Apr 18, 2018
Easy Kill (1989) (part 4 of 7)
We cut to a shot of Frank’s car driving down the street. For some reason in this film, every time Frank drives somewhere, we’re treated to half a minute of "driving footage". Yes, I know, it kills screen time. Finally he gets to Jade’s front gate. He buzzes up, but there’s no answer.
He climbs over the gate, and it’s hard not to notice how much it wobbles around as Frank lifts himself over it. He pulls out his gun, and walks inside. As he walks around the back of the house, we see his reflection in the pool, because this is "cool looking".
He finally comes across a trail of clothes leading to the Jacuzzi. Assuming he’s in for a little hot tub action, he smiles, puts away his gun, and takes off his jacket.
In a tasteful bit, it turns out Jade is lying naked in the hot tub with her wrists slashed. The same straight razor that Frank was earlier using to shave with (remember that?) is lying nearby. He runs into the bathroom, and grabs that first aid kit he used when he cut himself shaving earlier (remember that?). He jumps in the hot tub and wraps her wrists in bandages and lifts her out.
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Now we finally learn the whole point of the "Frank cuts himself shaving" scene. It was there to establish that A) there’s a straight razor in the house, and B) there’s a first aid kit in the house. Meanwhile, much, much bigger questions will remain unanswered.
He lies Jade down in her bed. As he walks away, we catch a glimpse of her smiling wickedly. So, I guess slitting her wrists and bleeding profusely was all part of her devious plan. She’s lucky Eddie was only five minutes late for his shift, instead of an hour.
Frank’s in the bathroom, and for no real reason, he’s taking off his clothes yet again. Why, oh why, must we endure this? He pulls on another one of Alex’s robes. Again, Alex is a guy wanted for two drug-related homicides. Frank is not looking too sharp here.
He walks down the hallway and loud cricket noises inform us it’s nighttime. To waste some time, he pokes his head into a storage closet, and we see, well, stuff you’d pretty much expect to find in a storage closet. Still, this kills more time.
Now he goes into the kitchen and pours a cup of coffee. (Are we to assume that Jade put on a fresh pot just before jumping in the hot tub to slash her wrists?) Then he goes back to her room and sits by her bed and watches her while she sleeps. This is all very sweet, and I mean by "sweet" I mean utterly creepy.
It’s the next morning, and Jade is waking up. Frank informs her that it’s after 8am. "You’ve been sleeping for a while," he says. Assuming that Frank got off work at 6pm the previous night and apparently found Jade just a few minutes later, that’s something of an understatement.
Frank’s getting dressed, and putting on his shirt that’s covered with Jade’s blood [!]. Jade tells him to wear one of Alex’s shirts. Hell, why not? Why don’t you use his toothbrush and try on the guy’s jock strap while you’re at it?
Jade says the shirt fits him "quite well," to which Frank replies, "Yeah. It’s a coincidence, huh?" Boy, I’ll say.
He opens up the closet, and now we see that there are only two briefcases at the bottom of the closet. There were three there before, remember? Well, you probably don’t, and I don’t blame you. Just like in the previous shot, though, we can’t tell if Frank notices this or not.
Now here’s the part of the movie where the dialogue becomes completely scattered. It’s almost like someone dropped the only copy of the script (if there really was one) in a paper shredder, and then tried to tape it back together afterwards.
Frank tells Jade she did a stupid thing last night. Then he tells her to eat something. Then he tells Jade to call the FBI. Jade says absolutely nothing, apparently unable to keep up with the random shifts in topic.
Now they’re both sitting outside by the pool. Frank brings out a full course meal, because, you see, he’s our "hero", who’s great at pool, a perfect gentleman, and a fabulous cook.
He sits down and immediately starts talking about how attractive he finds her. He says, "Your husband must be blind." (Huh? Meaning what, exactly? That if he realized how pretty she is, he wouldn’t be trying to kill her?) "Yeah," she replies. "With greed." (Again, I must ask: Huh?)
Dropping the subtlety (or at least appearing to), Frank says, "I want you…" (Jade nods blandly), then he completes the sentence: "…to smile more often." See, it’s a little joke! Gosh, what a great guy. (Did I mention he knows how to cook?) Then he adds, "Looks good on you". She nods blandly some more.
"I wish you’d tell me what happened," Frank says. I have no clue what he’s referring to here. Apparently, neither does Jade, because she replies, "You have nice hands. So strong." [?] If all of this sounds scattered, I’m doing a good job of describing how the scene plays out.
Now, settle down folks, this movie is about to give us a whole heap of exposition. Jade reveals that Alex comes from old money, and that his family is influential in Washington. Apparently, that’s how he got the job at the State Department. But, according to Jade, Alex has more expensive tastes. So, he started smuggling cocaine out of Peru.
"You see," she explains, "Diplomats are not checked at customs, so it’s really not a risk." Say what? I know security wouldn’t check foreign diplomats at airports, but Alex is American! So why wouldn’t they check him? The whole question is moot, anyway, because as Alex revealed in the first scene, he has dogs sniffing him up and down at airports. So, either Jade’s lying or she’s just plain stupid (and you can guess where I’m putting my money).
Anyway, one day Jade accidentally opened Alex’s bag and saw the cocaine. They had a fight about it, and then Alex "went crazy". Frank tells her again to call the FBI, but she tells him that if Alex goes to jail, she’ll lose everything. And moreover, Alex will implicate her in the whole drug smuggling thing. "And to think I loved him enough to marry him," Jade says. Wow, it’s so poignant. And by "poignant", I mean idiotic.
Now we cut to the two of them looking across the pool at… something, I don’t know what. Frank says he can see why she doesn’t want to lose this place. She informs him it’s not just the house, it’s also "a style of living." Thank you, Martha Stewart.
She says she’s going to leave the house as soon as she can. Frank sympathizes, because according to him he’s got some "old ghosts" running around his place.
"Old lovers?" Jade asks. "Some," Frank replies. Then they start making out. This is the weirdest exchange of dialog leading up to a kiss since Highlander II.
Now comes that awful inevitable sex scene between Jade and Frank. Thankfully, it goes by quickly. And the bandages around Jade’s wrists really add a certain something to the proceedings. What do you call it? Oh, yeah, nausea.
Now it’s nighttime again, and Frank’s still at Jade’s place. So much for the bar, I guess. Or has Eddie been working the whole day? If so, he’s quite a guy to stay on the job for over 24 hours straight.
The phone rings, and yes, it’s Alex. Actually, every time the phone rings in this movie, it’s Alex. "I’ve got two options," he says. "Either I kill ya, or you get out of the country, and you stay out." Aren’t those Jade’s options, not Alex’s?
Jade resists, so he offers to pay her half a million in cash to leave the country. Jade wants to bump that up to a full million. Alex resists for about two seconds, then agrees to give her a million dollars and hangs up. Strangely, no further details about how the money will change hands are mentioned.
"It’s too easy," Frank says. "No one just gives away a million bucks." Jade explains that buying her silence is worth that amount of money, since she’s the only one who knows where Alex is. "Maybe, maybe not," Frank says. What he means is anybody’s guess.
Now we cut to a shadowy figure with big glasses and slicked back hair walking down a dark corridor. This person looks strangely familiar, and before this movie is over we’ll find out why he looks so familiar. He knocks on a door and an old guy in a wheelchair answers.
As it turns out, the shadowy figure is Alex. We know this because we hear his badly overdubbed voice conversing with the old man. And, no, we won’t see Alex’s face in this scene, either.
Inside, the old man gives Alex a suitcase bomb. To kill some more time, he goes into excruciating detail about how a radio controlled detonator works, even going so far as to tell Alex to keep the battery out until he’s ready to use it. Hey, even when you’re planting a suitcase bomb, it’s better safe than sorry, right?
The old man gives Alex the suitcase, and in return Alex hands over a stack of cash. As the old man happily counts the cash, Alex puts a pillow over his face and blows a hole in the old man’s head, sending feathers flying everywhere. Astute viewers will note the squib inside the pillow explodes a good one or two inches from where Alex pointed the barrel of his gun.
Now Alex takes his money back and starts laying hundred dollar bills over the bomb in the briefcase. (And yes, these are the same shiny bills from the very first scene. You can’t say the filmmakers didn’t get their money’s worth on this prop.) He counts aloud [?] as he does this, presumably to let us know that he’s only putting a hundred thousand in there. "It’s only money," Alex says, walking out.