Mar 1, 2018
Easy Kill (1989) (part 7 of 7)
Frank goes back to Jade’s house and she informs him that his flight is at 4am. "Do I look alright?" Jade asks. Frank replies, "No problem." [?] Are they missing a page out of their scripts? And do you really need to look your best when catching a privately chartered flight at four in the morning?
Now they’re back in bed again, but thankfully, they’re just sleeping this time. Presumably, they’re getting a little rest before the flight, so why did Jade ask Frank if she looked alright if she was just going to go to bed?
Frank tosses and turns in bed. To give the impression that he’s dreaming, an idiotic montage of earlier moments is superimposed over him. It’s much too dumb to go into in great detail, but you’ll be happy to know that even Frank’s dreams contain high percentages of pointless driving footage.
However, I will point out that among the images in his "dream montage" is a clip from the opening scene where Alex opens up a bag of cocaine. Frank, needless to say, never even saw this in the first place. Perhaps Frank and Alex are really clones that are psychically linked (See Dean Koontz’s Mr. Murder).
Also in Frank’s dream montage is a replay of the scene where Marty hands Jade the briefcase with the million dollars in it. Only, this time, it plays out from Jade’s point of view. We hear Jade say to Marty, "Do you have a gun on you? Can you show it to me?" When Marty pulls out the gun, she again turns and screams Frank’s name. Frank wakes up with a start, sitting straight up in bed. By the way, does anybody really sit straight up like that right after they’ve had a nightmare?
Again, this whole exchange is something Frank never personally witnessed. So what the film is trying to do (and failing miserably at) is to reveal a plot twist, not through the eyes of the person who has first hand knowledge of it, but through a totally different character’s dream. The implication being, I suppose, that Frank made some sort of deductive leap in his sleep. Look, if Frank heard thunder, saw lightning and felt wet, he couldn’t deduce that it was raining. So, needless to say, this is an especially awkward plot device.
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Now it’s later on that same night. Jade is slicking back Frank’s hair and spraying gray powder on it to make him look like Alex. It’s always good to have a big spray can of gray powder around, right? Next, Frank puts on a big pair of glasses. Lucky they had those around, too, huh? Frank now looks exactly like Alex.
They walk out to the car. Jade is holding one briefcase while Frank puts another briefcase in the trunk. As Jade gets into the car, we see yet another briefcase behind the passenger seat. Is anyone following any of this?
On the way to the airport, Frank asks, "What if something goes wrong?" Jade asks what could go wrong. Frank replies, "I don’t know, you tell me." Well, that clears things up.
Anyway, Jade opens up the briefcase and runs her hand across the prop money, saying that it looks "pretty". "Pretty enough to kill for?" Frank asks. Huh?
He wants to know the combination to the briefcase, but she won’t give it to him. Apparently this is her insurance that he’ll be waiting for her in their agreed meeting place. This doesn’t exactly seem foolproof. It’s a normal briefcase, so couldn’t he just pry it apart with a crowbar?
Finally, after some more exterior driving footage, they pull up to a small airport. They go inside and there’s more time wasting footage as Jade deals with the ticket agent.
Meanwhile, a blue Pontiac pulls up outside. We see a man get out and hop into Jade’s car. Yes, this is Frank Stallone again, in his dual role as Alex. We finally get a good look at him and see that no real attempt was made to get "Alex" to look any different from "Frank" other than his hair is combed back.
Inside the airport, a customs agent is looking over Frank’s passport and a "heartbeat" sound is heard on the soundtrack, indicating that this is supposed to be "suspenseful" (It isn’t). Then, the agent runs his finger down a list on his computer screen. Keep in mind the "heartbeat" sound is playing constantly behind this, even though this isn’t even remotely suspenseful. Alex and Frank look exactly alike, for God’s sake. Of course he’ll get through.
We see the list on the computer screen, and, for no reason that I could possibly fathom, Frank’s name is on this list instead of Alex’s. Even though the passport is clearly signed "Arthur Anderson", the customs agent points to Frank’s name on the screen as if that’s the correct name! Let’s just assume this was a huge error on the part of whoever did the computer screen mockup, and leave it at that. Entertaining the notion that this was done intentionally is just going to make my head hurt even worse.
Anyway, the agent finally stamps Alex’s passport and the "heartbeat" sound dies out. Whew! I couldn’t stand that tension much longer. Out on the runway, Frank climbs aboard a small charter plane. At the same time, Jade looks out at her car, and sees Alex inside. As the plane taxis off, he puts the battery in the detonator. So, I guess he paid attention to that old man’s advice.
"What are you waiting for?" Alex says. I have no idea what he’s talking about. I guess he was waiting for Jade to give him a sign, because that’s what she does.
Jade broadly gestures to Alex to push the button, and in case we don’t get it, she plainly mouths the words, "push the button". Keep in mind she’s doing this in full view of the airport staff.
"Goodbye, Mr. Anderson," Alex says, and in what should be a surprise to no one, the car blows up with Alex sitting inside.
Aboard the plane, Frank sees the explosion and yells for the pilots to stop. As the plane slows, we pan down and see that Frank left his briefcase on the runway. Okay, does this make sense to anybody?
Let’s backtrack for a minute and think about this, because apparently the filmmakers never did. Jade got the briefcase with a million dollars in it from Marty. At some point, Alex switched this briefcase with the one with a bomb in it. Okay, fine.
But, presumably, Frank switched briefcases again at the last minute, leaving the one he was supposed to take on board (with the bomb in it) behind the passenger seat of Jade’s car. So why did he leave his briefcase on the runway? If he knew enough to switch the briefcases, why didn’t he realize that his didn’t have a bomb in it?
Jade walks towards the flaming car. Frank has jumped off the plane and is yelling to Jade from the other side of a chain-link fence. Jade turns to Frank and tearfully asks, "Why didn’t you trust me?" Uh, Jade? You were planning on blowing him up. Don’t you think he was a little bit justified in not trusting you? Just a little bit?
Meanwhile, behind her we see that the crack team trying to put out the raging inferno consists of two guys with household fire extinguishers.
Jade walks off and Frank heads back to the plane. The pilot comes running out at that exact second, almost like he was given his cue. He asks Frank what’s going on.
"I don’t know," Frank says. "It looks like someone blew themselves up." [!] The pilot is remarkably blasé about all of this. He practically shrugs his shoulders as they climb back in the plane and take off. Now, I know airport security is a lot tighter these days, but I’d have to think that a bomb going off in the airport parking lot, even back in 1989, might temporarily halt aircraft from taking off.
The next shots we see are of a beach, some sunbathers, and a plane touching down on a runway. Inside a hotel room, Frank is pouring two glasses of champagne for himself and, you guessed it, Jade.
"You knew about the bomb," Jade says. "Yep," Frank replies, grinning.
He explains that he figured out Marty wasn’t really going to shoot Jade. He was only showing his gun to her [?]. So I guess that dream Frank had really did provide him with the deductive leap he needed, because Jade confirms his theory.
She adds, "That’s the only part of the plan that wasn’t foolproof." Not to bring up a sore subject, Jade, but your husband got blown up. I think there were more than one or two flaws in your master plan.
"Not quite," Frank says. "The final switch, that wasn’t part of the plan." Presumably, he means when he switched the briefcase bomb that he was supposed to carry onto the plane with the one with the money in it. If this is true, why did he leave it on the runway? Oh, whatever. Let’s just get this over with.
Frank has his back to Jade for a moment, and she pulls out a gun. She reveals that she has a new plan: she’s going to kill Frank and make it look like a suicide. Since he’s carrying Alex’s identification, the police will assume he’s Alex, and she’ll collect ten million dollars on Alex’s life insurance policy.
This is beyond stupid. First of all, almost no life insurance policies cover cases of suicide, for obvious reasons. Secondly, are we really supposed to believe that no one checked to see if the body in the blown up car was really Alex Anderson? He was a diplomat working for the government, wasn’t he?
Frank taps his champagne glass against her gun [!] and congratulates her. But then he points out the gun is in Alex’s name. (Of course, this means she brought Alex’s gun with her from the US, leaving us to wonder how she got it through the metal detector at the airport.)
Frank also points out that when he checked into the hotel, he used his own passport. "I’m Frank Davis", he says, apparently still confused about the pronunciation of "Davies". Frank says that if they find him dead they’ll "ask a lot of questions". Yeah, you’d think so, huh?
He tells her that the "million dollar briefcase" is all hers, and starts to leave. But just before he walks out, he looks back at her, winks, and says, "Oh, and one more thing… nice try." Ouch.
Now, here comes Frank’s coup de grace. Jade opens up the briefcase, and finds the only thing inside is Alex’s passport, which makes no sense in the context of anything. "You son of a bitch," she proclaims. The drum machine starts up again as we zoom in on Alex’s passport. End movie.
I couldn’t end this review without mentioning the closing credits, which reveal that the guy playing "Frank’s opponent" (presumably in the opening pool hall sequence) was played by "The ‘Bee’". Also, two guys are credited with providing "sparks".