I think I can safely say, without fear of contradiction that
this is one of the most wretched movies of all time. It's not even good on a BAD level, like Billy the Kid versus
Dracula or any such schlock fest. It's just purely unwatchable. I've had
this thing lying around for about 3 years or so, and I have still yet to be
bored enough to actually allow it to play through without putting heavy pressure
on the fastforward button.
The plot itself is simple enough. The revolutionary war of America.
Then begins the intracacies of bad filmmaking:
- Bad casting- No, I take that back. Awful casting.
In fact, the person who decided that
Al Pacino would make a great early American guy who simply wants safety
for him and his son and is thrown into being a rebel should be shot on
site. Period. And Donald Sutherland as a British Officer, whose accent
sounds suspiciously more Scottish.Why?
- Here's a thought-When making a film, you hire this nifty guy
called a "film editor". His job is to look at all the film you
shoot, notice when things are or are not working, and snip and mix as
neccesary. Either this guy was taking a shoot-long nap or they couldn't
afford him. There are scenes in this film that take five minutes
to get through in fast forward.
Case in point: Pacino daringly rescues his son, whose
feet have been whipped by British troops. Indians take them to their camp,
where they cauterize his feet. Now. If there were say, a thirty second
scene of this- Pacino holds his already in pain son, they burn him, he
screams- we get the idea. It hurts. It sucks, wow, feel the empathy and
move on. Guess again. We get to go through this process (hold,
talk, scream, rock, wince) no less than four times. By the end of it,
you want to reach through the screen and chop the kids feet off.
Bad Dialogue-I should amend that and say "awful",
but let's just assume that's what I mean when I say "bad"- to
be kind. Pacino has the distinct tendency to make anything that comes
out of his mouth become "Scarface visits the Colonies". You
can't explain it, you can only watch the screen with a stupefied stare.
Revolution, which came out in 1985, was filmed (just FEEL the irony) entirely in England. Pardon me, but isn't this a film that
pretty much bashes the country at every turn? What better place to film it
than on the Queen's soil, what? Al Pacino plays Tom Dobb, whose kid, Ned,
is captured by the British and made to become a drummer boy.
"come, they told Ned, pa-rum-pum-pum-pum.
We'll kill an epic dead, pa-rum-pum-pum-pum.
We have some scenes to shoot, Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum
Let's waste the studio's loot, Pa-rum-pum-pum-pum"
So he saves him, and in so doing comes to believe in the Revolution
and fights for it's cause. Meanwhile, rebellious Daisy McConnahay (Natassja
Kinski) is fighting with her mom, who wants her daughters to court and marry
two english officers for station. One is gross, and the other one is Lord
Hampton (Richard). Sadly, I can't say that the powdered wig look is really
going well for him.
Anyway, Daisy stabs Hampton in the crotch with a British flag.
"Madam, your Daughters are whores!"
One interesting thing (from a Richard perspective- which by
the way is about the ONLY interesting thing about this movie- and then only
somewhat) is that Richard swears more in this role than I have heard him yet
to date. "Bitch" comes through quite frequently in his few lines
of dialogue. Sounds pretty cool, too, if you ask me. :-)
We next see Lord Hampton on a "fox hunt". But being
as they're in America (in the film, anyway) they can't seem to find any foxes,
so they hire Pacino and some other guy to run for them with this dummy. The
other guy runs away, which gives us another classic Pacino line (not) and
Hampton, the dogs and riders finally catch up to him, and cut him free after
proclaiming that the dummy is George Washington.
Our last Richard scene is a bit later in the film. Daisy McConnahay
visits the village where Tom and Ned are staying, and Hampton rides up behind
her and chops her. (which means dead, by the way) Another "B" word,
and no more Ritz bits.
And here's a few pictures and sound files to peruse:
(I offer this service as a goodwill gesture. The things on
this page are the only things of interest in this movie. For God's sake, don't
watch it. And don't blame me if you do.)