Thursday, September 13, 2012

Final Voyage (1999)

Final Voyage is a real stinker.  There is nothing the least bit believable about this film.  It starts off with Aaron (Dylan Walsh) escorting Christina, a famous old actress, onto a plane. He's her bodyguard. Aaron tells her (and us), "I don't like any kind of transportation I don't have control over." Uh-oh. Because guess what - there's a boat on the cover of the DVD.  A big boat. Will he have control over it? I don't think so.  Anyway, a passenger on the plane casually picks up a gun and goes into the cockpit. Okay, yes, this movie came out before September 11, 2001, but still, I don't remember passengers being able to take guns on board.  Two more bad guys suddenly stand up with guns, and there's a gun battle, as Aaron manages to take the weapon from one of them. Aaron is the hero, though he puts everyone's life at risk by shooting in the cabin.

Aaron is then transferred to a new client, Gloria Franklin (Erika Eleniak), who is the daughter of some famous, rich man. The first thing this new girl does is take him for a ride in her small personal plane that she pilots. Why? Who is he protecting her from? But then an engine goes out, and he lands the plane for her.  So he does have control over the plane.  Hmm.  But next, a big old boat. "Like the Queen Mary," Gloria's assistant says.  Actually, it is the Queen Mary, and it's mentioned several more times.  But in this film it's called the Britannica.

We're introduced to a lot of cardboard characters, none of whom is the least bit interesting. Aaron runs into Teri, an old flame, who provides annoying exposition on many of the passengers.  She's now some sort of on-camera journalist, but that's not important. What's important is that she carries pepper spray disguised as lipstick.  Actually, that's not important either.

Of course there are problems everywhere, such as a leak in the cargo hold. Some awful dialogue (actually, all of the dialogue in this film is awful) lets us know that they cut costs on refurbishing the boat.  "Any excess stress could send in an unstoppable wall of water," some idiot warns some other idiot.  And then we meet the hijackers - some chick who thinks she's hot, an older guy named Harris, and their leader, played by Ice-T. Ice-T says every line of dialogue with exactly the same tone and inflection - not just in this film, but every line he's ever spoken in any film or television show. He has as much emotion and range as does a computerized voice in someone's outgoing voice-mail message when the person hasn't bothered to record one himself.  Actually, he has less.  Is Ice-T the worst actor on the planet?  Yes.

Ice-T almost immediately uses the word "momentarily" incorrectly. Just for the record, "momentarily" does not mean "in a moment." It means "for a moment."  Of course, that's not Ice-T's fault.  It's the fault of the film's two writers.  That's right, it took two people to write this piece of shit.

But again, he's not the only one given terrible dialogue.  The writers have Paul Miller approach Gloria Franklin and say to her, "I thought I knew every pretty face on this ship, but I cannot seem to put a name to such beauty." And just two or three seconds later, they have him tell her he saw her and her father at a meeting last fall and that he never forgets a pretty face.  Uh, hello?  Shitty writing.

So the bad guys start killing people, but it's okay, because they're all bad actors. Basically the hijackers are simply shortening some bad performances. Editing them, if you will.

A worker named Jasper finds two other workers who have been shot. He attacks the killer, Harris, gets the gun, shoots him, then shouts at the corpse, "You killed my friends!"  Then, instead of notifying the captain (or anyone, for that matter), he sits down to think for a while.  Though he's the first person to encounter the hijackers and live, he never tells anyone, never alerts anyone.  Ever. Hours later we'll find him in that exact same spot.  Thinking is hard. It's a shame, because if he had just notified someone, the whole disaster could have been averted, and the movie would have been much shorter, for which all viewers would be grateful.

As ridiculous as all of that is, what happens next is even more unbelievable. A plane flies directly over the ship, and lots of bad guys jump out of the plane.  But no one notices them.  Not a single person on the boat sees this happening.  The chick who thinks she's hot unravels rope ladders, so that they can climb up out of the water.  And the relentless action music doesn't help.  That is, it doesn't keep me from laughing at every bad line of dialogue, at every stupid contrivance.

Well, there is a banquet on the boat, and Aaron and Gloria are miraculously the only ones not at the dinner when the hijackers make themselves known.  This is because Gloria insists on being "fashionably late."  So it's left to Aaron and Gloria to save everyone.  It's difficult because Gloria never takes off her high heels, and Aaron never orders her to.  Of course they eventually come across Jasper, still hanging out near the body of Harris. So Jasper joins this small team of heroes.  Yes, the guy who could have averted the entire thing but didn't is one of the heroes in this film.  Yikes.

Basically, apart from Dylan Walsh (who I enjoyed in Nip/Tuck), there is no one with any sort of acting ability whatsoever.  Ice-T is still gloriously awful, but he's not out of his depth in this one, for the casting director had the intelligence (or lack of funds) to surround him with other actors of his caliber.  That is, other actors without talent, range, or emotion.

This giant turd was directed by Jay Andrews.  However, Jay Andrews is a fake name for Jim Wynorski, the guy who directed Ghoulies IV and other horseshit.  It's really dishonest for him to use a fake name, because if the name Jim Wynorski had been on the DVD case, we'd all have had fair warning that this was going to be one of the worst movies of all time.  Because all Jim Wynorski does is make terrible films. That's his thing.  That's what he's known for.

So, what's good about Final Voyage (which, by the way, has absolutely nothing to do with the 1960 film, The Last Voyage, also about a big boat in trouble)?  Well, Dylan Walsh is good.  And I do like the red feathery lingerie that some blonde wears in an early scene.  Why don't women I know wear stuff like that?  Apart from that, there is nothing good about this film.