After last episode’s classic crate digger selection of OVERBOARD courtesy of Ashley, this week Matthew is captaining the goodship Sunday Club has brought us bang up to date with 2017’s Security starring internatty daytime TV and part time hispanic Phillip Schofield impersonator Antonio Banderas.
MATTHEW SAYS:: We open, as these things always do, with an over the hill, down on his luck, silver fox, housewives choice ex-marine & obvious quiet killing machine Eduardo “Eddie” Deacon (Banderas) down on his luck and down the dole office. Poor Eduardo served his country (Spai… America?) selflessly and now he can’t even get a job scrubbing shitters… perhaps this is how one of Hollywood’s all-time housewife wetting, resident heartthrobs actually ended up as the international face of Wrigleys in the early 00s?
Either way it’s a set-up we’ve seen in basically every geriaction film since Taken first jump started the ticking time bomb / pacemaker of Eurotrash B-Movies helmed by once great actors who now look like they’d rather be tucked up on their Stannah with a pint of mild than bitchslapping racially insensitive onscreen villains across cheap to hire Scandinavian film locations.
With the omnipotent Avi Lerner’s name popping up on the (expansive) executive producers list I suddenly got a pang of nerves: not only is this a man who pumps out more tepid shit in any given twelve-month cycle than the Beckton sewage overflow but he’s also one of the main reasons 88 Minutes exists. Don’t do Antonio like you did Pacino, Avi.
Nevertheless we’re here again and at least this time I’m already wrecked and we’ve got one of Hollywood’s most sizzlingly Hispanic leading men involved so at least we’re guaranteed… absolutely nothing. These types of films tend to be a complete grab-bag in terms of quality control.
There’s little explanation as to why said man, with an at-best basic grasp of the English language and / or the US accent, would end up in the marines but sod it; no matter how shit this gets at least it won’t be as preposterously as indulgent as that last piece of toss Terence Malik project I had to endure him in. Maybe it’ll even scale the lofty heights of his barnstorming performance in Expendables III. Yes that’s right I just said Expendables III was better than Terrence Malik’s last project. Watch everyone staring mistily over the shoreline in Knight Of Cups then (re)watch Harrison Ford barely being arsed to cash his own payslip in E-III: Tell me I’m wrong.
Anyway after a quick speech about family values and generally being a hero Tony’s dole worker throws him a bone in the shape of a shit security job: Clearly she’s not a Tory as she’s helping out a European… Or maybe she is a Tory but seeing as she’s about middle age probably can’t resist Banderas’ olive skin and lithe, mariachi framework.
Long story short there’s a shopping mall where nothing ever, ever happens patrolled by a pack of security guards who are about as hard as a sack of tenth birthday party Wotsits that have been stored in Tupperware with the lid off. The head of security is some sort of clumsily written gung-ho Yes-Man who might have been drafted in from Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Meanwhile his quiff has been drafted in from Lazytown. Banderas is then given a quick tour of the different zones of the shopping centre by Lazytown guy, acting his socks off like an overenthusiastic Richard O’Brien. Hopefully this thing will end up like Death Wish III meets Crystal Maze.
Mid-tour Banderas pauses in the garden department to stare at a Shutterstock image of a family barbecue… so we can tell he misses his family and has loads of depth.
Banderas looks visibly uncomfortable or like he’s unsure if he’s on the set of the right film: I can’t say I blame him as eagle eyed viewers might notice a lot of the signage in this US shopping mall seems to be in some variant of Scandinavian. Pro-EU subtext or budgetary constraints? I don’t fucking know because it was around this stage I dozed off as I was totally steaming. I had to start the film again sober.
When the sleeve of the DVD said “it’s going to be a long night” it wasn’t fucking joking.
Anyway whilst I’ve attempted to get re-tanked a villainous mob have shot up a police motorcade in a bid to kill a (maybe) twelve-year-old girl who is the key witness in a case against them. They successfully manage to murder every heavily armed, body armoured and specially trained FBI officer at the scene whilst the twelve-year-old wanders off without a scratch. The villains then literally sweep up the crime scene with a couple of B&Q quality (and admittedly that’s fairly high quality) wooden brooms… If you look closely I think you can also see one of the extras desperately trying to buff his name off the film’s IMDB page with a bottle of Cif.
Two minutes later that unharmed witness has arrived at the faceless shopping mall where nothing ever, ever happens and is being tucked up in bed by doting father-figure Banderas.
There’s a knock at the door by a friendly older man wearing Siouxsie Sioux levels of eye liner… and airhorn it’s none other than Ben fucking Kingsley! …Who apparently should be out late-night shopping for a new agent because what the fuck is that accent and pork pie hat?!!
After pretending for about two minutes that the missing witness is his daughter Kingsley resorts to villainous type and begins to threaten the lives of all inside the mall.
God I love Ben Kingsley. Even through the heavyweight combo of THAT shit-brown hat and Caramac coloured anorak (which basically make him look like a classic, seventies, railway line paedo) you can still see his scene chewing abilities are intact. I doubt we’ll be scaling the dizzying dramatic heights of Schindler’s List or The Love Guru this time but he does, nonetheless, get to deliver a fantastic / insensitive line with “get me your best men on that hill: no mouth breathers!”
As if this solid two and half star film couldn’t get any more formulaic we then go into siege mode; with the good guys inside using everything in the mall at their disposal whilst outside the bad guys are apparently just pottering around doing shit-all, allowing ample time for the aforementioned tool-up. It’s nowhere near as creative as it could have been and basically winds up with them getting a bow and arrow from the sports department and some kids walkie talkies that they genuinely forget to make a joke out of. Surely there were limitless possibilities here? A plucky female character also pops up (literally) from under a coat having missed the first half of the film with a hangover. Assumedly that’s the character and not the actress’ excuse.
I dozed off again somewhere around this point.
The villains finally make their move and a good guy who had absolutely no notable impact on the film gets shot in the face. Banderas drops a flaming couch on someone in retaliation. There’s an inevitably piss poor shootout which is so badly shot the geography of who’s standing where ends up more off-piste than the general geography of Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves. God I wish I was watching Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves.
The machinations of the bog standard straight-to-DVD action film then churn on at a suitably Sunday pace with a few faceless baddies buying it and good guys that have had zero character development narrowly escaping deaths the audience couldn’t give a half priced, summer garden sale shit about.
Even the fact Banderas’ powder blue, polyester tracksuit bottoms that look like they came directly out of the Spice Girls ’97 tour wardrobe can’t distract from the particularly bargain bin direction. The line of action is broken multiple times and the terribly edited punch-up with the main, super-hard henchman takes place in a display furnished something like the smoking area of a working men’s club in Bromley South aka full of those tubular aluminium tables that wobble consistently even on the flattest of smoking area patio slabs and always have gunky coke residue patterned into the edge trim.
It all wraps up rather predictably with Banderas finally making it home on a Megabus to see his family, novelty teddy for estranged daughter in hand. If you want to see “ageing hero returning to family with novelty teddybear for estranged daughter” done properly check out Simon West’s 1997 barnstormer Con Air. This doesn’t even have Leanne Rimes singing over the end credits for fucksake.
It’s a shame Security didn’t have slightly more verve in the script / plot / imagination / editing department as it did have solid foundations for a B-movie curveball in its casting of Banderas; far and away one of the potentially more engaging ageing action stars and Kingsley; a certified scene chewing monster and general don who is apparently happy to experiment with comedy accents on a whim whilst wearing novelty hats.
It could have been Home Alone meets the gloriously batshit last sixty minutes of Michael Winner’s Death Wish III with sly riffs on Dawn Of The Dead’s consumer culture subtext… Instead it was Home Alone 3 in Elephant & Castle retail centre with a total lack of classic country-pop over the end credits.
Four out of ten drunk to steaming.
Three out of ten sober to tipsy.
Ten out of ten asleep to unconscious.
ASHLEY SAYS:: On first sight of this DVD which I picked up from my favourite Tunisian knock off DVD store, one of the first things I was drawn to were the steely blue eyes and hound dog sadness of Antonio Banderas’s face, and also, his impressive middle-aged physique. His face favouring an ageing Mumford & Sons band member and physique favouring that of a newly retired footballer/football hooligan.
I hand over the two Dinar coin and head home for an action filled evening.
The movie begins with Banderas down the Job Centre. He’s just about done with filling out his work-plan each week for some jobsworth who cannot care less: She’s clearly never seen Desperado. Or Philadelphia… or Spy Kids.
Today is the day Antonio Banderas will become relevant again. I feel I’m fusing his real life with his character’s a little too much here but hope springs eternal. Banderas’s character (Ned, or some shit) tells of his plight to his job advisor as he leaves the building, dejected and still without work. She runs outside after him which is definitely against DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) guidelines, and offers him a job as a security guard. Starting TONIGHT. This would never happen in the real world.
We also find out he’s a former army captain; not sure which army but people seem thankful for his service either way. It would be well awkward if he was in the Cuban army. Anyway, this is just a roundabout way to say he’s tougher than a Toblerone that’s been left in the fridge overnight.
In a desperate attempt to get through the main plot as quick as possible we see a US Marshalls convoy. They’re struggling with their radios because it’s raining a bit. The convoy gets drapsed off the road by a gang of Assassins Creed looking fuccbois who then duppy off the whole team: execution style.
And then clear up the mess: school caretaker style.
Without an ounce of fat on the film, we now see Banderas at the mall where he will be doing overnight security, with all the looks and emotions and acting ability of a dog-eared blank piece of A4 paper. He gets shown the ropes by some Nick Jonas looking nimrod security guard; let’s hope he dies first. The rest of the wet lettuce security team are also introduced and are almost as unlikable as Nick Jonas.
Though Banderas is almost entirely inaudible for most of the movie due to a shit beard and droopy face, I still manage to detect a sly quip he makes about the mall being really old hat. I’m unsure if he’s referring to the security being about as water tight as a rusty colander or whether it’s just so old it probably has a Budgens in but I definitely detected a quip of some form.
This may actually just be the Kingsland Shopping Centre in Hackney and Banderas is that shit busker who wastes each afternoon ruining Oasis songs at the entrance to the carpark. I can’t really hear anything.
Luckily it’s only taken about fifteen minutes to get to the main plot of the film as some teenage girl knocks on the door of the mall screaming “they’re coming!” If I were Banderas I’d tell her to kick rocks but Capt’n Banderas lets her in. She then faints because females always do when everything gets a bit too much in movies.
‘They’ eventually do come and guess what? It’s my main guy Ben ‘Muthafuckin’’ Kingsley! He’s such a great man; he can play any nonsensical bag of shart with a straight face and an overpowering persona. This will definitely be no exception.
He and the Assassin’s Creed fuccbois want to take the useless fainting Disney Kids Club dropout but Banderas tells them to do one. He’s not afraid of the Assassins Creed gang. They must not have seen Assassins: the only people Banderas can’t kill are Sly Stallone and Julianne Moore… I wish I was watching Assassins instead.
As for the supporting cast the other security guards are a bunch of wet blankets who don’t even deserve a mention. It’s obvious the Asian one will die first and the bad-ass female guard will spend most of the movie saving Nick Jonas. They need toughen up quickly though as Kingsley and the crewdem are trying to break in.
Right on cue, the Asian one dies first.
Banderas goes full army mode now, using words like ‘perimeter’, ‘stealth’ and ’walkie-talkie’. His plan involves setting traps like pouring sunflower oil on the floor and leaving banana skins and marbles lying about the place. He might as well have hung a sign on the door of the main entrance saying ‘NO PARENTS ALLOWED’.
They’ve done a ghastly job in booby trapping this place, nobody has opened a door yet and had a bucket of gunge land on their head; where the fuck’s Dave Benson Phillips when you need him? El Capitán Banderas did, however, slide on a puddle of KY gel he left on the floor in order to carry out some elaborate, artsy ankle shooting scene which was probably a highlight.
I know I’ve said this already, but I bloody adore Ben Kingsley. I really hope he kills all of these fuccbois and fuccgurls.
What I’ve taken away from this movie is that Smeg make bazooka proof fridge-freezers. I also found that now Banderas is older and a bit bulkier, when he fights someone much younger and fitter it looks just like when you let your child win in a play fight.
There’s also bit where a sniper has a perfect shot on Banderas, which would have let Kingsley win easily, but the nonce doesn’t take it just because this guy who got floored by a lame Banderas is now up and about as says he wants to fight him to the death. This is a guy who just got beat up by an elderly Banderas, who just crashed a Bat-Mobile and has been shot so many times he could drop a Chicago Drill mixtape any minute; why would the sniper listen to that numpty?
Also, Banderas’s relationship with his daughter and wife or ex or ting is confusing and unnecessary, I didn’t need that.
I wish Kingsley got more air time, it could have really helped this movie. He’s like Ralph Fiennes playing a bad guy (think more ‘In Bruges’ than ‘Schindler’s List’). Though it was a straight 3.5 out of 10 banger, it did keep me… gripped isn’t the right word. Awake. Yes, it kept me awake until the very end and that’s more than I can say of our last movie, Overboard.