innocent_man: (wileyfish)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Conspiracy Theory is a bizarre spy-ish movie starring Mel "Utterly Nuts, and Also His Character Is Crazy" Gibson and Rene Russo Julia Roberts. Gibson is Jerry Fletcher, a New York cab driver who's obsessed with Roberts' character. Roberts' Alice Sutton is working for the Justice Department and is trying to figure out who really killed her father. The movie is mostly an excuse for Gibson to babble and act nuts, which, go figure, he's good at. He spouts insane but surprisingly consistent conspiracy theories, many of which either come true or are implied to be true by movie's end.

Which is cute and everything, but conspiracy theorists annoy me. Guys, there is no conspiracy. It's happening. It's happening right out in the open where everyone can see it - the folks who want to take advantage do, rich people and corporations buy our lawmakers and then buy the laws, the rich stay rich, the poor can go fuck themselves. It's not a big secret and it's not elaborate, because big elaborate secrets don't tend to stay that way. But anyway.

Patrick Stewart plays Dr. Jonas, the antagonist, who programmed Jerry to be a Manchurian Candidate style assassin and is now trying (ostensibly) to figure out who he's told so he can find other assassins. There's a pretty intense torture/interrogation scene towards the beginning, just so we can see that these people are Not Fucking Around.

The movie has a couple of holes; if the conspiracy has people everywhere, why did they have such a problem finding Jerry? He seems pretty established in his apartment, and though he doesn't use his real name, why the sudden urgency to find him that his appearance at the CIA kicks off in the beginning of the film? How did Alice escape at the end? And why does the intelligence community hire people prone to sudden but ultimately harmless bouts of narcolepsy triggered by a sharp blow to the head?

(Pet peeve of mine: Whacking someone on the back of the head doesn't knock him out. It will a) hurt, but ultimately do nothing or b) kill/concuss him. It does not cause brief unconsciousness. Grarrhgh.)

Anyway, the performances are strong, the script is fun if a little Swiss-cheesy, and Gibson can do creeper/crazy like he's not even acting. And, of course, this movie gets a song stuck in your head. "I love you baby/And if it's quite all right/I need you baby..." Argh. All day, now.

My Grade: B-
Rewatch Value: Medium-low

Next up: Constantine

Date: 2012-01-09 02:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As I'm fond of telling people, I don't believe in those sorts of conspiracies simply because I think any such conspiracy capable of running the show and even vaguely cover its tracks would be better at, y'know, actually running the show. Are there secret, ominously-decorated council chambers full of people secretly profiting from (and jerking off to) the state of affairs? Sure, I'd bet 5 bucks on that. But if any of them have any more real power than your average corrupt CEO/politician than I have ridden the mighty Moon Worm.

And as for clocking people over the back of the head, I'm reminded of a novel of which I'm fond where the narrator (a genre-savvy private detective) talks about that misconception. The way he puts it:

"I know, in the books and movies the PI always loses consciousness when somebody whacks his skull. There are places on the skull where even a gentle rap will reliably drop a man -- but the back of the skullbone is not one of them. Try it yourself. Borrow a blackjack from your mother and sap a random sample of ten guys, as hard as you like. I'll bet you fifty bucks no more than four of them go down.
"Of course, I'll also bet that at least one of them will be dead within twenty-four hours, from subdural something or other."

Date: 2012-01-09 02:19 pm (UTC)
gamerchick: Red, on a black background: Two interlocking circles with an arrow passing vertically between them. (Hunter code)
From: [personal profile] gamerchick
I remember absolutely loving this movie, way back when. Haven't seen or thought about it in ages. Thanks for the nostalgia. (c:

Date: 2012-01-09 02:41 pm (UTC)
electricpaladin: (Default)
From: [personal profile] electricpaladin
I can't remember who first pointed out to me the back-of-the-head-narcolepsy thing. It might have been you. I think I also read a novel once where the main character makes a point of tying up people he's beaten into unconsciousness because if they survive, they are going to wake up woozy and concussed, but not too concussed to get on the phone with the cops/their evil bosses.

As to the movie? Never saw it. Sounds B-, though.


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