Leonard Part 6 (1987) (part 3 of 15)
Mr. Butler says this sixth adventure began under the Golden Gate Bridge. Come on, did he even need to say it? It’s San Francisco, so of course all the important stuff happens under the Golden Gate Bridge! The High Visibility Landmark Rule is always in effect in crap movies.
Mr. Butler informs us that a “team of frogmen” working for the bad guys did a little diving in the bay one day. Coincidentally, we flashback to that happening. And Mr. Butler is quite talented, because as we’ll soon see, he’s describing events that he didn’t even witness. Nor did Leonard witness them to describe them to the butler. Well, if you’re going to hire a butler, hire one that’s omniscient, I always say.
The frogmen swim through murky underwater footage. There’s an abrupt cut to an upscale neighborhood, where a redheaded guy with no eyebrows secretly scopes out a swimming pool. He watches a swimsuit-clad Asian girl (with chopsticks in her hair, natch) slip into the pool.
Sitting next to the pool is a white guy in a robe and big shades. He opens up a manila folder, and inside are several headshots of Gloria Foster, who unfortunately had Diana Ross’ stylist and Boy George’s makeup artist that week.
Oh my. I never thought Gloria’s rundown, exhausted housewife look in the Matrix movies would be a step up, but as they say, every day is a learning experience.
Cut back to the frogmen underwater in the bay, and one of them is holding a headshot of the guy in the robe. And hey, the guy is wearing sunglasses in his headshot, too. Yes, that’s the joke. And yes, apparently they do make waterproof headshots. It’s just another incredible innovation from the geniuses at 3M, specifically designed for casting directors who make their decisions in Jacuzzis.
Finally, it’s revealed that the frogman is holding the headshot in order to indicate to a rainbow trout [!] who it should attack. That’s right, there’s a trained attack rainbow trout in this movie. You know, there’s a pretty fine line between absurdist humor and “you have got to be fucking kidding me”, but this movie has no trouble finding that line and pissing all over it.
In a poor stab at humor, the fish is even making snarling and yapping noises, just like an attack dog. And it’s making these sounds underwater too, which is quite a feat.
Back at the pool, Asian Girl tells Sunglasses Guy (“Quincy”) to join her, and soon he dives in. Nearby, the redheaded Man With No Eyebrows gets on a giant, walkie talkie-sized cell phone. He identifies himself as “Man Ray” and simply says, “Quelish.” And mazel tov to you, sir. If you’re confused, don’t fret. You too will be incredibly well-acquainted with what the word “quelish” means by the end of this movie. Well, sort of.
In the bay, the yapping attack fish is let loose down a pipe, and they give us the fish’s POV as it snarls and swims along. For some much-needed stale humor, the fish whizzes past a discarded issue of Playboy, but then makes a U-turn to take a quick gander. And I’m surprised the “screeching tires” sound effect isn’t dubbed in here. Oh, wait, my mistake. That sound is dubbed in here.
But this is a PG film, so there’s no shot of the centerfold—all we get is a close-up of the fish’s eyeball for a few seconds. And you don’t want to see what the fish is doing with its fins, believe me. Let’s just say there’ll be a little extra caviar on someone’s dinner table tonight, and leave it at that.
And because I don’t waste enough of my life on these recaps, I actually looked it up, and careful research reveals the discarded Playboy is actually the May 1968 issue. Yes, figuring this out involved tedious, painful, grueling research.
The fish continues through the pipe, eventually crashing through the grille that leads right into Quincy’s pool. Who knew backyard swimming pools emptied directly into the San Francisco Bay? The camera now zooms across the surface of the pool, following the killer fish’s wake as it closes in on Quincy, who’s locked in an amorous embrace with his Asian girlie.
Quincy is pulled underwater as Jaws-like violins shriek, and thanks for beating that overused satirical musical cue into the ground, movie. His girl thinks he’s just kidding around and tells him to “stop splashing”, even though he’s kicking up more waves than Shatner doing a cannonball.
Eventually, there’s an underwater shot of Quincy’s swim trunks and his watch falling to the pool floor. Apparently, that’s all that’s left of the guy. And so ends the sad tale of Quincy.
Above water, there’s a belching noise combined with a big blast of air from underwater, ho ho, hee hee. Eyebrow-less Man looks on, chuckles evilly, and walks off.
Back to Mr. Butler, still talking to the camera. “This was, I believe, the first recorded instance of a CIA agent being eaten alive by a rainbow trout! And worse was to come!” He’s not kidding, folks.
There’s a title card saying “Meanwhile at the CIA”, and in the next shot, it’s revealed that the CIA is pretty much just a dozen character actors sitting around a table in a cramped, smoke-filled meeting room.
One character actor says they’ve lost eight agents this month, and another actor suggests “blowing [the fish] off the face of the earth”. The man at the head of the table argues that this plan isn’t exactly feasible. And the man at the head of the table is played by Joe Don Baker. Amazingly, he looks a lot better here than when he was playing Mitchell, and that was over ten years prior. Having a professional haircut and a tailored suit really can work wonders for a guy.
Joe Don says they should instead figure out their “secret”. The fish have a secret? Maybe he’s talking about their secret stash of Playboys.
A woman says they shouldn’t panic, and this particular character actor is our next Repeat Offender, Grace Zabriskie, who despite having an asteroid named after her, will be forever known to me as Susan’s Mom.
Another character actor says they should indeed panic, because the entire world is somehow in danger due to these fish attacks. Joe Don says he knows only “one man” who can “match the brutality and heinous wit that’s behind these sordid and unpatriotic executions!” Brutality? And heinous wit? That man must be Mitchell!
The other guys remind Joe Don that this “one man” has already retired, but Joe Don assures them he can get him to return. He’s going to send “Monroe” after him. Oh, you’re sending Monroe? Sheeeeiit, negro, that’s all you had to say!
Cut to a guy smoking in a fancy restaurant, and in the interests of brevity I’ll just tell you this is Monroe. He’s something of a greaseball, and when he gets served his meal, he snubs out his cigarette in an ashtray filled with butts. Yuck. I cant tell you how glad I am that people can’t smoke in restaurants anymore.
Monroe just grimaces at his meal. I’m guessing it’s rainbow trout on his plate, but if that’s the joke here, this script is even more pathetic than I thought.
Monroe looks over to see Bill Cosby, AKA Leonard Parker himself, preparing a meal at someone else’s table. Mr. Butler is heard in voiceover, telling us that Leonard was bored by retirement from the secret agent game, so he used his “enormous wealth” to open a restaurant that’s now one of “San Francisco’s finest”. Okay, thanks for clearing that up. I would’ve never guessed from seeing Bill Cosby in a suit and preparing food at someone’s table that he’s now the owner of this restaurant.
Monroe calls Leonard over to complain about the fish, which does in fact turn out to be trout. So, the joke really is that he’s eating a (presumably killer) trout. Congratulations, movie. I didn’t think the bar could get set any lower on the jokes here, but you’ve proven me wrong.
Monroe says the fish isn’t fresh. Leonard says this is impossible, because they have live fish in a tank, so Monroe asks to see them. And by the way, Leonard actually calls Monroe by his name here, which I find puzzling. It seems Leonard should already have an inkling of what’s in store for him.
They head back to the kitchen, and there are random shots of chefs preparing food, which helpfully accomplish the task of establishing their existence. Suddenly, Monroe puts a gun to Leonard’s chin. Oh, yes! There is a god!
In an incredibly mundane joke, Monroe says this is “not about trout”, so Leonard asks if he’d “prefer the flounder”. No, but I prefer movies that don’t flounder. But I digress.