Tuesday, July 15, 2008

DJG / Thelma & Louise

Thelma & Louise * * *

By Danny J. Gibson

It’s disappointing when a four (out of five) star film runs out of gas, dumbing itself down in the end to a cheesy parody of, well, itself…and eventually slipping into the historical film trash heap of “could have been something great”. To me, this is “Thelma & Louise”

I’ve waited since the tender age of twelve to see Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon take the wheels and mark their names on the women’s lib. highway of bra burning (i must say, I really dislike the term “women’s lib”). Well, not really, but it sounds good. Growing up there was a dangerous force field surrounding this film (I never really knew why) and thus, I wanted to (maybe?) grow up a bit by watching it. Maybe it’s the controversial ending (though, I found it a great way to end the film…yet Ridley Scott totally made me not care about T & L by the end, turning his film into a cheesy Britney-Lindsay-Paris-Nicole girl flick as they kissed, held hands and paused into the blue Southwestern sky), and maybe it’s the dangerous ideas it flirts and showcases?

The film really was great for a while and then just seemed to change filmmaking hands. I wish there was a way to get the rights to edit this film to my liking. I would change the music completely (which dates the film, not in a good way, and almost gives it an ‘80s AhhhNald!, “Get to the chopper!” action quality to it). And of course I’d give it my own “DJG Viewer’s Cut” and trim it a good twenty minutes…in particular the last of it. It seemed the executives in charge needed an excuse to toss in an explosion for the dudes watching (ridiculous scene where T & L show a perverted, womanizing trucker who the bosses are as they blow up his oil tanker), and give an African American screen time, though dumbing it to the core as the dread-locked bicyclist blows reefer smoke into a gun hole/air hole in the trunk of a car that T & L locked an over-the-top-acting pathetic cop in. It was like something outrageous out of a National Lampoon’s flick or “American Pie”. And of course the total cheese of words and actions exchanged with the investigators at the very end…come on Harvey Keitel…though, you were still Harvey Keitel playing a cop to me, you and your buddies lost all of the nice little comedic subtleties I really adored throughout the film that you shared with Thelma’s no-good, but over-the-top-acting funny husband.

The last few dumbed-down scenes at the end ruined all the great things about the film for me. The exchange of acting between (Geena Davis & Susan Sarandon) Thelma and Louise was great (both Oscar nominees for this). I loved their transformations and the little things that made you want to travel with them…the things that J.D. was attracted to (well, actually he wanted and got more than that! Use your imagination…). Oh, Brad Pitt’s debut can’t go unnoticed here. If this were my first knowledge of the Prince of Paparazzi Prints, I’d say he had all the making for a mega-star…and this is the film that made him the “Sexiest Man Alive”. It’s cheesy for me to say all this, but the perfect role fell into his lap to play the thievin’, nice guy, good-lookin’, good ol’ boy J.D. He certainly seemed like somebody I went to high school with. And I could just feel the heat he must have radiated on all the young girls when they first had their eyes melted by his good looks, tight butt and ripped abs in the film and in the glossy pages of their Seventeen magazines. Hey Brad! Ice down that “six pack” to cool down the blaze you’re radiating.

Anyway…fooey. I can’t get those two hours back. Maybe I WILL make my own cut of the film for the little things I liked about it.


No comments: