Swept Away

Reviewed By Brian McKay
Posted 12/24/03 17:25:21

"I should have ordered the $13.95 spank movie instead . . ."
1 stars (Total Crap)

Monday night, after a long twelve hour work day doing network upgrades in our Sacramento branch. I get back to the hotel, only to find that they have quite possibly the shittiest cable channels in existence.

One movie channel, and it was HBO. Not one of the good HBO channels. Not the HBO that shows The Sopranos, and Dennis Miller, and the decent movies. No, I got the one showing a goddamn Freddy Prinze Jr. movie. At least it wasn't Scooby Doo. Thank Christ for that.

I went to take a shower and dry off with my too small and too thin hotel bath towels (I'm not a really fat guy or anything, but give a brutha something to dry off with!). I flipped through the pay per view listings. Regular movies, $11.99? Adult movies, $13.95!?! Good Lord that's a lot of money! How about I get in a ten minute jerk and give you a buck fitty?

Needless to say, companionship of the pornographic kind would not be mine tonight - not at the going rate of $13.95 that can't be itemized on an expense report. The Freddie Prinze Jr. movie was winding down at a meticulously aggravating rate . . . but it was winding down. When I looked up from my book at the start of the next movie, I saw the words "A Guy Ritchie Film".

Oh, fuck yeah. "Which one will it be?", I wondered. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels was my favorite, but I could just as easily do Snatch. Yeah, spend some time with Brick Top and Bullet Tooth Tony and the lads - the evening was shaping up.

"Swept Away"

Oh no. Not this piece of shit. I'd forgotten all about this one. Whichever HBO programmer scheduled this movie for this night, I curse you with the clap or a yeast infection. But it's started now, and I'm in it for better or worse. And it is going to get much, much worse.

In all fairness, I should preface this with the fact that I hate Madonna. She is a numbingly bad actress, her music is as mainstream, generic, and vapid as it gets, and for someone who is supposed to be a huge sex symbol, the modern equivalent of a Marilyn Monroe, she is stupefyingly unattractive. I thought she looked like shit in her 80's ragamuffin Jersey slut motif', and she doesn't look any better now as she enters her leathery Jersey yenta hausfrau phase either. What is the big deal with this woman?

That said, however, I will add one thing in her defense. She could have been a supreme actress, a walking deity of thespian prowess, and she still couldn't have saved this piece of shit from its banal and plodding script, not to mention its uninspired (or rather, coerced) directing. The only reconizable similarity this has to a Guy Ritchie film is the occasional freeze-frame or quick edit in the recognizable Guy style. But even these are so muted, it's as if he put them in there merely to have his signature on it somewhere - then rubbed away at them with an eraser before giving up and resigning to the fact that his name would be attached to this plop of dung forever.

This inept, inane, soulless pile of fetid rancor was made by the same man who brought us two of the coolest films ever? And more than annoyed, or angry, I just felt sad. Sad for what is quite possibly the premature death of a once-brilliant directorial career. What could have happened to make him go so astray?

The answer, my friend, lurks in every other scene of this anal splatterfest.


The material bitch. The Yoko fucking Ono of the film industry. And not only is she dragging her husband down, but everyone else who gets sucked into the whirlpool of his latest projects. I actually lost respect for Bruce Greenwood for sullying himself with the role of the browbeaten and pussywhipped rich husband. And although Adriano Gianni tries to put some life into the part of the verbally abused cruise ship waiter who manages to turn the tables when he and the queen bitch from hell end up stranded alone on an island by contrivance, his character comes off as such a blatant and mugging stereotype of Italian people that it makes Tony and Carmela Soprano look like Ward and June fucking Cleaver.

My final words of advice. To Mr. Ritchie, a man whose former work I enjoy very much - ditch the bitch. Divorce her, arrange for an "accident", it really doesn't matter. Just get her out of your life and your creative processes. And to any other lonely business traveler who happens to see the opening credits of this film on their TV screen - open that moth's nest of a wallet and pony up the $13.95. You'll be out the price of a steak lunch, but you'll go to sleep with a smile on your face.

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