Thursday, October 9, 2014

Who makes these things?

I have no problem wasting an entire day watching the terrible films that I loved in my youth, except for the vague, greasy feeling of guilt that clings to me for spending two hours on terrible films when I should have been playing with my puppy.

Luckily I avoided that feeling last weekend - the puppy sat on the couch with me and happily chewed on my hands while I spent a twelfth of my day wondering who was behind the idea of Die Hard With Kids and how I could give them money to make more of these wretched movies.

1997's Masterminds is the specific particular specimen of this crap genre that I watched on Saturday morning, but I know that Corey Haim and Sean Astin were in two separate kid-fights-terrorists-who-have-taken-over-the-school movies, and Sky High is basically the same movie with capes. Someone please make lots more of these movies or never make one again because I have an obsession with them that is bordering on creepy. Or at least it seems that way since I'm an adult; when I was a little girl I'm sure I was supposed to swoon over Vincent Kartheiser's bad-boy antics (and I did) but now I just want to yell at him for being a shitty hacker (as in he "hacks" badly, not as in all hacking is bad). I first saw this idiotic flick over the summer with my daycare group and at 10 I thought it was the coolest thing ever, but I was exactly the audience the filmmakers were aiming at. Grownups will get something altogether different out of the experience: the kind of pure comedy that can only be felt by people who lived through the nineties and remember how objectively ludicrous they were.

Probably the most hilarious part of the whole silly mess is Patrick Stewart not giving one single shit as the suave, mustachioed bad guy who takes down a private school while posing as a security expert. He's over-the-top and hammy and clearly just in it for the paycheck - his performance is nearly unwatchable but is saved by the fact that you can tell he's having fun with it. Bradley Whitford is in the movie too and tries to play it straight all while wearing some poor costume designer's idea of a hip millionaire's suit, which translates to lapel-less and beige with a tee shirt underneath (the nineties where so silly you guys, just ridiculous).

Masterminds is a stupid film made for a stupid audience. But for all of that it's still fun - there are plenty of explosions and idiotic one-liners, an ATV chase in some sewer tunnels, and a nonsensical plot that you can safely ignore. I'll probably be happy to watch it again in about ten years but there's no need to revisit it with any frequency.

     - Alli

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