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More script reviews

05.15.2002

As I promised, here are more script reviews by that lovable lug Honest Abe.  This time around we're treated to his thoughts on I, SPY and THE HUNTED.   Dig in...

I, SPY (slightly positive, minor spoilers)
Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson step into the shoes left by Bill Cosby and Robert Culp. Let me start off by saying that I have never seen the original tv series. With that in mind, I don't understand why this even has to have the title it has. It could be just any other type of spy movie. Anyways, Owen is Alex Scott, a hotshot undercover operative. He's slick but he's good and gets the job done without fail. Eddie is Kelly Robinson the reigning heavyweight champion of the world. What brings these two together is a supersecret spy plane that has been stolen and sold on the black market to an arms dealer named Gundars. Gundars is hosting a heavyweight bout in his lil euro-trash country and the agency decides to use Kelly as their inside man to find the whereabouts of the plane. Alex poses as a member of Kelly's entourage to get close enough to reclaim the plane. (sounds hokey but it actually works).

What works, believe it or not, is the set-up. The banter between the two leads plays quite well. Where there could be potential trouble lands squarely on Eddie Murphy's shoulders. If he plays Kelly too extravagently, too over the top, it will kill the momentum the script leads to. He's a ham and he's supposed to be a ham but if I want a ham to ruin a potentially good action comedy, I'll call Jim Carrey. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge Eddie fan. Always have been. This role though teeters on the cusp between over the top and comedically subdued. Throw in a surprise villain and lots of really cool gadgets and there is great potential here. I don't know who is directing this but he's got his work laid cut out for him. As long as Eddie doesn't mug, I'll be there opening weekend. Let's see how the trailer looks first.

THE HUNTED (positive, minor spoilers)
Now this is more like it! Action! Fish out of water! FBI chicks in short skirts (I can dream so shut up!) What if you take a serial killer named Hallam (Benicio del Toro) who's at home in the woods and second to none in the art of camoflauge and bring him to the concrete jungle of Portland only to have him escape? Improvise, overcome, and adapt. That's exactly what our boy does and it's up to agent Abby Tucker (Connie Nielsen), as well as agents Dressler and Emerson to bring him back into custody. Helping them in their quest is Jay Banham (Tommy Lee Jones), a legendary tracker who apparently has a big fan in Hallam. A cat and mouse game begins between these two hunters as they continue to goade and evade each other. Hallam is all about the thrill of the hunt and is practically orgasmic at having a worthy foe on his heels. There's lots of action and lots of deaths. Hallam is a man who is sure about himself in every respect. Abby is no rookie though. She's quite adept at figuring out where he'll strike next.

The read alone is top notch. The writing team of David and Peter Griffiths have created a top notch edge of your seat thriller. If I have one problem is the casting of Jones as Banham. Nothing against Jones, I think he's a superb actor, but do we need to see him chasing another fugitive? Also, he seems just a bit to old to provide a formidable foe to del Toro. By the way, I can just imagine del Toro devouring every scene he's in. Cocky and arrogant are second nature to Hallam. When the fight gets personal for Abby she lays it all on the line to get her man. I really can't say too much more except that I was interested in this before I got ahold of the script and now even more so, I'm psyched. Bottom line: Opening weekend? Hell yeah. Nothing like a good edge of your seat action thriller. Fugitive 3 this ain't! And that's the bottom line.

Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood

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