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Film Reviews, Festivale movie section, a reel life
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Festivale Spring 1996

Movie Poster, Bulletproof, film review


How much do we really know about our friends?

The Archie and Rock show (Adam Sandler and Daman Wayans) are a pair of small-time car thieves, one of whom works for car salesman and drug lord Frank Colton (James Caan), the other, the police.

So who is wounded here?

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Archie, the thief whose best friend of one year is the cop who tries to arrest him? Or Rock, who is shot in the head by Archie in the ensuing melee?

Movie Still, Bulletproof

Damon Wayans and Adam Sandler met on the set of Saturday Night Live, two comedians who hit it off and decided that they would like to make an action film together. They judged Bulletproof to be the right vehicle.

From a comedic point of view, they are right. Their timing, their physical comedy, their delivery and energy all provide a lot of laughs in the film. If you thought you had experienced the ultimate in horror during the shower scene of Psycho, you were wrong. When Adam Sandler signs the theme from The Bodyguard as he showers, the audience learns what true pain is all about. I wonder what songwriter Dolly Parton thought?

Movie Still, Bulletproof

Adam Sandler as Moses

Movie Still, Bulletproof

Damon Wayans as Keats

But the comedy is not all the film. As an action film, it hits the spots, it moves along, and it offers red herrings as the protagonists seek safety despite the inevitable unknown crooked cop on the payroll.

Where the film fails is the moral issues. Reducing the work of a 'cop' to a 'job' denies the importance of police work. The police stand between society and anarachy, between the defenceless and naked, selfish greed.

What is more important to Rock? His oath? His duty to the police force and the people it serves? Or his friendship with a known criminal? The pacing of the film, and the acting and the direction all work hard at the action and the comedy, but the deeper question of values and right and wrong are passed by at high speed.

At the end, the filmmakers decide that justice is just a job and friendship is a license to commit murder, as long as the criminal is your friend.

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Just the facts:

Written by:
Joe Gayton and Lewis Colick (story by Joe Gayton)
Directed by: Ernest Dickerson
Produced by: Robert Simonds
Edited: George Folsey, Jr
Director of Photography: Steven Bernstein

The Players: Damon Wayans, Adam Sandler, James Caan, James Farentino

Rated: MA

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ISSN 1328-8008
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Filed: 22-Nov-1996 : Last updated: 29-Nov-96 : Last tested: 3-Jul-2014
Last Compiled: 3-Jul-2014
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