Friday, May 22, 2015

Mr. Nanny

Mr. Nanny is one hour and twenty-four minutes long.

That's the most important part of this review to keep in mind, because it took me four days to get through watching it.  I'd watch some, boggle at how terrible it is, and then have to stop because my brain was trying to invent new layers of ADD so I'd look at something, anything else.

Originally I planned on doing a scene by scene breakdown of it, like I did movies like Dead or Alive, Barb Wire, or Bangkok Adrenaline, but... I can't.  Those movies were at least ridiculous enough to be entertaining, while this one just feels like a group of "actors" got together and decided to do the minimal amount of work required to earn a paycheck.

When you manage to make a movie where I feel like even the cameras are bored, you know you've made a terrible movie.

Normally I'd just toss the DVD into my computer, rip some screenshots, and then post those, but I DON'T WANT IT PLAYING AGAIN.

It's pretty obvious what thought went into this movie.  "Kids like Hulk Hogan, they like Home Alone, and people still like Full House, right?"  And that's it.  That's all the thought that went in to this, because nothing else afterward makes any sense.

"Hey, why don't we get David Johansen to be the villain?"  "You mean Buster Poindexter?  The "Hot Hot Hot" guy?"  "Yeah!"  "Okay, sure, why not?  He was okay as the taxi driver in Scrooged.  Maybe we can sucker him into composing the music, too."

Pictured: The death of an enjoyable evening.
"Hey, some of our ideas came from sitcoms, right?  Let's get a sitcom star.  How about Sherman Hemsley?"  "Isn't he old?"  "Well, it'll be a bit part."

"Let's get child actress Madeline Zima to be the daughter."  "Why?"  "Well, you know that TV show X-Files that's coming out soon?"  "Yeah?"  "Well, it will have been out for a month before this movie premieres, and one day in the future people will think back and think "wow, they actually had Fox Mulder have sex with the girl from Mr. Nanny on this series on Showtime.""  "That's a pretty weird and specific reason to cast her."  "Do you have any better ideas?"  "Nope."

Good luck enjoying that scene in Californication again.
If you need me to explain the plot to you, you obviously weren't alive in the 90's.  A wrestler who's currently out of work (due to nightmares about wrestling, apparently) gets a bodyguard job from his agent.  Upon arrival at his new boss' place of business, you learn that this man has invented a special microchip for use in missiles, but his family is being threatened by a psychopath.  The wrestler's real role is to guard the man's kids, who are total hellions.  Over time, the wrestler learns to appreciate the kids, the kids learn to appreciate their new bodyguard and stop torturing/attempting to kill him, and then the bad guy strikes, kidnaps everybody, and the wrestler needs to save the day.

That's it.  You don't need to see the movie, because there's nothing else important that happens in it.

This movie fails on every conceivable level, and a few levels my brain has no knowledge about.  The acting is completely sub-par, the background music (when it even exists) is listless and doesn't do anything to build up tension or empathy with the characters.  The set design is lazy, the jokes fall flat so hard I'd describe them as the "crepes" of jokes, except then I've already put more effort into being funny than the movie did.

The children in the movie aren't lovable "struggling against outside forces" kids, they're monsters.  Their attacks on Hulk Hogan involve an electromagnet almost choking him by pulling a barbell down on his neck, electrocuting him in a bathroom ("It's only low voltage.  It can't kill him."  "Then crank it up!"), and numerous other "gags" that come across as simply being mean.

Bless him, Hulk Hogan tries.  I mean, I can tell he's doing his best, but his best just isn't very good.  He might be built like an action hero, but the movie spends so much time trying to provide wacky "antics" and stripping him of any and all masculinity that it's just embarrassing.  For proof, just look at the top image on this page.

There's also just basic rules of movie-making that the film fails to do anything with.  A regularly appearing gadget is an "electrified toilet seat" that the son is working on.  This winds up being something that Hulk Hogan brings along on his rescue mission because the kid hints that the microchip is in it to the bad guy.

Aside from being used as a thrown weapon to loop around someone's neck at one point, the toilet seat serves absolutely no purpose in the film.  It never electrocutes anybody.  They could just as easily have had a regular toilet seat with a patch of electrical tape on the bottom of it to let people think the chip was under the tape.

The dramatic moments are so poorly done they wind up being goofy (seeing Sherman Hemsley get shot in the leg shouldn't make me roll my eyes), the final resolution of the movie seems to be "okay, kids, it's all right to kill the bad guy as long as you use science that doesn't actually work in the real world," and even the characters are so inconsistently written that I could never tell if or when I was supposed to like the kids, the father, or even the chef, played by "Mother Love."

This movie hurt to watch again.  I still have really strong positive memories of Hulk Hogan from when I was young (I was only mildly interested in wrestling, but I got swept up in Hulkamania to the point where I didn't believe it when a kid on my bus told me he lost to the Undertaker), and while I know that his acting heights will never be up there with other wrestlers that successfully became reliable actors like Dwayne Johnson and... um.... Andre the Giant and... um... ...Roddy Piper, I guess?  Anyway, I know that nothing he's really done outside of wrestling has ever really been viewed as "great," but he was so charismatic in those days, I forgive a lot.

Which is good, because there's a lot in this movie that needs forgiving.  I forgive Hulk Hogan for it.  I don't forgive anybody else involved with it.

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