Movie Magazine International

Most Wanted

USA - 1997

Movie Review By Andrea Chase

You know, I just adore a good conspiracy flick. Shadow governments. Black ops. Megalomaniac generals going nuts. It's enough to set my pulse racing. This is why I'm particularly ticked off about "Most Wanted." It's awash with subterfuge, double-crosses and those nasty espionage-type moles, but it sacrifices logic for moves that may look good on film, but look dumb in context.

Keenen Ivory Wayans, who also wrote the script, plays a good guy marine sent to play sniper in the sand during Desert Storm. When his orders include taking out a ten-year-old boy, he balks and, in an ironic turn of events, he accidentally kills his commanding officer instead. The military, though, doesn't have a highly developed sense of the ironic, so Wayans ends up sentenced to death for first-degree murder. Ah, but shades of "La Femme Nikita," he's sprung by a covert government unit that specializes in assassination And offered the chance to join in exchange for his life. Well, you know what they say when something seems too good to be true. Before you can say "Lee Harvey Oswald" the first lady is dead and the innocent Wayans has been set up as the patsy.

He takes it on the lam with an innocent bystander who shouldn't have been using a video camera. Meanwhile his old boss, a testosterone-spitting Jon Voight, has seen to it that there's a ten-million dollar reward on his head and that his face is plastered everywhere. How will Wayans save the day? By outsmarting the world, of course. And this is where those dumb moves come in. Why, when his face is better known than Elvis', would Wayans walk the streets of L.A.? So that the film has an excuse for a traffic pile-up. Why would he turn over the only copy of a video tape that could save him? To make the film last more than an hour. Why does the fictitious first lady bear such a striking to Hillary Clinton? Because some people have a problem with strong women. But I digress.

Wayans made his name doing unsohpisticated comedy really well. Unfortunately, it's a formula that didn't work here. "Most Wanted" ain't.

© 1997 Andrea Chase Air Date: 10/22/97

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