Bulletproof (1996) Recap

Jamie

Archie and Keats are BFFs and small-time criminals. Turns out though Keats was actually Carter, an undercover cop looking to use Archie to get to drug kingpin Colton. Now Carter is tasked with bringing Archie to LA to testify against Colton and oooohhhhhh boy… there will be hijinks. Can Carter and Archie beat the baddies before it’s too late? Find out in… Bulletproof.

How?! Archie is a small-time crook and Keats is the only man he trusts. So of course he wants to get him in on the easy money he can make working for drug kingpin Frank Colton. When the first job rolls around, though, Archie is shocked and dismayed to find out that Keats is Jack Carter (not to be confused with John Carter… who is from Mars), an undercover cop. Things go south quickly and Archie accidentally shoots Carter in the head and escapes. After years of intensive rehab where we see Carter meet and fall in love with his physical therapist (sure that won’t be relevant in any major way), Carter returns to the force. His first job? Escort Archie back to LA to testify against Colton. Carter is pissed, of course. Archie shot him in the head after all. But what should be a simple flight back to LA turns into a fiasco when Colton’s men ambush their plane which ultimately leads to a crash landing in the desert. Carter isn’t having any of Archie’s shenanigans, even though Archie insists that he didn’t mean to shoot him in the head. Ultimately they are able to make their way to a local motel where they spend the night in the honeymoon suite waiting for Carter’s reinforcements. But there must be a mole! Cause Colton’s men catch up with them no problem and only with the help of the motel’s kooky manager are they able to escape. Carter insists that they need to rely on law enforcement, but Archie is sure that Colton has bribed everyone. Archie is proved right when they meet up with the FBI in LA only to have them turn out to be dirty too. They escape again and Carter is finally able to deliver Archie to the police station. A short time later he gets a call from Carter informing him that they’ve kidnapped his GF and to bring Archie if he wants her back. Carter takes Archie to Colton only to find that mole was his GF the whole time! What a twist! There is a climactic battle and Archie takes a bullet for Carter and then kills Colton. Assured that they have enough evidence without Archie and their friendship having been mended, Carter lets Archie go. THE END.

Why?! Huh, I guess I really didn’t think about this when I was watching it. Carter is just doing his job. Colton is a bad guy who wants money and doesn’t want to go to jail. Archie… well he is a criminal because he doesn’t know how to do anything else (according to him). There isn’t any crazy scheme or motivation for anyone. Even Carter and Archie aren’t really looking to mend their friendship. That’s more circumstantial.

Who?! We got a Pro Wrestler Alert! Colton’s main thug is played by Jeep Swenson Jr. who wrestled in the 80’s. He has all kinds of fun trivia about him. Like how he was brought in for a widely panned WCW pay-per-view event as part of the Alliance to End Hulkamania as The Final Solution, and then had to be hastily renamed The Ultimate Solution due to the Nazi context of that name. He also had the Guinness Book record for bicep size. Sadly he was a big time steroid user and died very young.

What?! I do enjoy figuring out what soda is sponsoring our movie of the week. We got ourselves a Pepsi product in Bulletproof. Most prominently we see Carter and Archie sapping on some Slice and Mug Root Beer respectively, while watching a TV with a large Pepsi logo propped up next to it. I love the choices. Too obvious if they are drinking Pepsi, give them something different.

Where?! Solid enough LA movie and made a bit more solid by a clear “Arizona Highway Patrol” arrest for Archie which leads to him having to be transported across state lines to California. Other than the general cop business, though, I wouldn’t say this is a super setting or anything. Just solidly clear. B

When?! The whole story takes place over an unspecified (but probably pretty long) time since Carter has to recover from being shot in the head. But even beyond that I believe we are left in the dark about when everything takes place. Doesn’t help that we are in Arizona and LA where there aren’t any seasons to anchor ourselves to. F

Bulletproof is a shockingly paint-by-numbers buddy cop(ish) film. It’s very similar to 48 Hrs. in the set up, with a cop teamed up with a criminal making for some hijinks. But instead of pairing a foul-mouthed, offensive, not funny cop with a comedian criminal, here they pair two comedians up and it’s just more generally offensive. It is a relic of its times. The homophobic jokes come fast and furious, mostly from Sandler, although some of it seems a little winking. Still, it certainly makes your head spin to see how much of the script relies on something as mundane as the possibility that Wayans and Sandler might have to share a hotel room. Woooaaah. The twist is pretty dumb too, relying on the audience to forget that Wayans happens to always tell his (not so) random physical therapist girlfriend everything that he and Sandler are up to. Although I did kinda like the fakeout where Sandler reveals that he knows the police chief is dirty, prompting Wayans to punch him in the face, only for Sandler to later admit he misheard his name. Anyway, the film is 25 years old, but feels 35, and not nearly fun enough to make up for its problems. Patrick?

Patrick

Hello everyone! We got Sandler! We got … wait, I’m getting this strange sense that he’s supposed to be Charles Grodin. Eh, whatever, Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – Jamie name dropped 48 Hrs. but I watched Midnight Run a few years ago and as I was watching it I thought “what a second … isn’t there an old Sandler film with an eerily similar premise.” Yes, yes there is. This is one of three Sandler films from the 90s I hadn’t seen. A true rarity. What were my expectations? An unfunny carbon copy of Midnight Run … if I had read Jamie’s thing beforehand maybe I would have thought of 48 Hrs. though.

The Good – There are some Sandler classics in the film. It is a bit bizarre how late into the 90s it came out and just how off the radar it is as a “Sandler” comedy in that regard. Uh … oh man. Here’s the issue. This is a very actor driven film. And I like all of the actors in the film in general. But there might actually not be a film in which these people are given less to do. So I literally think that is it. Best Bit: There are some okay Sandler improvs.

The Bad As usual with bad comedies from the 90s this is mostly a nothing movie that is kind of saved by some EXTREME gay panic. And by saved I mean it is very offensive, but much like The Medallion you can study this film in a museum and be like “yes, quite. Comedy was horrible in the 90s.” That gives it the tiniest bit or worth in the end. But just watch 48 hrs. or Midnight Run. Both are far better and are “80s problematic” which can be a lot more fun that “90s problematic.” Fatal flaw: An unfunny nothing movie.

The BMT – This is a pretty rare breed: I would recommend this to no one. For some people it will be extremely offensive. For those that aren’t offended, the movie isn’t funny and is maybe the worst Sandler film of the 90s (and there are a lot of them). So it does something pretty incredible: it really couldn’t possibly satisfy anyone. Did it meet my expectations? Sadly, yes. It really is just an unfunny version of three different better comedies from the 80s.

Roast-radamus – This must be where Sandler learned his mastery of Product Placement (What?) because there were sodas all over this thing (just kidding, he was always a master, just look at his co-star Snack Pack from Billy Madison). A solid Setting as a Character (Where?) for both Arizona and LA and arguably a decent roadtrip film as well. There actually is a funny MacGuffin (Why?) with the mysterious documents or whatever that Sandler knows about and just so happens to know exactly where in Caan’s mansion they are as well. Amusingly bad Worst Twist (How?) for the inevitable reveal that the girlfriend was the leak the whole time. And yeah, this is definitely a Bad in my book.

Sequel, Prequel Remake – I mean I can’t resist! We got a BMT Crossover Episode! Because you know that since Wayans was shot in the head that Sasha Petrosevich wants him on the Half Past Dead team. But this is going to be an issue, because you see, Moses isn’t half past dead. So he’s tagging along, and everyone is like “who is this jabroni and why is he here?” So Moses takes it into his own hands and shoots himself in the head … but whoops, he actually killed himself! But God, knowing the Half Past Dead team needs him, sends him down to be the literal angel on Keats’ shoulder. And with the combined one-and-a-half powers of the afterlife on their side they kick some serious butt. Sasha, though, can’t stand Moses, and relegates them to their own division in Seattle. It’s called Half Past Dead: Holy Moses! and it is also a spin-off television series (obviously).

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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