May 24, 2011
Easy Kill (1989) (part 5 of 7)
Now we’re back at Jade’s house, and Alex is on the phone again. He says he’ll send a courier with the million dollars, and to meet the courier at "the old factory." Jade seems to know exactly where this is. I guess every town’s got to have an "old factory", right?
Frank is afraid that it’s a trap, so he wants to go along to cover her. This leads to the following bizarre discussion about the effectiveness of handguns at night:
| Frank: Okay, I’ll come with you tonight. And I’ll cover you. But all I’ve got is this handgun. That’s not much good at night.
Jade: If you had a rifle, would that be better?
Frank: Yeah, it’d be great, but I don’t have a rifle.
So Jade opens a tall locked box in her closet, and takes out a rifle for Frank to use. Frank asks her if she really wants to go through with this. "I don’t have any other option, do I?" Jade asks. "Yeah, you do," Frank says, but fails to explain what those other options might be.
Frank and Jade head for the factory, and, as expected, we get another 30 seconds of pointless exterior shots of Frank’s car as they drive along. Inside the car, we learn Frank’s meticulous plan for picking up the money: "Okay, you go in, you get the money, and let’s get the hell out." Jade should thank her lucky stars that Frank is around. Without him, she might have needlessly stood around for two or three hours after getting handed a million dollars in cash.
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They pull up in a deserted street at night. Presumably this is right outside the "old factory". Frank takes the rifle out of the trunk, and follows along in the shadows as Jade drives into the factory parking lot. Meanwhile, a horrible "action" tune composed on a cheap synthesizer plays in the background.
Strangely, the music stops for the brief moment it takes Jade to light a cigarette. Then, another car comes around the corner and the drum machine kicks back in. Jade pulls a handgun from her purse and starts loading it. Couldn’t she have done this before they left her house?
Anyway, the other car stops, and Alex’s goon Marty gets out, carrying a briefcase. Jade gets out of her car and we see she’s wearing another ridiculously broad-shouldered outfit, only this one is shiny and blue.
Meanwhile, Frank is hiding nearby with his rifle trained on Marty. Through the scope, we see Marty hand Jade the briefcase, and then, a second later, we see Marty pull out a gun. For no apparent reason, Frank doesn’t react to this until Jade turns in his direction and screams out his name.
Long story short: Frank shoots, exit Marty.
Frank runs up to Jade wanting to know why Marty pulled his gun, but Jade doesn’t know. The two of them get back in Frank’s car and take off with Jade driving.
Apparently, the filmmakers have decided that it’s just about time for Frank’s Oscar® Clip moment. "This is crazy," Frank mutters. "I just killed someone!" Oh, the pathos. His tortured emoting goes on for so long that I was half expecting Hamlet to walk in and say, "Geez, just get over yourself already." Finally, he yells at Jade to stop the car.
Jade tries to reassure Frank that it was all in self-defense, but Frank isn’t buying it. He says it wasn’t self-defense because "he was trying to kill you, not me." Now, I’m no lawyer, but doesn’t the definition of self-defense pretty much include this kind of situation? Frank, by the way, is supposed to be a former police officer, so you think he’d have learned about this at some point in his career.
Frank tells Jade to get back in the car, because they’re going to go back and hide the body. It should come as no surprise to anyone who’s read this far that we’re subjected to more time-wasting exterior shots of Frank’s car as they drive back. Meanwhile, the "composer" of this film has decided that things aren’t quite painful enough, and the drum machine kicks in yet again.
They get back to the "old factory" and find that the body’s missing. Frank is a little nervous about this turn of events. This is understandable, considering he shot the guy through the chest, and there doesn’t seem to be a single drop of blood where the body was lying just a few minutes ago.
Frank turns to Jade, only to find that she’s got her gun pointed at him. I grew immediately hopeful that Jade was going to save the world from having to witness Frank Stallone’s performance in the rest of this movie. But, no such luck.
Instead, she’s got her gun pointed at Marty, who’s right behind Frank. He jumps out with his gun drawn and Jade shoots him down, emptying her gun into him. I was quite amazed that her gun (which was shown earlier to only hold six bullets) does, in fact, shoot six times before she runs out of bullets. (In a typical Awful Movie like this one, a six-shooter usually fires about 20 to 30 times.) Frankly, this probably happened by accident, given the huge gaping plot holes that the filmmakers left in.
Frank picks up Marty’s body and drags it away. While he does this, Jade picks up Frank’s rifle for no good reason other than IITS (It’s In The Script). Jade opens a nearby storage closet, which conveniently has an unlocked padlock on it (I’d bet money that this is the same padlock used to secure the "safe" in the opening scene, but it’s hard to tell). They both drag Marty’s body inside, and Frank locks the padlock behind them.
He asks Jade for the rifle, but she reveals that she’s quite idiotically left the rifle locked in the closet with the body. Frank immediately goes ballistic. "Our prints are on that gun!" he cries. Hey, genius, did you stop to think that your fingerprints are all over the closet door and the padlock, too? I mean, neither one of them bothers to wipe off any of those fingerprints. So, the prints on the rifle probably aren’t that big of a deal when you think about it.
Finally, they just decide to drive off (and yes, we get more time-wasting footage of Frank’s car). Back at Jade’s house, Frank tells her that the police will find Marty’s car, then they’ll find the body and then they’ll trace the gun to Jade. Okay, you moron, so why didn’t you get rid of Marty’s car while you were getting rid of the body? Is it just me, or does it seem like they made up the script as they went along?
At this point, you’re probably thinking that the briefcase Marty gave to Jade is really the briefcase bomb that Alex bought from the old man in the wheelchair. Unfortunately (and nonsensically), you’d be wrong. Apparently, the briefcase given to Jade really does have a million dollars in it, as we’ll see in a moment. However, at the last minute there’ll be a switcheroo with the old briefcase bomb. (Oops. Hope I didn’t spoil it for anyone. Actually, even if you see this film all the way through, you wouldn’t even know there’s a switch, because the movie does such a terrible job at explaining it all. I.e., it doesn’t explain anything.)
Jade suggests that the two of them run off to another country together with the million bucks. Frank, however, is cool to the idea. Jade then asks him what’s keeping him here. "Your crummy bar?" she asks. "Your second-hand car, your apartment?" For the record, the bar didn’t look that crummy, and the car is a classic, even if it is "second-hand" (also known as a "used" car in some parts of the world). And we’ll see Frank’s apartment later on in this movie: He’s not exactly living in the slums.
Frank gets a little miffed about this comment. "If you remember," Frank says, just before he unloads this film’s most stunning continuity error. "I just killed a man!" Um, no. Actually, Jade just killed a man. Frank only helped to hide the body.
Then he adds, "And it’s my ass, not yours!" Okay, let’s go back over this, because obviously the filmmakers never bothered. Frank did indeed shoot the guy, but he didn’t kill him. Marty was still alive until they drove back and Jade pumped six bullets into him. So, out of Frank and Jade, which one do you think is in more trouble here? I’m not trying to say that Frank is free of blame; obviously he’s an accessory to murder. But that hardly backs up his assertion that "it’s my ass, not yours".
In response to his unjustified bitching, Jade rightly points out that she never asked Frank to help her. She storms off and Frank angrily tosses a wad of fake bills (yes, those bills) from the briefcase up in the air. He follows after her and they continue their argument. This culminates with Jade slapping Frank, and Frank roundly backhanding her so hard that she spins into the wall. You know all that stuff I said about Frank being such a great guy? Forget all of it.
All this goes on at length until the phone rings. It’s (you guessed it) Alex, wanting to know where Marty is. Jade admits that she killed the guy. Alex, somewhat annoyed by this turn of events, tells her to leave the country immediately. Jade asks him for two more days, which he grants her, but not before shouting, "Do it then! Get out!" Whatever that means.
We cut to Frank, feeling frustrated. He finally wises up and decides to get the hell out of there. He tells Jade to forget they ever met. He storms out and drives off. I don’t think I even need to say that we get shots of Frank’s car as he drives away. These shots are intercut with scenes of Jade picking up fake money from the kitchen floor. This goes on for quite a while, as we cut back and forth between Frank driving and Jade picking up money. It’s amazing how much running time can be eaten up this way.
Frank drives up to his bar and stops. "Christ," he says, "what have I done?" And then he drives off [?] and heads to his apartment. Okay, even assuming his bar was on the way to his apartment from Jade’s house, why would he stop there for ten seconds just to deliver that line?
We waste more time at Frank’s apartment complex watching him ride the elevator up to his floor. Finally, we’re in his apartment, as he listens to messages on his answering machine. One message is from a woman who’s rather distraught that Frank hasn’t been at his apartment all day. I suppose we’re to assume that this is his girlfriend, but that’s never really explained. If it is, you think she’d be happy to be rid of him for a while.
The next message is from Eddie, wondering where Frank is. Yeah, you’d think that he might want to know. Frank decides to call Eddie at home, despite the fact that it’s 3AM. Presumably, Cameron Mitchell was trying to act really tired in this scene, but his character comes off as really drunk. Or, perhaps Cameron himself was actually drunk when he filmed this scene. If that’s true, I can’t fault him for that; you’ve got to kill the pain of being in a movie like this somehow.
Eddie asks Frank why he sounds pissed off, even though Frank doesn’t sound even remotely pissed off. Frank replies that he’s not in the mood to talk about it. Eddie rightly points out that since he’s being woken up at 3AM, the least Frank can do is talk about what’s bothering him. Or, as Eddie puts it, "You can give, huh?"
In response, Frank says he’ll see Eddie tomorrow and hangs up. Yeah, that conversation really justified waking up an old man at three in the morning.