Monday, March 5, 2018

The Spy Who Slo Motion'd Me

Hypnosis may be the only way to reveal why I had 2000's Doomsdayer at the top of my Netflix queue, as I have absolutely no memory of hearing about it. Having been a Netflix DVD subscriber for 9 years or so (and yes, I remember my very first disc and it was Punisher: War Zone and really nothing has ever lived up to that moment), my list now runs a good 300+ films that aren't (yet) available via streaming. As a result of that plus beer, I simply can't be held accountable for my viewing choices at this point in life.

Quick Plot: An elite anti-terrorist organization called Protocol 23 is charged with constantly saving the world from power-hungry billionaires with spectacularly dressed henchmen. In this case, said billionaire is played by Udo Kier, and said henchman wears a spectacular red suit with a perfect bowtie.

Kier plays Max Gast, and if that's not enough for you, his wife Elizabeth is played by none other than Amazon action goddess Brigitte Nielsen. Oh, and when we first meet Max, he's smoothly poisoning his snooty investors in one of those movie-perfect corporate board meetings for daring to block his attempts at nuking the world.

Who can stop this blue-eyed tyrant? That'd be Logan, Jack Logan, a slick P23 agent not opposed to shagging his points of contact. In case you haven't guessed it by now, Doomsdayer is a sort of Asylum Studio adaptation of James Bond, only with more slow motion, less name actors, and a glaring lack of a theme song.

Let's get to the first point first: by my estimation, the original cut of Doomsdayer probably ran a brisk 37 minutes. Director Michael J. Sarna comes from a stunt background, and I'm guessing his respect for the craft led him to stretch every crash, fight, or reaction shot to its max, thus padding out the running time.

If one were to make a drinking game of how much slow motion was used in this film, one would be dead.

There are more shots of slow motion in Doomsdayer than there are white men in Congress.

There are more shots of slow motion in Doomsdayer than there are steroids in Russian locker rooms.

There are more shots of slow motion in Doomsdayer than there are chains in Chain Letter.

It is that kind of movie, and I am not complaining.

Our Q-esque character is introduced walking away from an explosion set off behind him without reacting (in slow motion, of course), because you know, that's how things work here. Max regularly has his minions tortured (aka "reassigned") but also displays genuine remorse for the millions of civilians he'll be nuking in the name of a new world. Even better, he truly loves Elizabeth and cares for his right hand man. It adds a nice layer of depth amid half-priced double entendres and martini jokes.

All of it...yes all of it, in complete slow motion.

High Points
Udo Kier is and has always been a gift to terrible movies, and that fact is no different here

Low Points
How great would a terrible attempt at a Bond-esque theme song been?

Lessons Learned
Never reveal how happy and content you are with your life and marriage out loud, unless being kidnapped and forced to build a doomsday device was on your list of things to do

Doomsdayer came to via Netflix's DVD queue, so it's probably not the easiest to track down. While I wouldn't recommend anyone other than slow motion fetishists invest much work into finding it, I certainly had a good time in a ridiculous, extremely slow motion way. 

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