This won’t surprise anyone but I’m the kind of person who has to finish watching a film. Normally this isn’t a problem, the most it generally costs me is a couple of hours and there is usually something to enjoy in the denouement. This one was a real slog though, I properly wrestled with walking away. Interestingly it was as the movie got worse that I was encouraged to keep going because I began to suspect that what I was watching was going to be my worst films of the year and this would need an entry on the blog. Well, having made it to the credits this is indeed where the film currently sits on the list. Desperados is so bad that it almost makes me wish that cinemas will never reopen.
Of course that’s not true because I’d no sooner wish for that than I would for being at a six hour dinner party with Nigel Farage, Mike Tyson, Piers Morgan and a load of Trump supporters, where the musical entertainment was provided by Mr. Blobby and Hannibal Lecter was doing the food, and also because this is not the type of film that was ever likely to see the inside of a cinema. No, there have been some real gems streaming over the last four months and Netflix themselves have landed some big movies recently but this is definitely the we don’t really care work of the company who gave Adam Sandler a six film deal and free reign to do what he wanted with it.
This is kind of the problem, with the recent changes to the way we watch movies it has become harder to judge what might be good for home viewing. A year ago, let alone since March, you knew if something was debuting online there was probably a good reason why. Now though you can’t make that assumption. On this occasion I was in the mood for something undemanding, it stars Nasim Pedrad who was good in Aladdin and Anna Camp who was similarly entertaining in the Pitch Perfect films (not that you’d know it was them from the awful airbrushed poster) and it looked like a fun female centred comedy. I thought I might have picked a winner. I really didn’t.
If you look at some of the films I have ranked bottom in recent years, unfunny comedy seems to be a bit of a theme. Take for example Baywatch, The Happytime Murders, The Boss or They Came Together. Desperados definitely sits well in this company. Most of those movies also feature really misjudged OTT sex jokes and again Desperados ticks this box. I don’t think I’m a prude, Booksmart was quite bawdy in places and I love that film, but gags that talk about genitals and masturbation aren’t funny just because they talk about genitals and masturbation. The point in this film where Princess Jasmine’s handmaiden gets dickslapped by a dolphin is where my finger got closest to the off button. There is also a running joke about her not being a paedophile which is only marginally less discomforting than a running joke about her being one. Funny or not the set up of each comedy moment is also really contrived. At one point a hotel porter, keen to carry it for her, pulls at Pedrad’s handbag like he’s mugging her and a vibrator falls out onto the floor. Porters don’t do that though do they? They don’t even offer to take handbags. (Maybe that’s why.) Later a character feints for no reason at all other than to set up a CPR joke. At this stage I almost needed resuscitation myself.
Possibly worse though is the message of the film. It starts with a whole speech about how a woman doesn’t need a man and then proceeds to play out a story about the lengths a lonely woman will go to to keep a man like its 1979. It is as though Bridesmaids, Girl Trip, Trainwreck, Legally Blonde, Easy A, Clueless, Bring It On, Tank Girl, Heather’s, The First Wives Club, Private Benjamin, 9 to 5, Thelma & Louise, Kill Bill, Beaches, The Hunger Games, Erin Brokovich, Amélie, Mulan, Frozen, and the entire career of Greta Gerwig never happened. This is a film that Penelope Pitstop would have turned down for its lack of female independence. There is an ‘all I need are my girlfriends’ resolution that comes honking down the line to arrive at afterthought station near the close of the movie but it only stops here for a while so that all the sensible viewers can get off before it reverses out and sneaks off to ‘but we’ve still got to make sure some guy kisses her at the end’ city which is its final destination.
Yep, this film is terrible but my I hope my ordeal saves you from going through the same thing. Maybe I’m being unfair, maybe I should give it another go. Sorry I can’t, I’m busy. “Hello, is that Lector’s Catering Services? Are you free all this week?”