I couldn’t resist doing the complete opposite to what all my saner instincts were telling me and all I can say is FINALLY I have found a film I don’t care when people talk over it in the cinema. Talk, shout “What the actual fuck!” repeatedly, crunch popcorn with your big bovine gob wide open, sneer, fart or cry all you like. It can only improve the cinematic experience in this case. Even the standard Colchester Odeon tosspot kicking the back of my chair gave my a brief moment of respite from the turgid, glossy, repetitive, lazy, wrong-headed dullness that makes up this overlong reworking of (spank-a-long-a) Pretty Woman. The most amusement to be had was with the adverts for durex sex-gel and “MAKE IT BIG” hair products beforehand (sadly we were unable to decipher any erotic connection to the “Seat cars” ads).

Meet Christian Grey in his massive walk in wardrobe neatly arranging his ties in many shades of grey in case we need the symbolism spanked into our brains that Christian isn’t like other men we then see him go for an early morning jog/seagull scare before going off to his very own building named after him to glower, pout and pretend to do business stuff. Yes ladies, isn’t he a swoony hunk of manhood and not at all a boring freak?!!!

On the opposite side of the spectrum to Christian is dipsy, blushing final year English Literature student Anastasia Steele (I’m sure that surname isn’t attempting to alert us to inner strength!) who lives in an artful boho designer travesty of a student house and is such a flakey naif that she hasn’t learned to comb her hair and wears a baggy Oxfam reject Laura Ashley floral blouse and cardy to the high powered student newspaper interview that her annoying slutty blonde housemate Kate (a third year journalism student but also with plenty of time to waste) feigns flu to get out of. Ana shows her inner steel (geddit?) by driving from humble Portland to shiny Seattle and finding a PARKING SPACE RIGHT OUTSIDE the “Grey Building” in the busy business district. Any of the flimsy spanky Mills & Boon storyline that hits in after this point I might have believed at a stretch but the film just died for me already.

Anyhow despite Ana falling over, garbling out insane none questions (apart from “Are you gay?”), trying to prove that under his cold formal exterior he has a heart because his company invests in farms in Africa (which of course he denies) and because he was adopted at age 4 (which he doesn’t want to talk about – the weirdo!), and like any good student failing to bring a pen so Christian has to give her one (hurr hurr) of his pencils for her to spend the remainder of the film thoughtfully sucking on like a thin leaden phallus, Christian sees something in this clumsy, kooky Zooey Deschanal mini-mi. “Ana” he growls manfully as the lift doors close. “Christian” she gasps, because somehow she has been captivated by this man who only seems to have two facial expressions “PISSED OFF” or “ATTEMPTING TO DO A VERY TINY AND THEREFORE COOL SMILE BUT ENDING UP LOOKING LIKE A BABY WITH WIND”.

Back in reality Ana works at the world’s homeliest hardware store where Christian rolls up not at all stalkily, but rather than saying he’s looking for a screw (or even “fork handles”) he purchases ropes, cable ties and two types of duct tape. Even Ana can’t resist the obvious “serial killer shopping list” gag (pun intended), and this is of course an hilarious in-joke as Jamie Dornan played a sexy emotionally retarded serial killer in “The Fall” before graduating to play a sexy emotionally retarded Mr Whippy. Ana goes out and gets pissed like a normal student, playfully phoning Christian from the bogs to tell him to go fuck himself before her much cuter and more normal photographer mate Jose (I would) makes a half assed pass at her and Christian not at all stalkily rolls up to punch out Jose and take a half comatose Ana back to his hotel room, remove all her puke stained clothes and wake her up with two blue tablets (which she of course takes). Sadly the cinema miss out on a dry cleaning tie-in offer to wash the puke stained clothes of people who go to see “Fifty Shades of Grey”.

Christian sets annoying housemate Kate up with his handy randy adoptive brother who looks like a drug dealer, before whisking Ana off to take a look at his chopper (parked on the roof of a building) which he flies her off to his Seattle pad in. It’s all muted colours and marble like he lives in a hotel lobby with display bedrooms attached (magnolia for the girls, grey of course for Christian’s room – which no woman ever gets to sleep in – I bet they don’t nudge wink eh – oh no he’s just too emotionally cold to share a bed, and he probably snores and farts too). He doesn’t have any books (not even bongo mags or a copy of “What Restraints” Monthly) or telly, just a sodding piano which he lurches towards to express how he’s a bad boy with a heart turned cold by secret inner pain repeatedly. He does this whole Captain Kirk “I find you strangely…fascinating” spiel, before introducing Ana hopefully to his “Playroom” (it IS funny when she asks if he keeps his X Box there), which he unlocks like he’s some SEX Bluebeard, making you think it must have something truly depraved in there – like a SEX rotovator armed with piston driven COCKS OF DEATH, but no his “red room of pain” (as it’s apparently playfully called in the book) merely resembles an Aberdeen Steak House (“I want to whip you till you spurt, but first how about a prawn cocktail starter?”) with Anne Summers accessories (aside from the SEX LECTURN at the front which he must use to torture women with boring lectures). Ana rather smartly wonders what him hitting her with sticks will give her. “Me” he replies matter of factly like he’s Billy Big Balls, rather than some uptight multibillionare with toned abs and dreamy eyes… oh ok I see his point.

He then reveals that he’s drawn up a creepy Sheldon Cooper-esque relationship contract so that she can agree in advance to no questions asked spanky bum fun on 4 predetermined days of the week. She explains that she doesn’t know what delights she can select or bar from his sado-menu as she’s never done the sex, and he immediately sensitively “rectifies” this by taking into his bedroom and giving her a good hard vanilla deflowering before popping out to bang out a few sensitive chords of “Lick My Love Pump” on the piano (inner pain blah blah) so they can do a Pretty Woman-esque piano stool then walking back to the bedroom shag (she seems to fit onto his knob like a lego piece throughout this film – good old impossible movie sex), whereupon he breaks his own rule and sleeps next to her. In the morning Christian’s mum drops in (as you do) meets Ana and seems horribly relieved her adoptive son isn’t gay. Ana wants Christian to do normal things like not beat her with sticks and maybe take her out for a pizza and a pint, but he doesn’t do those things because he was made into a submissive for 6 years by one of his mum’s friends when he was 15 (Yewtree alert!) and thinks it will be freeing for Ana (not so freeing that he agrees to let her at him with a strap on though) and promises if she becomes his submissive he will put her on a pedastal and spank her senseless over it. Unsurprisingly Ana decides she wants to go home. More surprisingly rather than hop back in the chopper he opts to drive her. Cue long awkward silences. He takes her for a walk in the woods on the way to convince her he’s all sensitive by not crushing small animals in front of her. Ana wisely opts to avoid any further serial killer comparisons by this stage.

There follows some more interminable texting and stalking and ludicrous gift giving (First edition Thomas Hardy novels from a man with no books in his own home? How um thoughtful!) whilst Ana dithers over whether to sign the fecking contract (which contains guidelines about eating healthily and not getting pissed so it can fuck right off already) and bites her lip lots more whilst searching google images for stuff like “Anal fisting” on the shiny new computer Christian buys her in between somehow passing her final exams in the same room as her annoying mate even though they’re studying different courses. Ana sends Christian a “nice knowing you” text (the little tease) whereupon he breaks into her flat in a not at all rapey way insisting that he remind her “how nice” by rubbing her with magic unmeltable ice and then flipping her over for a bumming. Obviously those little blue pills he gave Ana earlier contained long-lasting viagra and strong painkillers as for an almost virgin she dissolves into orgiastic gasps whatever he does to her from this point. “That was nice” she simpers post-bumming. My arse hurt more from over 2 hours on the Odeons “premiere” seats watching this pap than hers appeared to.

Ana’s mum Jennifer Ehle can’t make Ana’s graduation (cos we always hurt the people we love EH? EH?!) but Christian turns up and does a speech to all the female graduates (who end up wringing out their knickers until Ana tells them he’s gay) without the aid of his sex lecturn about how he really does care for the poor and starving because he has “known great hunger” (for food and not to stick spark plugs up impressionable college girls bottoms). As Christian allows himself to be introduced as Ana’s boyfriend and have a paparazzi photo of them together (him looking moody, her looking stunned) she agrees to get into his glider and go up to 3000 feet putting her life into this loony’s hands. Rather than make her take the controls as they plummet towards earth whilst screaming “YOU WANT SOME CONTROL IN THIS RELATIONSHIP – TRY THIS BITCH!” he drives the thing of course cos he is in charge. Not at all symbolic. He reveals that he’s had her VW Beetle towed so he can buy her a wanky red car then gives her a botty spanking for rolling her eyes (which she of course heartily enjoys) before he fucks off yet again because he doesn’t do intimacy. Oh FFS! Later Christian ups the crazy-making stakes by taking her home to meet his adoptive family who live in the world’s biggest house (somehow annoying flatmate is now moving in with his shaggy from Scooby Doo brother) then gets a sulk on when she announces she’s off to visit her mum in Georgia, dragging her round the vast grounds to whinge on about his crack whore mum and the terrible things he’s seen which he’s had frigging years to get over since being adopted by a hugely wealthy family the poor wee lambikin.

In Georgia, we’re continuing the theme of relationships featuring control and submission as Ana’s mum’s new fella moans about being horrifically forced to eat raw carrots and gazpacho soup. Ana gets a strop on when Christian hints he’s meeting the woman who made him a submissive (“She’s a friend!” hmmm) so she pops out to get pissed with mum, but Christian not at all stalkily texts her to reprimand her on her alcohol intake before showing up for no good reason. We then flit from posh building to flash vehicle (Christian Grey is like that bloody family from Thunderbirds) to tastefully shot pseudo S&M sex scenes repeatedly for the rest of the movie whilst Ana models a number of cute little dresses that get me more excited than anything else on offer. After going through the finer details of the contract in a business meeting lit like a Hong Kong brothel in Christian’s office, during which fembot minions bring them drinks as she blurts out lines like “What’s a butt plug?” and “Nipple clamps.. definitely not!” and he sweetens the deal by offering her one date night a week. Ana still needs more bloody time to think about the contract though, but this doesn’t stop him giving her the fly swat on the arse and ribs treatment in his Sex Aberdeen Angus Steak House of Pain. She comes like a fucking traction engine naturally. He gives her two safe words, “Yellow” and (for unbearable pain) “Red” (as in “Ouch stop that you bastard you’ve left red marks all over my mimsy!”).  One of the ladies in the cinema confides that she’s got one of the sex fly swats, so maybe it isn’t for the sort of pest control I assumed after all. Christian then gets to tie Ana down and do his devilish worst on Ana which involves tickling her with a peacock feather (as with the ice treatment earlier sexy hunk or no he’d have got a screamed “GERROFF!” and an accidental kicking trying anything like this on me) then a leather flogging device before strapping her from the ceiling and doing what in reality would be an unnecessarily fumbled and complicated series of switching from a bondage shag (“luckily” by this point Ana has got the pill from Christian’s “approved doctor” FFS!) to a bondage flogging, but is filmed to look as slick and seamless as a car commercial. We do get to see the top bit of Jamie Dornan’s knob at this point (one of the ladies with me said she saw a bollock – but then it was a bit blink and you miss it) – because this “deeply erotic” film is all about bums (his and hers) and norks (mainly hers). In terms of hardcore sex-yness, in reality it makes an episode of Peppa Pig look like Ai No Corrida. I joked about wearing a cast iron gusset in order to not embarrass myself watching the film with work colleagues, but despite all the robotic rumpo I’m almost saddened to report that there was nary a twitch of the bean throughout. You’d be better off flicking yourself off to Cash in the Attic. Not that I would know anything about that.

After heartily enjoying all these kinky shenanigans Ana is hit with an “is this all there is” moment (surely the stalking, the spankings, the control freakery and the fucking contract should have convinced her by now, but no!), and Christian affirms that he can’t do anything else because he’s “Fifty shades of fucked up” (is that even a colour? How does that phrase begin to make sense?). Ana gives it one last go because she’s an empirical soul and needs everything demonstrating physically to her to spell out in big letters why she’s not exactly on to a good thing. She wants him to show her all the pain he wants to cause her and he happily obliges by bending her over the SEX Ironing board in his playroom and giving her six of the best on the back with his SEX belt (Phew! My other half doesn’t own a belt, which is only potentially sexy in an “oops where’s my trousers?” way as he’s started to lose a bit of weight recently) . Despite pulling her sexy gasp face throughout this beating, and having no visible mark on her back, Ana is most definitely not amused and chooses to leave so he can never do this to her again. She returns his car keys (demanding payment for her sold car) and contract (but keeps the clothes and computer – nice one!) and heads for the lift. The lift door closes. “Ana” he gasps. “Christian” she responds. Fin. Thank feck for that!

It’s such a shame this cold, dull and rather cynical film was made, (clearly only to make millions of “mummy porn” dollars (judging by last night’s audience, with only two men who were clearly in a hostage situation on a double date, gaggles of Dornan-torso hungry women will flock to this chick flick-off) which will doubtless ensure the tie-ins are released to flop instantly), as it’s a waste of a decent director (it was beautifully shot) and cast (Dakota Johnson managed to somehow remain likeable despite her character veering from savvy student to clueless lovestruck bimbo and back again so often; I hope poor lovely Jennifer Ehle was really drunk to help her get through the experience). It says more about modern notions of success and gender roles than it does about bondage or controlling relationships. We did 9 and a half weeks back when Mickey Rourke was a cute real boy and had a real face 30 years ago, do we really need to go there again?

Even more of a shame to see how many screens this film was showing on when our screening was about half full and many thoroughly good independent films struggle to get distribution. It’s like watching another little bit of cinema die – and the only real money shot is happening off screen.

First published 31st January 2007 on http://www.myspace.com/wivenhoefunnyfarm/blog

This proved to be the most annoying film in a night’s viewing that included part of Van Helsing (which at least seems to know it’s shit). There will be spoilers.

Denzil Washington plays a quadraspazzed maverick cop, Lincoln (! Log?) , who’s pretty nifty in the old forensics department (or at least was until someone dropped a girder on him). Lincoln’s feeling suicidal down to the fact he could “become a vegetable” at any time due to weird jerky fits, and his Jewish doctor takes pity and promises to help him pop his clogs proper bo style when he gets back from a top secret doctors convention trip er somewhere. Angelina Jolie plays an uptight (closet lesbo) rookie with a partner whinier and clingier than Satan is to Saddam in the South Park movie. Ange endears herself to Washington by leaping in front of a train to protect vital evidence at a grisly murder scene. Knowing that big clodhopper police feet tend to churn up crimescenes (one wonders how the NYPD has managed to make any arrests in the 4 years since Denzil’s been out of action), Lincoln Log disregards boring things like employment law, police heirarchy, training and health and safety in order to get Angelina working for him so she can learn his mystical forensic ways and start to use the forceps. Cos Denzil’s busy lazing around in his techno-bed having spasms and getting bed baths from Queen Latifah, he hands Angelina the suitcase of power (even Quincy had one) and a wire down which he can bark instructions at her. This all starts fairly quickly as the killer is deliberately leaving clues for a top notch forensics expert to follow (just as well the police didn’t mess up that evidence or there’d have been no film). Victims are being dispatched in nasty ways at set deadlines, so if plod don’t solve the clues it’s ALL THEIR FAULT. It’s like saying that if I fail to complete a sudoko (surely a crossword for Rainman?) that someone will get their FACE STEAMED OFF or EATEN BY RATS due to my selfish ignorance. Lincoln Log starts making greater demands on the young rookie (is it just me or is demanding she cut the steamed woman’s hands off just to retrieve the handcuffs either over zealous or a little kinky?).

Due to the crap detective work allowing all these people to die, the clues have to get more and more remedial (a shaved rat and a cow bone for the rat victim in the old abbatoir) or bizarre (a book of matches for erm an attempted drowning, turn of the century newspapers, a picture that looks like it’s from a 19th century true crime book – which Lincoln IMMEDIATELY IDENTIFIES). We discover that Lincoln has a database of weird shit that he has collected, a fact that (could it be) the killer appears to be tapping into? Lincoln Log and Angelina develop a SPECIAL BOND OF MUTUAL RESPECT, which is challenged by Angelina’s real and official boss, a superbly twattish Michael Rooker. Ange nicks a load of files which prove that these gruesome murders with evidence scattered nearby have been going on for donkey’s years, and EVERY victim has had a bone removed with a trademark cut (don’t bother wondering about the psychopathology behind this – it won’t matter). As they’re flicking through the mutilated corpse photos, like most people do with holiday snaps, Lincoln spazzes out in pure pleasure, and Ange realises how vulnerable he really is and starts wondering if his knob still works.

Angelina checks out the nearest antiquarian bookshop where she is attended to by a creepy guy who looks a bit like Lembit Opik and despite his shifty mad eyes has NO RELEVANCE to the rest of the plot. The first book she instinctivly finds is a Victorian tome called “The Bone Collector” which details all the killings we have seen in the film thus far, and luckily enough there’s the actual description of the last killing (double drowning of old man who looks like Larry David and cutesy kid – GUESS who will live?). Ange, guided by Lincoln in her earpiece manages to find the hapless pair, and holds the little girl’s head above the water for about five minutes before belatedly remembering to do the same with her granddad. Larry David snuffs it, the kid starts coughing up half of the Hudson River (Ange: “It sounds like she’s gonna be OK”) and Ange starts snooping for more clues (although that was the last murder in the book). She finds a bit of antique tube map and part of a cop’s badge (“does that mean he’s going to kill a cop?”)  and on Lincoln’s advice goes to check out a disused tube station (DUR DU DURRR!), narrowly escaping the clutches of TwatCop who wants to arrest both her and Lincoln for being insufferably unprofessional arseholes. TwatCop therefore heads off to Lincoln’s pad, deciding that it’s easier to arrest someone who can’t actually move from the waist down (or easier to kill someone etc.? Hmmmm?).

Meanwhile in the tunnels of the abandoned tube station, Ange has annoyingly lost her signal, so is on her own. She sees a random number on a broken down tube train, that’s had all the dust removed, so must be a deliberate CLUE. She starts going through all the numbers in her head. One. Two. Three. OK a bit faster than that. Finally she realises it’s Lincoln’s badge number (justifying a sequence where she BRIEFLY GLANCED at his retirement award thingy with badge number). All Lincoln’s training has enabled her to recall silly long numbers and draw houses with lots of windows, and all of a sudden it’s OK to find interpersonal relationships “challenging”. This means the killer is going to kill Lincoln and wants Ange to know about it, which sets us up for a breathtaking finale doesn’t it?

Back at Lincoln’s apartment we see Twatcop approaching his door, and then Queen Latifah puts down her sponge and answers the door, a look of recognition on her face before she is stabbed all the way through with a mahoosive knife. Is Twatcop the killer? No, for as Queeny slides to the floor her body joins the erstwhile special cuntstable’s, his throat apparently sliced. Oh oh! As Lincoln calls for Queeny to come back and shine his balls, the killer lurks hackily in the shadows playing sinister musak on a casio keyboard, before revealing himself as……the Jewish doctor.

Let’s get to motive here. Yonks ago, it seems, Lincoln’s evidence OCD was set a tingling by a police doctor who had clearly been tampering with crime scene forensics. Without meeting said Doctor, Lincoln’s expert opinion was used to convict him to prison where he was the recipient of some particularly brutal bummings. Year’s later the doctor tracked Lincoln down, befriended him, offered to assist his euthenasia and then GAVE HIM A REASON to live by recreating gruesome murders (erm, for how long? What about those ones in the photographs earlier) – JUST SO he could then turn him into a “vegetable”, the thing he feared the most. Lincoln activates his techno-bed as the mentaldoctor tries to remove all his tubes and turn his central nervous system to cabbage puree, and the bed bites the mentaldoctor’s hand. Nice work techno-bed! Then, before mentaldoctor can get stabby with his “My first scalpel set”, Lincoln discovers that he can propel himself across the floor using BUTTOCK POWER alone, and bite half of mentaldoctor’s windpipe out. Of course mentaldoctor has to raise the knife in one last half-hearted murderous attempt so it looks good when Ange comes in and blows the crazy Dustin Hoffman lookie-likie away for good. So that’s all alright then, although Lincoln’s not looking too good following this somewhat holistic therapy session.

We fast forward a few months to a cop looking sadly at Lincoln’s empty techno-bed. Oh no! Phew he’s finally got up and is now in a natty wheelchair (the sort I’d imagine a paraplegic batman would have) – obviously in this film’s world being disabled isn’t too bad when you’re a fictional character with apparently limitless funds. All the Christmas deccies are up, Lincoln’s long lost rellies come to visit and Ange is wearing a nice frock and a fruity smile, as she fingers Lincoln’s ring finger hopefully. As if to stress that no matter how bleak life can get, if you work hard you can pull through, the strains of “Don’t Give Up” by Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel start playing. Now excuse me, what relevance does a 1980s track about unemployment and enforced economic migration have on this shitfest of a movie, or could it possibly have been BLUDGEONED in there to sound MEANINGFUL? It’s like they saved the loudest and most hateful “For Fuck sake” moment till last.

FOR FUCK SAKE RATING* : FFS FFS FFS FFS FFS

(*this is based on the actual number of “For Fuck sake”‘s I utter aloud throughout the film)

QUOTES THAT TELL YOU ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW:

“Do you know what happens to a cop in prison? You are brutalised every single day over and over… you become a human toilet.” – Mentaldoctor’s motivation

“What sort of vegetable do you want to be…a courgette?” – Mentaldoctor threatens Lincoln with multi-spazzing (I particularly like the fact he says “courgette” rather than “zucchini” in a blatent attempt to appeal to the British market)