dimanche 7 février 2010

Half Spy...Half Wit . 100% Cheesy : it's Fox HUNT !

Someday , an illustrious Film historian will have to write a definitive review of George Lazenby 's numerous winks and / or cameos regarding that character he played in the 1969 Peter Hunt directed Masterpiece ... Be it ' The Return of the Man From U.N.C.L.E ' ( a remarkable awful 80's revival of a once great franchise ) , the new ' Alfred Hitchcock Presents ' anthology episode ' Diamonds Aren't Forever ' or...This singularity of a movie - Fox HUNT !

That one is indeed a strange object .
Years before licencing & merchandising brought us such gems as Electronic Arts' Goldeneye : Rogue Agent or Activision's lame QofS adaptation, some inspired producers decided to combine a live action movie with a video game format !
Like any second grade spy movie, Fox Hunt has beautiful women, double agents, and exotic locations (Las Vegas and Colorado to name two…) but ultimately reveils its real cheesy second grade nature trying to be smarter than its illustrious counterparts , while clearly not having the necessary budget to achieve such a daunting task .
Basic ex : when was the last time you saw a 007 clone take a jet-propelled wheelchair ride through a hospital, escape from crossdressing Soviets, or shoot down anvil-wielding Rob Lowe clones while freefalling from 20,000 feet - AND trying to outsmart Moonraker pre-credits sequence ? ( those of you who answered ' in an Austin Powers movie ' won. But Austin Powers movies do have budget ! ) .

Some nice ideas here and there though : our hero ( your average BTTF / Karate-kid type Teen ) is a Cult 80's TV series geek , which allows for hilarious excerpts from 'Fung Yu ' , 'The Love Cruise ' or even 'Fantasy Isthmus' . Ok , I'm red with shame now...

The result : a less than inspired movie , with a budget so miserable it tries to pass US snowy Rocky Mountains for Azerbaïdjan's URSS ones (...Without erasing the US road signs ! ) and make John Landis similar 'Spies Like Us ' caper looks like the Citizen Kane of modern Spy Comedy thrillers ( yep, it's that good indeed ) .

And as for the game itself ( released in 1996 for PC & PS1 only ) , let's just say that it was already out-of-date at the very time of its initial release ( with badly photographed VR inserts , directly taken from the 16mm shot namesake film of course ).
In the likes of legendary ' Who Shot Johnny Rocks ? ' Live action games , Fox HUNT suffers today from its obvious Video capture technique limitations...And some really , really dumb plot .

And what about dear old George Lazenby in it ?
Our fav' 007 plays ' veteran Spy & master of diguise ' Chaucey ( a sort of Q-like figure , if you want ).
A character who seems molded on The Wild Wild West 's Artemus Gordon one ...
Trouble is , George plays it straight ( while some distance would have been much appreciated ).
That's the main default of the whole enterprise : a Spy comedy which takes itself much too seriously indeed ...

Conclusion: for completists only ( do not even think it has been released on DvD.)

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