Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments:#77-Signs(2002)

By Eric Polk-
There was a time when one could respect Mel Gibson, especially in the 80s. I mean he was MAD MAX! He was Sargeant Martin Riggs. He even starred with Sissy Spacek of Carrie fame in a period piece film(The River). So what happened. Could it be Bird on a Wire? Could it be The Man with Two Faces? Nahh...it is this 2002, M.Night Shayamalan POS film. Where do I begin in this bomb drop...err...review?

You know what, Reaplings? I'm too old for this shit! I'm not gonna expend anymore of my three remaining brain cells going over this celluloid equivalent of a cold-water enema...so instead...here's....

Homicide Detective Sergeant Roger Murtaugh  is worried about getting old, having recently celebrated his 50th birthday. He receives a message from Michael Hunsaker an old friend who Murtaugh realizes he has not seen in over 12 years. Before he can meet him, he is called to investigate a suicide, and is horrified to find the victim is Hunsaker's daughter Amanda. Elsewhere, L.A.P.D. Narcotics Detective Sergeant Martin Riggs who is suicidal following the recent death of his wife in a traffic accident, nearly kills a disarmed suspect after flying into a rage during a drug bust. Wary of his behavior, Riggs' superiors transfer him to Homicide, making them very reluctant partners.

It is then learned from Amanda's autopsy results that she had taken drugs, even though she had jumped to her death, she would have died within minutes anyway – making her death a homicide. After informing her distraught father, who claims he was trying to contact Murtaugh to help Amanda get out of the underworld of drug Riggs and Murtaugh go to question a pimp known to have connections to Amanda. Finding a drug lab on the premises, they engage in a brief gunfight with the pimp, killing him; Riggs saves Murtaugh's life in the process. Having found the drugs and with the pimp dead, Murtaugh assumes the case is closed, but Riggs finds it suspicious that the only witness to Amanda's suicide was a prostitute named Dixie who was working away from her usual "stroll." They deduce that Dixie was the one who poisoned Amanda, then posed as a witness to cover her crime.

The next morning, Riggs and Murtaugh go to Dixie's home to question her, but her house explodes just as they arrive. Investigating the site, Riggs, something he knows only a professional would use. A neighborhood child remembers seeing a man with blond hair at Dixie's earlier who had a Special Forces tattoo similar to Riggs's own. Seeing a connection, they deduce that Hunsaker knows more than he has admitted, and Murtaugh confronts him at Amanda's visitation.
Hunsaker admits that for more than two years he has been involved in a heroin-smuggling operation run by ex-Vietnam War era special operations troops, known as 'Shadow Company'. The scheme is masterminded by a ruthless retired general, Peter McAllister, the former commander of Shadow Company—and his chief enforcer, Mr. Joshua Hunsaker was laundering the profits through his bank. McAllister had ordered the murder of Amanda when Michael wanted out and unsuccessfully tried to alert Murtaugh to the scheme. As Murtaugh attempts to make Hunsaker reveal the entirety of his operation, Joshua makes a surprise appearance in a helicopter and shoots Hunsaker dead.

As Riggs and Murtaugh attempt to investigate Dixie's connection, Shadow Company goons attempt to kill Riggs, and then kidnap Murtaugh's daughter, Rianne Murtaugh agrees to meet Shadow Company in the desert to exchange himself for Rianne, knowing Shadow Company's plan is to kill them all anyway. As Riggs provides sniper cover from a distance, Murtaugh attempts to make Rianne flee, but ultimately the three are captured. McAllister tortures Murtaugh and Riggs for information; McAllister demands to know which of their drug shipments have been compromised, eventually threatening Rianne when Murtaugh is not forthcoming. Riggs frees himself and then rescues both Murtaugh and Rianne. The pair then fight their way free of their prison, finding themselves in a downtown L.A. nightclub. Riggs chases Joshua on to the street and attempts to cut him off on the freeway, though Joshua ultimately escapes. Murtaugh finds McAllister trying to flee in his car.

What an awesome buddy movie! It's funny, action-packed, everything you could want in an 80s action film. Here Mel Gibson is Mel Gibson not the cold, sterile performer he was in Signs.

1 comment:

The Frog Queen said...

That had to be the best review of Signs ever. Made LOL!

Cheers!