Friday, November 27, 2015

Movie Review: "Bulletproof" (1996)

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Director: Ernest R. Dickerson
Year: 1996
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 24 minutes

Moses (Adam Sandler) and Keats (Damon Wayans) are best friends and thick as thieves, especially since they are thieves. When Moses tries to bring Keats in as a drug mule, it turns out Keats is actually an undercover cop trying to bust Moses's boss Colton (James Caan). When the bust goes bad, in the chaos, Moses accidentally shoots Keats in the head. Keats recovers, but obviously holds a grudge, and now years later, Moses has agreed to testify against Colton provided Keats is the one who brings him in. Colton will stop at nothing to make sure that doesn't happen.

When you heard the name "Adam Sandler," what do you think of? Probably not action. "Bulletproof" is an action buddy comedy starring Damon Wayans as an undercover cop that goes by the name of Keats, and Adam Sandler as a career criminal named Moses. Both Sandler and Wayans are veterans of sketch comedy, Sandler having been on "SNL" and Wayans with experience in both "SNL" and "In Living Color." This film came out pretty early in Sandler's film career while his star was still rising and shining bright. Damon Wayans, however, quickly declined post-"Bulletproof" and it marked the start of a large, long lull in his career. The plot of this film is simple and has been seen many times before. Partners in crime have a falling out because one of them turns out to be a cop and was trying to get to his partner's big boss, this time named Colton, played by perpetual bad guy James Caan. Eventually, Moses agrees to testify against Colton under the condition that Keats be the one to bring him in, but Keats is still holding a grudge from when Moses shot him in the head. Because you know, shit happens! With these movies about transporting witnesses, whether they be action, comedy, or both, you always have to wonder who is on the big boss' payroll, and we should never trust anyone as the audience. We never know who might be leaking Colton information so he can bump off that witness, and "Bulletproof" follows this very similar plot line. Much of the comedy in this film, like most in its genre, comes from the two main protagonists bickering back and forth with each other, saying what they'll do or how they'll hurt each other if they ever get the chance, until they eventually come to some mutual understanding. This type of comedy relies entirely on the strength of its two lead actors, how believable their relationship is, and how well they play off one another. Sandler and Wayans do a rather serviceable job at this, though neither of them is super fantastic in their part. There are some definite laughs to be had with the occasional moment of intense action, there is a lot of stupid and expected dialogue that makes this film rather tedious. Overall "Bulletproof" is just another mediocre "buddy cop" type of movie with many flat stretches of boringness. There are much better movies in this genre and better flicks starring both of these actors...well, at least from Adam Sandler, which is not something we ever thought we'd say.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 8%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "How to Train Your Dragon"

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