Leonard Part 6 (1987) (part 4 of 15)
Monroe then gets a touch of Talking Killer’s Syndrome, jubilantly explaining how he’s about to kill “the number one agent in the Western world!” And that’s true, you know. I just read the whole top 100 Movers and Shakers list in Secret Agent Monthly.
Leonard claims he’s retired from the spy stuff, but Monroe says that isn’t what “Nick Snyderburn” said. And then, for some bizarre reason, Monroe takes a moment to wrap the barrel of his gun in a towel. To function as a silencer, I guess?
Leonard immediately uses this distraction to break free and run away. Monroe shoots at Leonard, putting a couple of bullets in a side of beef. The gunshots are still extremely loud, so I don’t know what wrapping the gun in a towel was supposed to accomplish. But then again, none of the chefs seem to notice bullets whizzing right past their heads, so maybe it did work, after all.
But then the towel wrapped around the gun catches fire [?], so Monroe tosses it away. It lands on a grill and the grill erupts into flames. The chefs, however, are ecstatic. They yell things like “Ah! Crepes flambé!” and continue cooking over the roaring fire. Funny, right? And if you find this bit gutbustingly hilarious, then you’re in luck, because they’re about to repeat the joke roughly 500 times over the next three minutes.
Monroe continues shooting at Leonard, who’s currently hiding behind a support beam. For no apparent reason, Leonard holds out a pot. Also for no apparent reason, Monroe puts about five bullets into the pot. I know the pot is about as expressive as Bill Cosby’s face in this movie, but that’s still no excuse for confusing the two.
Leonard hands the pot to another nonchalant chef, telling him to “make spaghetti.” And the chef actually uses the hole-ridden pot to strain pasta, yuk yuk. And there’s nothing quite like the taste of gunpowder residue to make your linguine sing!
Monroe’s gun is out of bullets, so he next pulls out an Uzi [!] and shoots up the entire kitchen, while Leonard runs around in slow motion. Not only do the chefs continue to cook, totally oblivious, but the gunplay causes lots of lucky accidents. Such as: a bag of coffee beans being broken open and emptying into a coffee grinder. Or two eggs tumbling onto a grill where a chef unflappably begins cooking them. Nothing seems to faze these chefs, does it? What was their previous gig, catering Lakers victory parties in downtown L.A.?
More gunplay from Monroe causes a plate of parsley to fall into a pot of sauce. No problem, says Chef. He puts the lid on the pot and lets it keep cooking. Monroe then shoots up a big cake. The frosting flies into the face of another chef, who tastes it and says, “More butter!”
Monroe then shoots up cans of olive oil, so the chefs eagerly fill their pans with the streams of oil and continue cooking. Okay, I don’t know about you, but I think I’ve gotten the joke. Contrary to expectations, gunfire just makes it easier for these chefs to do their jobs. Got it. Can we move on now?
Eventually, Monroe’s Uzi is empty, so he takes out yet another giant handgun. He shoots, but Leonard opens a refrigerator door just in the nick of time.
The bullet ricochets off the door, and then bounces off every metal object in the kitchen. The bullet then ricochets out of the kitchen, but “hilariously” bounces back inside, where it eventually hits Monroe in the back of the head.
Yes, Monroe just accidentally shot himself in the back of the head. But the hilarity of this is somewhat diminished by the fact that we don’t see Monroe’s bloody brains flying directly at the camera. I’ll just assume the bullet lost a lot of momentum, or that this is a PG movie, because all that happens is he grabs the back of his head and tumbles face first into the fish tank, while a bored Leonard eats a carrot. And so ends the hilarious kitchen shootout scene, which lasted roughly five hours.
Cut to Leonard dragging Monroe’s soaking wet body through the corridors of the CIA. Funny how security at CIA Headquarters doesn’t have much of an issue with someone dragging a corpse through the hallways. I mean that’s funny-strange, of course, not funny in a way that’s actually amusing. Leonard bursts into the cramped, smoke-filled meeting room, where all the same character actors are all sitting at exactly the same places, quietly staring in his direction.
Joe Don (and here’s where dialogue finally identifies him as Nick Snyderburn) welcomes Leonard, but Leonard yells that Monroe could have “gotten lucky” and actually killed him. He seems to be rather familiar with Monroe overall, which as I pointed out earlier is kind of puzzling. Leonard knew Monroe’s name at the restaurant, and had some idea of who he was (some sort of two-bit assassin, I’m guessing?), and yet had no qualms about serving him dinner anyway. Whatever.
Snyderburn says that if Monroe had been successful in killing Leonard, then Leonard wouldn’t have been the right guy for the job anyway. Well, that’s certainly one good way to weed out the less talented job applicants.
Snyderburn gets Leonard to sit down so he can brief him about a rash of “animal attacks” (yes, there’s more than just fish involved), and he even has a little slideshow all prepared. And then Grace Zabriskie stumbles over Monroe’s waterlogged body to get to a slide projector, yuk yuk.
Snyderburn yells, “Lights!” And all the character actors yank the chains on their green banker’s desk lamps. Synderburn gripes that they can do that better [?], so he tells them to turn their lamps back on. He once again yells, “Lights!” And I guess he’s pleased now, because they all do it… more in unison this time? Or something? Yeah, I don’t know. These are the jokes, I’m sorry to say.
The slideshow starts. First up are photos of an agent killed by housecats. Yes, housecats. Grace explains the cats “[covered] him with furballs, killing him, and uh… burning his IRS records.” Uh… what? You know, I once had a cat who coughed up stuff, but none of it was as disgusting as this movie.
And during this slideshow, there’s a shot of Leonard, looking bored beyond belief. See how it’s a recurring theme?
The slideshow continues, showing a husband and wife team of CIA agents who were killed in their car by “eighteen squirrels”.
“Left for dead,” Grace says. “Which of course they were.” Which of course that joke was. She then mentions (but we don’t get to see a slide of) another attack by “furious… gophers”. Did the gophers pay full price to see this movie?
The next slide is of a building, specifically that building from the teaser with the neon INTERNATIONAL TUNA sign, which we know Leonard will soon be jumping through on the back of an ostrich. Can’t wait! These are the headquarters of the woman behind the attacks, and the next slide shows that woman, and it’s Gloria Foster. Without ever mentioning her name, Grace calls her “a vegetarian, a former ecologist, and she’s bent on taking over the world!” I believe that also described Pam Anderson back in the mid-’90s.
Snyderburn orders the lights back on, and Grace trips on Monroe’s body again as she heads back to her chair. Believe me, the gag is just as funny the second time around.
A bald guy tells Leonard that Gloria Foster has a “formula” that can control the minds of “every animal, fish, bird, reptile, and insect on this globe!” I realize I’m kind of a strange guy, but I always thought fish, birds, reptiles, and insects were animals. Guess not.
Grace calls Gloria a “para-psychotic tyrant”, whatever that means, and says she plans to launch an “all-animal offensive of major proportions against the Bay Area” within the next 72 hours. Cut to Bill Cosby, looking bored.
Snyderburn asks Leonard to come back and work for the CIA. Leonard slowly gets up, and very, very slowly walks around the entire table. Meanwhile, the butler’s voiceover returns, and this particular speech is so completely and utterly superfluous that I’m not even going to bother describing it. Trust me, you’re not missing a thing. I strongly suspect the speech was added long after the fact to fill in a dead-silent, interminable shot of Bill Cosby slowly walking around a table.
Well, except for the fact that it finishes with the butler asking, “How could he say no?” And in the scene, Leonard completes his circuit of the table and emphatically says, “No!” See? That’s humor. So maybe it was intentional, and by some fluke an actual joke made it into this movie.
Leonard says they need the ASPCA, not him, so Synderburn offers him six million dollars to come back. Wow. I really need to look into what it takes to become a civil servant. Do CIA agents usually get offered dumptrucks full of cash like this?
Leonard asks them why they don’t just “blow her up”. Hey now, just because that’s the strategy we used with Saddam Hussein doesn’t mean it’s right for all psychotic tyrants. Er, para-psychotic tyrants. Snyderburn claims they can’t just blow her up, because she has something they need. Leonard stubbornly refuses, sending Joe Don Baker into a classic Joe Don Baker-style infantile temper tantrum.
Finally, it comes out that Leonard doesn’t want to do the job solely because his wife wouldn’t approve. Snyderburn taunts Leonard about this. He walks over to Leonard, tripping over Monroe’s body on the way (still hilarious!), and he even grumbles, “Monroe!” Thanks, Joe Don, we forgot who that dead guy on the floor was.
Snyderburn continues to needle Leonard on the wife situation, but Leonard doesn’t take the bait. After all, he’s too busy looking bored. Leonard claims he has to leave, because he’s got a “kiwi tart” to look after, and that’s a dessert he’s referring to, not a slut from New Zealand. Unfortunately. Finally, a pissed off Leonard storms out.