Monks Of Death, Sheep On A Secret Mission, And Dennis Rodman
Robert I. Hedges | 02/03/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Simon Sez" is a piece of absurdist action insanity starring basketball legend Dennis "I Have Piercings Everywhere" Rodman as Simon, a former CIA agent now working for INTERPOL. You know when you put this bad boy in the DVD player that it isn't going to be good, so let's just get it out of the way and confirm that, yes, it's a terrible movie. It's so bad, though, that for aficionados of B-movies, it qualifies as "so bad it's good."
As for the plot, Rodman is working on a case in the south of France when CIA washout Nick Miranda (Dane Cook) drops in on him, in the process rendering the remainder of the movie unbearable as anything other than camp flick. Nick is the most annoying spy ever, and wishes he could exude the calm of Simon, but continuously does exactly the wrong thing. His performance will make the higher conscious functionality of your brain scream for mercy. The beauty of the French Rivera is no match for the squalor of this picture.
The storyline goes on to feature a remote control fly and Simon's colleagues, two dancing monks ("We're monks of death!"), one of which is so overweight it's both mesmerizing and disgusting to watch the hideousness of his dance moves. There is a damsel in distress (of course), a sexy ex-girlfriend of Simon's now working for the enemy, an evil arms dealer with WMD ambitions, blackmail, a love story, and sheep on a secret mission. Sound good? There are some way over-the-top fight and chase scenes, variously involving a shopping cart ride down some stairs, a motorcycle chase in a church, and more martial arts than you can shake a stick at, courtesy of Xin Xin Xiong.
The film is a spoof I suppose, or at least harkens back to many other films, including every Bond movie ever made, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (the flying car scene is worth it's weight in lead), "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" (big lasers always attract super villains), "The Andy Griffith Show" (Nick should aspire to be as rugged a lawman as Barney Fife), "Dr. Who", and "Mission Impossible". In other words, it's an amalgam of good ideas added together in horrible proportions, like cedar plank salmon glazed in dark chocolate and sauerkraut, crowned with a single maraschino cherry.
I won't reveal the conclusion (and I don't even want to think about Nick's finale), but suffice it to say you won't be surprised though you will be relieved. There is also a "Making Of" featurette for those who wish to know more about this piece of cinematic genius. The film deserves one star (less in a just world), but I had to give it three for connoisseurs of the best of the worst. Critics hated this film, and it deserves it's reputation. People who love bad movies, I mean who really, really love bad movies should test their courage here.
"Simon Sez" makes an excellent gift for the movie lover who thinks they have been hardened by Ed Wood, Herschell Gordon Lewis, and Larry Buchanan. Are they as strong as they think they are? Test them with a dose of Rodman and Cook. Only the strong survive."