With only a matter of days before the much beloved Black Friday, I just couldn’t resist a direct-to-DVD action movie of the same name when it turned up in the bargain bin. And I’m glad I picked it up – because what follows is a movie so awesomely terrible it makes every filmmaking decision made by Ed Wood in “Plan 9 from Outer Space” look perfectly sensible by comparison.
Crusading lawyer Dean Campbell (Gary Daniels, who you might remember as the whip-wielding villain the Brit in “The Expendables”) comes home to find his house surrounded by shadowy government agents in a stand-off with WMD-armed terrorists, who have taken Campbell’s family hostage inside. After lots of yelling and weird Brady Bunch references, Campbell agrees to help the G-Men breach the house. But – surprise surprise – the agents plan to kill Campbell, because that’s what shadowy government agencies do. Too bad for them Campbell is really an ex-super-commando from an equally fictitious organization. Of course these spooks have a merc with a bone to pick with Campbell on speed dial and set out to stop Campbell from ruining their master plan or executing one of his own.
From minute one, the movie is illogical piled upon crazy piled upon downright ridiculous. The opening exposition talks about rogue state dictators complaining to the U.S. House of Representatives about irresponsible nuclear testing. The subsequent scene shows black ops gunmen posing as uniformed policemen while still wearing ski masks. And when Campbell faces off with an Asian security guard, you can bet your Kung Fu grip his opponent knows martial arts.
If racial stereotypes and flights of fallacy weren’t enough, the movie’s very title is inaccurate. The evil Big Brother project is termed Black Friday – “like it’s a stock market crash or something.” It’s Black Tuesday which signifies the infamous Wall Street Crash of 1929 – not Black Friday, which every Walleter will know is the shopping-heavy day after Thanksgiving. One character complains, “I mean, who names this stuff?” Whoever they are, they need a fact-checker, or heck, even Wikipedia.
However, all of these inconsistencies combine with the movie’s oddball pacing (think Sergio Leone meets Office Space without the humor) to produce an awesomely bad first act. Ironically, it’s only when the movie produces a completely original twist out of nowhere that the film totally falls apart. Instead of being re-energized by originality, the movie becomes a paint-by-the-numbers second act, complete with preachy nihilistic monologues from the film’s droll characters.
Ultimately, “Black Friday” is fun to watch for a sheer irrationality that puts Michael Bay movies to shame. For less than 10 bucks, this is the perfect movie to watch with buddies and beer and remember to November 26 really is all about: absolutely none of things seen in this movie.
Own Black Friday for $7.89 shipped at Buy.com