The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990) Revisited – Action Movie Review

As far as action stars go, Andrew Dice Clay is a pretty unlikely candidate, and 1990’s The Adventures of Ford Fairlane was an attempt to turn the Diceman into a wise-cracking hero that, sadly, fell flat at the box office. What happened? We’re gonna tell you because this story is UN-BELIEVABLE!

As Dice has acted in films before (Casual Sex & Pretty in Pink), and was in essence acting every night on stage, turning him into a movie star made sense. The Adventures of Ford Fairlane promised to be a pretty slick launch for Dice as a leading man. With Joel Silver producing it, and a talented young director named Renny Harlin at the helm, nothing about this movie was bargain basement. It was based on a series of stories written by Rex Weiner about a rock n roll private eye that ran in New York Rocker and L.A Weekly. The script was written by Heather’s scribe Daniel Waters, along with James Cappe and David Arnott. In it, Dice’s Ford Fairlane would be a womanizing private dick who works in the L.A rock scene. He would be hired by a shock jock DJ named Johnny Crunch to find his missing daughter, Zazu Petals, only for the DJ to end up dead and everyone, including a big time record producer played by Wayne Newton, looking for the girl, who Fairlane’s already found. He’d be assisted by his loyal, lovelorn secretary Jazz, played by Lauren Holly.

Renny Harlin does a credible job making Dice into an action hero. While the action in the film is low-key, Dice’s aggressive personality makes him a watchable lead, even if some of his jokes have aged like spoiled milk. That said, you don’t watch a movie starring Andre Dice Clay unless you’re onboard for some distinct non-PC humor, so if you’re offended you really only have yourself to blame. So join us on this episode of Reel Action as we dig into this forgotten flick.

Reel Action is written and narrated by Travis Hopson, edited by E.J. Tangonan, produced by Chris Bumbray & Adam Walton, and executive produced by Berge Garabedian. Check out some other episodes below:

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.