Reviewed by Ned Daigle
Rating: 9.5 Beans
he ads for "Certain Fury" exclaim that it stars "2 Academy Award winners". We're not talking Academy Award winners Meryl Streep and Jessica Lange, heck, we're not even talking Marisa Tomei and Mira Sorvino either. No, "Certain Fury" stars Academy Award winners Tatum O'Neal and Irene Cara. To say that the experience of watching these talent-free actresses floudering around in this ultra-violent, silly swill is an amusing one at best, excruciating one at worst, is an understatement.
Blank-eyed Tatum stars as Scarlet, a bitter illiterate streetwalker in the big city (which one? The movie never tells). She and a bunch of other working girls are hauled into a courtroom to begin their hearings, amongst them is Irene Cara who plays Tracy, a rich girl who has been picked up for automobile theft. As the hearings begin, a blonde hooker begins to disrupt the proceedings by singing a love song, badly, and dancing around the courtroom, whereapon she slashes a guards throat and steals his gun. Her hooker friend pulls out a shotgun from out of nowhere and the two of them begin to blast the bejesus out of everything and everyone in sight. A bloodbath ensues, guards and bystanders are riddled with bullets, and basically the room is painted red until the blonde hooker gets blasted in the chest.
During the melee, Scarlet, Tracy and the hooker with the shotgun flee; all the while the hooker blasts more cops until, while climbing over an iron gate, her feet are grabbed and she is impaled on the upper spikes. Scarlet and Tracy find a convenient manhole and hide in the sewers.
Yes, readers, this all happens in the first five minutes!! But after this frantic beginning, everything sloooooows to a crawl. You see, Scarlet and Tracy are wanted by the cops now for the courtroom shootings and are now being hunted down.
This is where things get wretched and funny in equal measures. Try not to laugh when the detectives arrive at the courtroom and the police chief shakes his head and says "We got seven people in the morgue!" Seven?? Is that it? Trust me, it's closer to 70, unless all of the those victims survived their gaping, sucking chest wounds.
Anyway, while down in the sewers, which, by the way, has the cleanest most refreshing looking sewer water ever, another cop accidentally drowns. How? After he corners our heroines, he lights a cigarette in victory, which ignites the sewer gas causing an explosion! The girls escape (by a convenient heating vent which all sewers have I'm sure, that leads right into the middle of hotel lobby!) and proceed to run through the city accompanied by the lamest music score ever which sounds not unlike the warped theme music to those elementary school film strips.
Of course, Scarlet is a tough girl and doesn't want Tracy hanging around, threatening her with a broken bottle. As performed by the squeaky-voiced O'Neal, she has all of the intimidation of a constipated chihuahua. Anyway, Scarlet calls Tracy "stupid nigger" and Tracy calls Scarlet "illiterate white-trash whore", naturally they bond.
They seek out Scarlet's porno making boyfriend who is inexplicably named Sniffer. Scarlet then leaves them and seeks help from a rich guy on a boat, played by Peter Fonda. While Sniffer is busily trying to rape Tracy at his apartment, Fonda rejects Scarlet and slices her face with a knife, while she screams he yells "Get this bleeding bitch off my boat!"
Scarlet goes back to see Sniffer, who has now been beaten senseless by Tracy. Tracy of course is upset at being left there by Scarlet, but as performed Irene Cara, she uses an "upset" face and utters her lines with all of the conviction of "Pass the chips."
Next they head off to the local heroin den to sell some dope for cash. While Scarlet strikes a deal, Tracy decides to TAKE A NAP!! Yes, amidst all of the addicts shooting up, (there are constant moans of ecstasy on the soundtrack to drive home the point), she lays her gun down and goes to sleep. Of course, Sniffer finds them and forcibily shoots Tracy up with heroin (note the angle this event is filmed and you'll see the hypodermic going into the bed and not anywhere near her arm). There is an explosion which causes the building to burn while Sniffer and Scarlet duke it out in a laughably choreographed fight which tries, but fails, to convice us that Tatum O'Neal could even remotely win. She does. He burns up. They find an open window and escape, neglecting to tell any of the other people in the house that there is a way to safety, so everyone else dies. What stand-up gals!
Finally, our girls start walking across some abandoned railroad tracks to freedom only to be stopped by the cops. Scarlet keeps running and is shot, but, alas, not killed. It's only to set up Tracy holding Scarlet's hand sobbing exclaiming "We gotta stick together, til the end!"
What a monstrosity "Certain Fury" is. Tatum O'Neal and Irene Cara are just godawful, but even Meryl Streep and Jessica Lange couldn't recite the lines in the inane screenplay and make it convincing. Everything about this movie is a failure, from the direction, acting, screenplay and editing.
Scarlet calls herself Scarlet because of her red hair I guess, but check out O'Neal's bad dye job. From scene to scene the shade of her hair changes color from light brown to deep crimson and every shade in between. Also, after her face is cut by Fonda, the wound changes length or disappears altogether.
To say the least, "Certain Fury" is equally hilarious and painful. Yes, someone somwhere thought this movie was a good idea. God help them!
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