Thursday, January 7, 2010
44 INCH CHEST - A BADASS MOVIE REVIEW
44 INCH CHEST - A BADASS MOVIE REVIEW
Back when I was working construction this cute weird chick took me out to the movies. She took me to see this British butt-warmer of a film called SEXY BEAST. The movie starred Ben Kingsley, and I was and still am sure that if I went bare-knuckle-brawl with that man, I would snap him. SEXY BEAST was a hard sell for me because the “sexy beast” in the film wasn’t sexy; he was just a short man with a Napoleon complex. I see guys like this at the bar all the time—two quick smacks to the head and they heel like any neutered showdog.
Anyway, I didn’t know anything about SEXY BEAST when I saw it, and it was nifty because the subtext was that I was the sexy beast. After we watched it I realized that the relationship with the cute weird chick was over. There were two more months of torment, and those months were enough for me to consider taking a break from women.
Now the same British relationship-ruining screenwriters that made SEXY BEAST have come up with another one. This time they aren’t killing my heterosexual relationship, they are murdering my heterosexuality. In a weird ‘roid-monkey twist, a dude at my gym burned this movie for me. It’s called 44 INCH CHEST, and it has nothing to do with the benchpress. I am thinking more and more that the guy who hooked me up with this movie didn’t see it at all and thought it was something else like big-boob porn or juicer chest-expansion or like what Meat Loaf was up to in FIGHT CLUB.
44 INCH CHEST has made me want to be gay. You doubt me? Then keep on reading you homophobic breeder.
44 INCH CHEST stars Ray Winstone as a crybaby named Colin Diamond. Colin is crying the blues (much like I was after my breakup shortly after SEXY BEAST) because his wife has gone and had an affair with a young French waiter. Colin also hangs out with gangster types. There is (dirty) Old Man Peanut (John Hurt), Meredith (played by Ian McShane, with “live wood” versus DEADWOOD), Archie (Tom Wilkinson who you probably know as either a Nazi in VALKYRIE or as an Asshole in ROCKNROLLA), and then there is Mal (Stephen Dillane), the weakest beanpole gangster on the planet. These are men who sit around and talk about everything dirty and then some. They jabber about cleaning out dirty foreskins, bathtub abortions, golden showers, and no vaseline sodomy, all while dropping nonstop c-bombs. These old-timers kidnap Mr. Diamond’s wife’s boytoy and slap him into the box that sounds like something the dudes at my gym want to have.
This movie could have been done on a stage at the local high school. All of the action happens in one room, and a curtain separator could be used to carry the two or three scenes that don’t happen within that room. As a matter of fact, because I am completely out of touch with what the hell is going on across the pond, I watched the credits twice to make sure this wasn’t one of those stage shows that they make into movies that don’t work right like DOUBT.
The point is that all of these dirty old men hang out in a boarded-up room somewhere in London, and they drink, smoke, and talk about what they should do with the little Frenchman they have in this chest. Their constant chattering is underlined and highlighted with one fact: they hate women. They don’t know women outside of a throw in the hay, and this makes Meredith all the more interesting.
This movie is a “talkie.” These guys sit around and talk all sorts of shit, and I sat there and tolerated it because I somehow had it in my head that the Frenchman was really going to get his ass tapped hard . . . and soon.
The Frenchman needs a Richard Gere-style UNFAITHFUL dome-crack because Colin Diamond is a blubbering mess. He cries through the whole movie. Colin mourns the end of his relationship with Liz (Joanne Whalley) in such a way that we are all forced to wonder what he had with this woman that has made him such a water-works wreck. He goes through long hallucinogenic explanations of what love is and how he had it with Liz. Colin also beat her like a rented mule when he found out that she was diddling this French kid the gangsters have stashed in the chest. The flick takes all of his over-explaining of his love for her lightly though. It is all in a strange visual flashback that is floated by Colin’s voice-over diatribe. I had no idea what was going on because stuff gets really weird in this part.
I kid you not; Dirty Old Man Peanut is actually in black lacy lingerie at one point. Diamond also holds up a wedding cake groom and claims to be the action figure in question. How much of this is Colin going loco, and how much of this is truth? I have no idea. Colin is a royal (heh) mess, and he really should exact vengeance on the Frenchman in the chest and get it over with. That is what anyone watching the movie is waiting for. I know I was. I was waiting for the brutal British gangster beatdown of this French kid. More on the fatal heterosexual reassignment case of blueballs that this film gives you later. This furthers my “stage” argument. This movie reminded me of WAITING FOR GODDAMN or whatever that play is called.
For a bunch of badasses, Colin and the rest are just under-sexed big-talkers. The only one that we know is getting any is Meredith, the anti-DEADWOOD. Meredith sports more wood than the rest of these characters including Colin who can’t remember for certain the last time he had sex with his wife. The movie starts with Meredith drinking a neat whiskey while staring down a young ass-out naked man on his couch. So we know he is getting busy with his “nine and a half inches.” We also know that Meredith believes in the five F’s: “find ‘em, follow ‘em, finger ‘em, fuck ‘em, and forget ‘em.”
44 INCH CHEST is a convincing argument that being gay is the way to be. Meredith’s style of homosexuality is suave, smooth, and James-Dean-if-he’d-lived cool. If I had to choose any of these mess-talking assclowns as a personal friend, it would be Meredith. Either Meredith or Old Man Peanut.
Peanut breaks down (in a live performance sort of fashion) the most perverted, blasphemous rendition of SAMSON AND DELILAH I have ever heard. The moral of the story is never trust a woman. Old Man Peanut also uses all of the anti-gay, homophobic, scared-straight language he can on Meredith, but in the end of the film, he asks to accompany Meredith to a gay bar “to have breakfast.” Meredith is the one that talks Colin down out of a panic attack, and he is the only guy in the room with his balls in the right place to speak of what a wonderful woman Liz was outside of her physical beauty.
Here is what sucks about this stupid movie though: it is like taking the town whore out to dinner and not getting laid. The movie is called 44 INCH CHEST because there is a Frenchman in a chest who is going to get fucked up beyond recognition. He “fucking fucked another man’s fucking wife,” and needs a super-sized combo pack of McPain. The whole selling-point of this film is built on this notion. Colin is supposed to put the French guy’s nuts in a vice and crank justice out of them. Colin is supposed to take a hot poker and seal this French guy’s rectum shut with it. Colin is supposed to pull this man’s teeth with pliers, put a leash on him, and leave him tied up in the red-light district (think about it, you perv).
It is completely unfair that at the end there is NO RETRIBUTION. WAITING FOR GODAMN indeed. Could this be because these old guys really don’t have any balls anyway? Could this be that the whole movie is Colin’s big alcohol-induced psychosis and that he is supposed to wake up from his dream? Did Colin actually beat Liz’ ass? All of this is open to interpretation.
The only solid fact that I was able to get out of this film is that Ian McShane is cool no matter what he does. If he is a whorehouse hustler in DEADWOOD, I want to be his friend. If he is a convict with questionable scruples like in DEATHRACE, I want to be on his cellblock. If he is some sort of strange animated trapeze artist like he was in CORALINE, then I want to run away and join the damn circus. Most truthfully though, if he is a gay British gangster, I want to be his lover.
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Posted by DEMMON at 9:06 PM