Bad Movies Are Bad (And Plentiful, And Bad)
Okay, just to torture myself and a couple of friends, I've been watching some bad movies lately, and occasionally writing about them if it seemed merited. But I've discovered something special about these bad movies; some of them live in such a perfect area of bad that they are almost untouchable. They are so blandly unsurprising in all ways that I'm not even inspired to write anything about them. The plots are generic, the twists—if the script was impressive enough to try one—are so obvious as to not even really be twists, the acting is definitely not good but it's hard to tell if that's the actor's fault or if they thought they were still doing blocking and were really going to give it a try once the camera's rolled, and the directing is not really evident in any way—I mean, did anyone have an overall idea what they were even trying to do?
Here are some of the titles I've watched in this recent run: The Doorman starring Ruby Rose, Revolt starring Lee Pace, Out of Death starring (not really) Bruce Willis, and Avengement starring Scott Adkins. Are you surprised to hear that the last one was probably easily the best? That's not to say it was great in any way, but Scott Adkins has been making B movies for most of his career, with the occasional step up into a side character in an A movie. His IMDB page is quite an interesting read really, considering how many of these movies he cranks out and how difficult it has to be to title them after awhile. Consider that last one: Avengement. They just made up that word. Sure, there's a couple of dictionaries that claim it's a word, but it's not universal and god it sure does sound made up. Still, Adkins is a martial artist so the fight scenes are above average and definitely better than any action movie starring an "A" lister (See The Rhythm Section or Ava or any of Bruce Willis's last 20 movies).
In addition to Adkins's action ability, they seem to spend their budget well, getting actors who can actually act, or directors who can actually direct, or at least give both parties the time to get good takes and scenes. Some of these other movies look as if they got one shot at a scene and were just happy they got through it. This was especially true of the Bruce Willis POS. There were obvious mistakes in scenes that they just kept in because I'm assuming that was the take they had. Willis only spent one day on the set, which was easy to see when he was reading cue cards for his lines and all the scenes were in the same location. Of course the budget wasn't spent on locations anyway, so there were all nondescript outdoor locations or one interior. Plus the double they had doing a bunch of other parts.
Willis's movies are a part group that Nicolas Cage, John Travolta, John Cusack, and others have jumped into doing. There are often 30-40 producers listed on the productions and the big time actors only do a day or two (week at most) of shooting in exchange for maybe a million dollars and the right to slap their face on the poster to get people to see it. Seems to work too. The streaming services must be paying a nice price to get these, because the box office for these are never good, if existent at all. Whatever the services pay must be enough because they keep cranking them out.
Not to ignore the other two movies I mentioned above, but they were more boring than outright bad. The Doorman was perfectly forgettable in the most mundane way, except that they paid to have Jean Reno show up, and the most memorable thing about Revolt—besides the nonsensical plot—was the fact that they spray painted RESIST in various locations but decided to call the movie Revolt anyway.