The Taking of Beverly Hills(1991)
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If you love high octane B Movies, then this one's for you. It's a relentlessly paced onslaught of huge explosions and action that never let's up. It's also highly absurd and totally ridiculous, which is what makes it so great! You really have to suspend all disbelief and just check your brain at the door because common sense was not a factor when writing the scrip. It's dumb, but also so much fun. It wears it's early 90's vibe on it's sleeve (mullets!), and easily one of the most enjoyable Die Hard knockoff's out there, not to mention on a visual level, it looks fantastic. Yea it may be unintentionally hilarious because of how absurd it is, or how totally ridiculous scenario's are what drive the film forward, but again, it rules because stuff get's blown up on a minute to minute basis and it's kind of hilarious, awesome, and ridiculous all at the same time. I had such a blast with this, and I hope you will too. Just check your brain at the door. www.robotGEEKSCultCinema.blogspot.com
I gave this film a chance, and I wasn't disappointed. Some people have described Ken Wahl as wooden but here he is very good as hero Boomer. Matt Frewer, Robert Davi and Lee Ving are great in their roles too.Branscombe Richmond is also great as Benitez, a would-be intellectual bad guy who drives around in a police tank. Though to be fair, it is a bit unbelievable that the entire action of the film is meant to be taking place in just over an hour. But, that said TAKING OF BEVERLY HILLS is quite an enjoyable film. I've been interested in seeing Ken Wahl's films ever since I saw this TV movie he made in the 80s called THE GLADIATOR. I've seen a couple more of his films since seeing TOBH and the only one he really sounded a sour note in was James Glickenhaus' THE SOLDIER, although to be fair, even one good performance couldn't save that film. But TOBH is really enjoyable with plenty of action. It's a bit of a strange coincidence that Boomer happens to know how to make Molotov cocktails, as one review I read somewhere pointed out, but the character is very likable and resourceful. The final showdown between Boomer and Benitez is very well-handled and the film has a great sense of humour as well. I hope it gets released on DVD sometime. It deserves a DVD release.
Ok, is this movie cheesy? well, yeah. But it's one of those films I rented when it first came out and I kind of enjoyed it (come on, the cop is the same guy who played max headroom). It has it's cheesy moments, not to mention parts that aren't believable (would the whole town really be ok with just staying up playing cards in some hotel lobby?), not to mention how they somehow had such an accurate tracking system they knew down to the penny how much loot they stole? Nothing ground breaking here, but still a good film.
Believe it or not, but I thought this movie had the makings of a guilty pleasure in the beginning. Rather humorous prelude and interesting credits with a big surprise: Lee Ving (here billed as Lee Ving James), the always entertaining Fear frontman. Then, disaster. Even seeing Ving as a cop couldn't help this. In case the filmmakers are reading this, some tips to make this better (Spoiler alert). Replace Jan Hammer as composer. Eliminate ALL slow motion shots. Drastically reduce the stuff going on outside Beverly Hills. And forget the hitman sideline, unneeded. If that had happened, I would be saying "not a bad little movie" as it was, another brain dead action picture that should be put away and forgotten.