Review Date: October 16, 2000
Director: Harold Ramis
Writer: Harold Ramis, Larry Gelbart, Peter Tolan
Producers: Harold Ramis, Trevor Albert
A dweeby guy with a secret woodie for a co-worker decides to trade his soul to the devil in return for seven wishes. As time goes by, the man realizes that the gorgeous physical manifestation of Satan, isn't exactly playing fair, and tries to improve upon his wishes every time.
An underwhelming remake featuring yet another great comedic turn by Brendan Fraser, a perfect sexy hot tamale role for Elizabeth Hurley, but ultimately too much like a sketch comedy show, rather than a movie. Very little oomph! The idea of this film is in itself, actually quite ambitious. To allow this guy to have seven wishes, with him transforming into a Columbian drug lord, a 7-foot tall basketball player, an ultra-sensitive guy and so forth, but something seemed to be missing along the way. There were some funny scenes, some so-so scenes and other tired ones. The whole thing felt sort of pieced together from a good idea but a not so humorous script. Don't get me wrong, I laughed here and there, Brendan Fraser was tops as usual in a Murphy-esque type of role, with him portraying various different characters out of one, but there were no laugh-out loud scenes and the ending of the film was just flat. Looking back, it was one of those movies that's sort of "okay" as you watch it, but entirely forgettable afterwards. It also got predictable pretty early on, as much of the film's development could be guessed by the end of the character's first "wish".
I really liked a couple of the situations that Brendan was placed in, especially the extra-sensitive guy routine, which was really well done and quite funny, and the whole basketball sequence, which was also very well-handled, both effects-wise and the humor. Others could have been funnier such as the Columbian drug lord scenario, which felt more like a "one-joke" pony. But then there was the luscious Elizabeth Hurley, who kept me in the game for quite some time. Looking better and better from scene to scene, featured in various delectable costumes as every boy's fantasy (pant, pant), Hurley managed to juice all that she could out of her devilish character. I thought the devil was just a little "too nice" in my opinion, especially in the end, but then again, the film itself isn't exactly based in airtight reality. Overall, I would say that it's a safe, easy-going, fantasy puffball with fun performances from the leads, but definitely less than what its premise sets it up to be. I was hoping for more.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian