Bodywork (1999) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
having watched about a trillion movies or so, I finally got it through
my thick skull that there is a universal rule regarding the video and
DVD cover boxes. If the main picture is a posed shot of something that
has nothing to do with the movie, and features people who are not in
the movie, that's a good sign that the film stinks to high heaven.
The rule certainly worked for Bodywork, the cover of which features a steamy couple playing with lug wrenches, the guy bare-chested with a gun shoved down the front of his trousers, the woman in a tank top, doing her best Jaime Pressley impersonation. This pose was obviously conceived by someone who saw the title of the movie but never actually watched it.
The film is basically a British version of The Mask without the mask.
Virgil Guppy is a mealy-mouthed, lily-livered corporate whipping boy who decides to blow his life savings on a gorgeous used Jaguar. The car's engine blows up after four miles. Virgil demands a refund, but all sales are final. He goes to court, insisting there was fraud in the sale. He wins in court, but the car dealer simply refuses to pay. Then he decides to hang out at the car dealer's lot and tell potential customers about the swindle, but the dealer is understandably displeased with this arrangement, and sends a hit man after him. A scooter-driving hit man.
|If that wasn't silly enough, the police arrive at his door one day, ask him if that's his Jaguar. He says "sort of", they ask him to open the trunk, and it contains the body of a murdered prostitute. So the police think they've found a murderer.||
murderer named Virgil Guppy? I guess those coppers never go to the
movies. I mean where's the potential for a catchy murder's nickname?
Who ever heard of Dirty Virgil or Virgil the Enforcer or Virgil
"Machine Gun" Guppy. Funny names are pretty much the
entire source of humor in this alleged comedy. There's also Fiona
Money (Beth Winslet in her first starring role) and Tiffany Shades.
There's only one thing for Virgil to do in his situation. Since there's no way he can prove he isn't a hardened criminal, he might as well become one. Or something. He doesn't have a magical mask, but it's otherwise basically the same concept. He just changes his personality without the benefit of the mask, substituting an offbeat gang a of car thieves as his designated gimmick. It's the usual "prove my own innocence and avenge wrongs by taking the law into my own hands" plot, packaged as a black comedy.
|The lead actor is a
genetic splice between Jared Leto and Jim Carrey. He looks more like
Leto, but a deranged version. Unfortunately, he got Carrey's subtlety
and Leto's sense of humor.
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