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March 25, 1983 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-03-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



... .........

'Page 6

Friday, March 25, V983

'Trenchcoat': bogue art

,By Joshua Bilmes
-A REPORTER'S DUTY is sometimes
^ a reporter's dilemma.In this case,
the two terms meld together and we
'have something called Trenchcoat. For
a change, let's see how long we can
'tolerate the purported "entertainment"
this thing dishes up while giving some
basic background info on the goings-on
involved in reviewing it.
Sunday afternoon: read the press kit
' if you have one) so you have some kind
of background for the film. Walk over to
the theatre, fork over your money, take
your seat, and open up "the notebook."
Write Trenchcoat in big letters
somewhere near the top of the page and
wait for the lights to dim. Then, you sit
through two previews and an ad for
"Star Trek - The Game," which are at
least not the same ads they were

showing in December. So much for
Finally, the film starts. From Buena
Vista, the people who release Walt
Disney films. It gets off to a decent
start. It might not be the next Tootsie,
but it looks like it should be modestly
enjoyable. Besides, what do you expect
from a first-time-out screenplay by a
pair of authors directed by a guy
making his American feature film
debut? Make a note in "the notebook"
that Margot Kidder is playing Mickey
Raymond, a court stenographer who
wants to write a mystery novel. She is
going to Malta to look for a plot.
Next we meet Robert Hays, the guy
from Airplane. He plays Terry. If I go
into more details, that'll spoil the en-
ding. But he is flirting with a stewar-
dess on the plane that both he and Kid-
der are taking to Malta.
The plane lands. The film is still

mildly amusing at this point, even
though some of the humor - like the
taxi ride Margot Kidder takes to the
hotel - is vastly overdone. Now the plot
begins to get complicated. Mickey
Raymond gets enmeshed in all kinds of
plottings and connivings. She and Terry
begin to get the obligatory "love in-
terest" going. There are all kinds of
missing corpses and double dealings
and surprising revelations. It's a lot
like Foul Play or Silver Streak. In fact,
the music by Charles Fox sounds just
like the music he did for Foul Play.
All of the above says that the film
should be gathering its strength for a
rousing conclusion. But it fails to hap-
pen. First, since the plot is so much like
so many other films, none of the so-
called revelations are too terribly sur-
prising. Secondly, the first few minutes
in Malta have David Suchet doing a
splendid job as a condescending police
inspector in the local police depar-
tment, but he leaves the film and never
returns 'til the very end. There goes
half the comedy.
About an hour in, there is an
unavoidable urge to look at your watch
because you think the film should be
about over. Not quite. You begin to
realize the film is slow and dull and that
modest amusement is not enough when
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