“Curtie Church”, probably the whitest name in the history of time….given to an accented Beninese-American actor by the name of Djimon Hounsou (figure out how to say that name…then say it five times fast) who you may recognize from Leonardo DiCaprio starrer Blood Diamond. Elephant White is a movie I came across the other night of Netflix Instant and was choosing between it, Rampage (which I’ve heard is good, but it’s also directed by Uwe Boll…who is now going to get tagged in one of my reviews), and From Paris With Love. I read the little description of Elephant White three times. I went from thinking Kevin Bacon had a small part to thinking he was the hit man. Not the case. But that’s not a bad thing. Because Kevin Bacon gets to play an Aussie weapons dealer which is almost as much fun, but I still wish he had more of a presence.
Before you read any further into this review, even after reading that Netflix description three times I still disagree with what it said to a degree. “An assassin is hired by a businessman to avenge the murder of his daughter by white slave traders in Thailand.” I agree with everything up to “businessman”. The rest I do believe happened, just not for that reason. I’ll admit right now that I may have missed something, but what it looked like to me was the slave trader’s son had hired Curtie behind his father’s back. Either way, Curtie is hired to take out this particular company of sorts that handles the slaves. We are just along for the ride while we see a random girl who escaped their clutches become his buddy a la The Professional. And Kevin Bacon tries to start the gun version of Planet Hollywood (instead of wardrobe, he gets gun props).
Okay, so I went in under semi-false pretenses thinking that Kevin Bacon played Curtie. So what? I still watched it because you can obviously see (from the accented charisma that Hounsou randomly has) that the two name leads are good. I’ll follow this up by saying that before Bruce Willis and Die Hard dethroned them, Kevin Bacon and Tremors were my favorite actor and movie. What I’m saying is that even though I thought Kevin Bacon would be playing a hit man, the movie still worked.
Let’s pretend that they just made the one, okay?
There’s also the weapons. Curtie can defend himself without them. We see a slight demonstration when Bacon arrives on scene. However, he is exceptional with firepower (quite honestly and unfortunately, the only reason Kevin got a role that I can see) and Jimmy (Kevin’s character…figured I should get his name) supplies plenty of real stuff and not justHollywoodprops. I remember in particular two sniper rifles and a shotgun that looked like it wanted to double as aHoover. So there are a lot of fun spots with Curtie causing destruction from afar and from up close.
The hallucinations that Curtie gets are cool when he is shooting people, but would be better and a lot less random if they weren’t actual hallucinations. He woke up from one and as random (but entertaining) as it was, I just don’t see what purpose it had.
If they had gone another direction with it, though…
A third beer goes to the story. Mind you, it does work because this type of plot always seems to; one vs. many- it’s the same basic idea as Taken. There were, though, a few gaffs that did not make sense to me. I feel like I missed something. The main one that comes to mind came at the climax of the film. #1is when a main character isn’t who we are lead to believe (trying to keep this spoiler free, but I will say it’s the girl, I just will not say what about her is deceitful). Now, #2 is where I feel like I missed something. The head of the trafficking business and the guy that hire Curtie seem to have a relationship that would make Curtie’s hiring make no sense given the end of the movie. I know that doesn’t make much sense, but you’ll get what I’m saying when you watch the flick.
The movie I’d really only call fine for the same purpose that I had in watching it: looking on Netflix Instant for something to watch. We all know that most movies dumped on DVD with no theater run are rarely worth it, but when you have some time and said movie is free to watch on Netflix Instant, it’s good enough to sustain interest despite its shortcomings. I mean, didn’t De Niro make a joke about Meet The Fockers as being not much more than a paycheck? I don’t remember seeing Kevin Bacon do much recently beyond the insanely under-grossing X-Men First Class…
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time Curtie tries to ditch the girl
Take a Drink: every time Kevin Bacon takes a beating
Take a shot: every time Curtie starts killing people