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Out of Reach (2004)

The Rescue

Its a split second between hit or miss.

Directed by:

Po-Chih Leong

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 88 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

Whenever I watch films as stupendously bad as this one, I always wonder if there comes a sudden moment of realisation on the part of the writers that their brainchild isn’t going to be quite as good as they’d originally hoped.

I mean, I imagine when you set out to write a movie you have pretty high hopes for it. You’re lying awake one night when you get an idea that you think is an absolute belter. You think you’ve cracked the big one. You tell your mates down the pub that you’ve come up with the film of the year – nay, the century. It’s the new ‘Citizen Kane’, the new ‘Godfather. “Really?” they ask, sharing your initial excitement. “What’s it about? Tell us! Tell us do!”

“Well,” you reply, spinning things out for as long as you possibly can, knowing just how impressed they’re all going to be when they hear it. “It’s an action drama about this really fat bloke called Billy Ray. He spends most of his time wandering about the forest, looking for injured woodland creatures and nursing them back to health – that’s what shows us he’s a good bloke, you see. But then one day his Eastern European pen-pal gets kidnapped by an evil sod in a mustard-coloured suit, so he flies over to Poland where he’s instantly given permission to work with the police on their investigation, solves the crime, and finishes the whole thing up with a sword fight.” It’s around about this point that a piece of tumbleweed blows through the bar.

What really beggars belief though is that this idea ACTUALLY GOT MADE INTO A FILM. Of course it’s inevitable that Steven Seagal landed the lead role. With his wobbling chins, permanent expression of constipated grimace and fondness for a good ol’ generic title bearing little relevance to the actual content of the film (before ‘Out Of Reach’ came ‘Belly Of The Beast’, ‘Out For A Kill’ and, of course, ‘Half Past Dead’) he’s the ideal choice. But really, I just have to ask writers Trevor Miller and James Townsend, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??

I have to admit, I find movies like this really tough to rate. On the one hand, it’s clearly one of the biggest piles of plopsy ever put to film. But, on the other, it provided my flat-mate and I with such an evening of hilarity (at one point I seriously thought I was on the verge of an asthma attack) that I’m loathe to come down on it too hard. After all, there’s something really special about watching a crap film. It’s something I can’t quite put my finger on, but it’s definitely there. It’s the sort of heart-warming feeling that, no matter how badly you do in life, there’s always something out there that’s much more rubbish than anything you could ever have done yourself. It’s almost an art and, if that’s the case, Steven Seagal is undoubtedly its Picasso.

It's Got: An absolutely ingenious scene where Seagal reads a cryptic message from a tray of party snacks – and no, it’s not “eat me”.

It Needs: A bucket of Slim-Fast.

DVD Extras A reel of trailers for ‘Half Past Dead’, ‘The Foreigner’, and a handful of other films apparently linked to this one by nothing other than the fact that they, too, are ridiculous: step forward ‘Boa vs Python’, and ‘The Punisher’, ‘3 Way’. DVD Extras Rating: 1/10

Summary

Wonderfully, wonderfully, crap.

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