Bulletproof (1996) Preview

“Welcome to Raccoon City!” exclaims, Lou, the head of the Raccoon City Apartment Complex Welcoming Committee (RCACWC). He smiles at both Jamie and Patrick and then frowns a little at Kyle. “Uh, is he OK? You look a little green around the gills.” Kyle shrugs and Jamie and Patrick explain that he’s just a little love sick. “No need to worry. It’s not some big time zombie virus.” At that they all laugh and laugh and laugh. “But seriously, Mr. Cash, we need a little help. We need a little adventure. We just sit around this apartment all day and our heads are spinning. Can the RCACWC help?” Lou Cash smirks, reminiscing about the last great adventure he had. “The year was 1998,” he begins and proceeds to launch into a very long story about his days on the police force and a time that he had to investigate an old rich person’s house. “Were there ghosts?” Jamie asks out of nowhere. “Uh, no,” Lou responds confused and Kyle yawns in disappointment. Reading the room, Lou speeds through the latter half of his story, “and so you see, adventure is what you make of it and perhaps… it’s been staring you in the face this whole time.” He smiles and waits expectedly. But Jamie, Patrick and Kyle are now in the mood for ghosts and are already plucking their copy of Ghost off the shelf. Perhaps the rare combination of Patrick Swayze’s guide to love and a high stakes thrill-a-minute money laundering plot line will solve all of their problems. Lou is left forgotten at the door. He throws his hands up in exasperation and pulls a gun out of his pocket. “He’s got a gun!” screams Jamie. They wanted adventure and now Lou Cash is delivering. That’s right! We are going back 25 years to pick up an early Adam Sandler. It’s an old school buddy cop(ish) storyline with a Sandler/Wayans flair. Let’s hope its just as offensive as I think it might be. Let’s go!

Bulletproof (1996) – BMeTric: 37.4; Notability: 40

StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 15.2%; Notability: top 17.2%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 3.3%; Higher BMeT: Barb Wire, Kazaam, Striptease, Bio-Dome, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, Ed, The Crow: City of Angels, Hellraiser: Bloodline, The Stupids, Mr. Wrong, Spy Hard, Poison Ivy II, Solo, The Glimmer Man, Eddie, D3: The Mighty Ducks, Maximum Risk, Jingle All the Way, Bordello of Blood, and 18 more; Higher Notability: Eraser, The Fan, Jingle All the Way, Spy Hard, Chain Reaction, Daylight, Mulholland Falls, Eddie, The Associate, Up Close & Personal, Dear God, Sgt. Bilko, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Eye for an Eye, The Crow: City of Angels, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Space Truckers, In Love and War, Larger Than Life, Joe’s Apartment, and 23 more; Lower RT: Big Bully, The Dentist, Ed, Ripe, Bio-Dome, Kazaam, Mr. Wrong, Spy Hard; Notes: I do like it when films remind me that IMDb did something in 2014 on the new year to make some films’ ratings jump a ridiculous degree. Anyways, you can tell we still have a ton of work to do on 1996 when we have Bio-Dome and Big Bully sitting on the table.

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  A racial inversion of 48HRS. without the redeeming craft. Undercover cop Wayans teams up with Sandler, the crook he’s trying to bust. Their fortunes and ambitions are unified – often acrimoniously – by a vindictive drug kingpin/car dealer played by a pitifully hammy Caan. Once great cinematographer Dickerson squanders his talent here directing a sociopathic mix of graphic violence and slapstick. A catastrophe of continuity to boot.

(First, I’ve never seen a review go so hard on continuity in a film. But “sociopathic mix of graphic violence and slapstick” is one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard. Honestly, I think a lot of action films these days are getting pretty close to that as well. Shoot someone in the face and sprinkle in some quips, boys.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfzAGAQvsz8/

(The guitar licks at the end!! It looks really terrible. Quips by Sandler, way too much punching, and just seems like a worse version of Midnight Run.)

DirectorsErnest R. Dickerson – ( Known For: Juice; Ambushed; Double Play; Blind Faith; Future BMT: Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight; Surviving the Game; Bones; BMT: Bulletproof; Never Die Alone; Notes: Worked as the cinematographer for Spike Lee for his early films, whom he bet at Howard University.)

WritersJoe Gayton – ( Known For: Faster; Uncommon Valor; Sweet Jane; Shout; Warm Summer Rain; BMT: Bulletproof; Notes: His brother is also a screenwriter, they both wrote on Hell on Wheels and have written a few movies together.)

Lewis Colick – ( Known For: October Sky; Unlawful Entry; Ladder 49; Ghosts of Mississippi; Beyond the Sea; The Dirt Bike Kid; Future BMT: Charlie St. Cloud; Judgment Night; Domestic Disturbance; BMT: Bulletproof; Notes: He wrote a ton of films in the 80s and 90s. His last film was in 2010, but he is attached to both the Flaming Hot Cheetos movie and the Chicken Soup for the Soul film.)

ActorsDamon Wayans – ( Known For: Last Action Hero; Beverly Hills Cop; The Last Boy Scout; Roxanne; Earth Girls Are Easy; Colors; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Bamboozled; Hollywood Shuffle; Punchline; The Great White Hype; Farce of the Penguins; Future BMT: Major Payne; Look Who’s Talking Too; Celtic Pride; Blankman; Mo’ Money; Marci X; BMT: Bulletproof; Notes: As part of In Living Color he was nominated for three Emmys. His family is filled with comedians including his three brothers and his son.)

Adam Sandler – ( Known For: Uncut Gems; Punch-Drunk Love; The Wedding Singer; Murder Mystery; Happy Gilmore; Billy Madison; Hotel Transylvania; 50 First Dates; Hubie Halloween; Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation; Anger Management; The Do-Over; Reign Over Me; Funny People; The Meyerowitz Stories; Hotel Transylvania 2; Spanglish; The Cobbler; The Week Of; Sandy Wexler; Future BMT: The Longest Yard; Eight Crazy Nights; Mixed Nuts; The Waterboy; Big Daddy; Click; Coneheads; You Don’t Mess with the Zohan; The Hot Chick; Mr. Deeds; Airheads; Men, Women & Children; The Animal; Bedtime Stories; Dirty Work; BMT: That’s My Boy; Grown Ups; Just Go with It; Grown Ups 2; Blended; Pixels; Little Nicky; The Ridiculous 6; Jack and Jill; Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; Zookeeper; Going Overboard; Bulletproof; Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor, Worst Actress, and Worst Screen Couple for Jack and Jill in 2012; Winner for Worst Actor in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Nominee for Worst Screenplay in 2000 for Big Daddy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2012 for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; and in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; Nominee for Worst Actor in 1997 for Bulletproof, and Happy Gilmore; in 1999 for The Waterboy; in 2001 for Little Nicky; in 2003 for Eight Crazy Nights, and Mr. Deeds; in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2014 for Grown Ups 2; in 2015 for Blended; in 2016 for Pixels, and The Cobbler; and in 2021 for Hubie Halloween; Nominee for Worst Screen Combo in 2016 for The Cobbler; and in 2021 for Hubie Halloween; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; in 2012 for Just Go with It; and in 2013 for That’s My Boy; Notes: Our 15th Sandler film for BMT and we have 15 to go … my god, he’s made so many. Someday Sandler, someday we will complete your filmography!)

James Caan – ( Known For: Elf; The Godfather; The Godfather: Part II; Misery; Santa’s Slay; A Bridge Too Far; Dick Tracy; Dogville; Queen Bees; Get Smart; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; 1941; Bottle Rocket; Detachment; Thief; El Dorado; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2; The Yards; Middle Men; The Tale of The Princess Kaguya; BMT: That’s My Boy; Eraser; Bulletproof; Notes: Played football for Michigan State and is the father of Scott Caan. Was apparently on the professional rodeo circuit for nine years.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $21,576,954 (Worldwide: $22,611,954)

(That seems okay for 1998. You’d want more, but that doesn’t seem too catastrophic as Sandler at the time must have been relatively cheap.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 8% (3/39): In addition to its ability to deflect gunfire, Bulletproof proves sadly impervious to humor, logic, or worthwhile viewing.

(Shots fired. That seems to be the general gist of things. That it is just a preposterous story with negative laughs.)

Reviewer Highlight: The film’s action elements are so preposterous that the sequence of events seems almost improvised. – Stephen Holden, New York Times

Poster – Bulletproof to the Head

(Classic poster. I can even imagine walking by it in the hallway of a theater. That’s mostly what it has going for it cause the color scheme is nonexistent and the font boring. I think the framing is the most interesting aspect. Looking down that long desert highway. C.)

Tagline(s) – Tough cop. Hostile witness. (C-)

(Yeah and? I’m not sure if this is a play on something and I’m missing it? Just seems like they are pointing out that one is a tough cop and the other is a hostile witness, which is indeed the plot of the film. Doesn’t offend my senses though.)

Keyword(s) – undercover-cop

Top 10: Baby Driver (2017), Spiral (2021), 21 Jump Street (2012), The Whole Nine Yards (2000), Sin City (2005), Memento (2000), Batman Begins (2005), Reservoir Dogs (1992), The Fast and the Furious (2001), Bad Boys for Life (2020)

Future BMT: 59.8 The Mod Squad (1999), 54.2 Spiral (2021), 49.3 Showtime (2002), 46.9 Cop Out (2010), 45.3 Tomcats (2001), 41.5 Boiling Point (1993), 41.0 Brick Mansions (2014), 38.1 Fled (1996), 37.7 Action Jackson (1988), 36.5 Death Warrant (1990)

BMT: The Fast and the Furious (2001), Fast & Furious (2009), Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), Gangster Squad (2013), Ride Along (2014), Hard to Kill (1990), Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), Exit to Eden (1994), Exit Wounds (2001), Ride Along 2 (2016), Stone Cold (1991), Bulletproof (1996), No Mercy (1986)

Matches: Reservoir Dogs (1992), The Fast and the Furious (2001), Fast & Furious (2009), City of Lies (2018), Street Kings (2008), A Scanner Darkly (2006), Undercover Brother (2002), Exit to Eden (1994), Nighthawks (1981), Rush (1991), Superfast! (2015), Bulletproof (1996), The Mod Squad (1999), Renegades (1989), Ten Violent Women (1982), Bloodsport: The Dark Kumite (1999), The Proposal (2001), Jill Rips (2000), Lowball (1996), Strapped for Danger II: Undercover Vice (2020), Narx (2011), Black Lightning (2008)

(Done a bunch of these now. Given we are about to watch another JCVD film I’m pretty excited to eventually watch Death Warrant.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 11) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Adam Sandler is No. 2 billed in Bulletproof and No. 1 billed in Jack and Jill, which also stars Al Pacino (No. 3 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 1 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (2 + 1) + (3 + 1) + (3 + 1) = 11. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – James Caan said of working with the leads, “playing the heavy between these two clowns took a lot of serious concentration.”

Colton’s mansion is the same one used in Beverly Hills Cop (1984). Damon Wayans had a minor role in that film as the server who gave Eddie Murphy the bananas.

Director Ernest R. Dickerson was very critical about the movie, saying the movie was “castrated” because of the producers.

When Damon Wayans hosted Saturday Night Live (1975) in 1994, Adam Sandler had an idea to do an action movie together. A year later, he sent Wayans the script for this film.

James Woods was originally chosen to play Frank Colton. He had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Ghosts of Mississippi (1996).

Producer Robert Simonds knew Damon Wayans could be a leading man after seeing The Last Boy Scout (1991). “That’s what we needed, a leading man who could get the laughs when he had to.”

Ernest R. Dickerson said that film was trying to be 48 Hrs. (1982) for the 1990s.

Body Count: 26.

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Adam Sandler, 1997)

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