Saturday, April 11, 2009

Keaton's Cop

You’ve never seen this rancid Cannon action movie, nor do you want to. Why am I writing about it? Someone has to. I actually saw this theatrically in an empty theater in 1988.

A post-FALL GUY Lee Majors is maverick Galveston homicide cop Mike Gable. A post-FISH Abe Vigoda is decrepit ex-mobster Louie Keaton, marked for murder by two gay hitmen. When they get Gable’s partner (Don Rickles) instead, Gable takes Keaton into protective custody faster than you can say MIDNIGHT RUN. And just to remind you what movie KEATON’S COP is really ripping off, Gable’s boss gives the two 48 hours to find Rickles’ killer.

Galveston Island, which is only 64 square miles, is an unusual setting for a film, and is also the most interesting aspect of KEATON’S COP. It isn’t funny, it isn’t exciting, the concept is absurd, and the local Texas actors are terrible (“The phones aren’t workinggggg!”). Rickles manages to maintain some dignity—despite an awkward exposition scene with Majors and him whizzing in an alley—and Majors tries hard, but no actor could have conquered a script like this, particularly an ill-conceived romance between him and nurse Tracy Brooks Swope.

No comments: