"Black Moon Rising" Movie Review
John Carpenter's Black Moon Rising is one of those 80's science fiction movies that time forgot.
And rightfully so.
First of all, Black Moon Rising only qualifies as "science fiction" by virtue of the fact that a very very fast car is central to the plot. (The film is chock-full of scenes which are intended to convince you that the car is really fast. One might think that if the audience requires this much convincing, then maybe a few more dollars should be spent on the special effects.) In truth, the car itself is almost wholly inconsequential. It's a McGuffin, which means that the very very fast car could easily be replaced by a water buffalo, and the script would remain intact.
Black Moon Rising stars Tommy Lee Jones as a government spy with a wardrobe that seemingly consists solely of a Members Only jacket, a t-shirt, and a pair alarmingly snug jeans. Tommy steals a widget which apparently holds many secrets (presumably some kind of data tape) and, when cornered at a gas station, tucks the widget onto a refuelling flatbed truck which is carrying SuperCar.
Now let's think about this for a minute. You're a governmental spy. You steal a widget. You think you're about to be caught, so you decide to hide the widget. In your immediate area are any number of static objects (gas pumps, etc.) and one dynamic object (flatbed truck). Why, for the love of all that's holy, would you hide the widget in someone else's car? It boggles the mind.
So anyway, it only stands to reason that eventually Tommy has to track down the water buffalo and retrieve his hidden widget. Here he runs headlong into Linda Hamilton, who is trying to steal the water buffalo and turn it over to Robert Vaughn, who (as near as I was able to ascertain) is her car theft pimp. Tommy is lured into Linda's arms, perhaps because he can't stop staring at her gigantic fluffy hairdo which defies all known scientific principles.
Linda's whopping huge hair is matched only by her outfit, which runs to blouses with big shoulder pads, acid-washed jeans, and calf-length high-heeled boots. I'm sure you remember the look. In fact, it persists at suburban shopping malls and other places where time has ceased to exist.
So Tommy and Linda fall in love, and roll around in bed for a while (accompanied by that traditional Carpen-Score, naturally) and then they decide to collaborate and steal the water buffalo together. Isn't that touching?
No, I didn't think so, either.
So they come up with this screwball scheme to break into the building where the water buffalo is being held (a scheme which requires nearly as many gadgets as a James Bond movie). After a lot of crawling and whispering and shooting guards, they take an elevator up to the 50th floor or something, and this is where the SuperCar is being stored.
Why would someone store a SuperCar on the 50th floor of an office building?
In order to stage the final stunt, that's why.
The funny thing about this stunt is that it's the opposite of "you have to see it to believe it." In other words, if I tell you that Tommy and Linda drive the SuperCar through the window of one office building, across the gap to the twin tower, and into the second office building, you might almost believe it. "Well," you might think, "I can kind of see that, I guess."
But when you actually see them performing this stunt, you absolutely don't believe it. Maybe if the second building was shorter than the first, and all they had to do was land on the roof, THEN it might be remotely believable. But if the laws of physics don't apply to Linda Hamilton's hairdo, then I guess we shouldn't carp about the laws of physics not applying to the stunts, either.
Summary: Classic 80's cheese
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