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MY NAME IS SCOTT FOY AND I PAID TO SEE TOOTH & NAIL
June is traditionally the month of the year when the website's traffic falls off a cliff. That should not come as a surprise since it's the beginning of summer and, honestly, don't you people have anything better to do? Even I have better things to do in June and keep in mind my site's slogan is "One Man... Many Movies... No Life." In fact, my summer vacation already began, another reason why this month's offering is a trifle mix of something old and something new. Though in this instance the something new is actually a review of Neil Marshall's DOOMSDAY that I wrote nearly two years ago and for some reason never got around to publishing until now. Not sure why I sat on that one. To go along with it I dug another old review out of mothballs, my Ain't It Cool News review of YOU GOT SERVED, and gave it a spit shine. Ah, those old AICN reviews, back when I was writing with a program that's spellcheck didn't work half the time and I'd pretty much forgotten everything I had ever learned about grammar. Yeah, as if that part has improved. You do know I consider the comma to be my mortal enemy? So here's this month's double feature. Now if you'll excuse me, I've almost beaten RED DEAD REDEMPTION.
DOOMSDAY GOT SERVED
Neil Marshall can now add his name to the ever-growing list of talented filmmakers who made something truly exceptional - THE DESCENT, probably the best monster movie thus far this century - only to follow it up with what amounts to a self-indulgent fan film that'll only appeal to himself and a small niche audience while the rest of us either don't even bother or walk away with a profound sense of disappointment that another talented filmmaker just coming into his own gave in to his ostentatious excess. I know there are those that will vehemently disagree with me on this one. I'm afraid you're going to have to add me to the group that found DOOMSDAY immensely underwhelming and, frankly, rather annoying. I didn't hate it, but it did nothing for me other than leaving me shaking my head.
Neil Marshall presents a Neil Marshall production of JOHN CARPENTER'S ESCAPE FROM SCOTLAND, AKA MAD MAX: BEYOND RESIDENT EVIL, but you can just call it DOOMSDAY. Call it whatever you want, it's just a movie that owes an awful lot to an awful lot of other (better) genre hits. Marshall didn't seem to have a single idea of his own making this one. I take that back. He named his movie DOOMSDAY; the originality begins and ends there. Marshall is well aware that his film is just one giant "homagepodge" as I call it to better genre films, so much so he was cheeky enough to name two of the characters Carpenter and Miller, no doubt named so after John Carpenter and ROAD WARRIOR director George Miller. He should have named a character Anderson or WS since after awhile DOOMSDAY began to make me feel like I was watching Paul WS Anderson's attempt to make an early Eighties-themed sequel to GRINDHOUSE.
An unstoppable virus breaks out. Scotland now becomes Manhattan; the whole darn country nearly abandoned and completely walled-in much like a certain city in a certain classic John Carpenter movie. This "Reaper Virus" is kind of like the infection from PLANET TERROR only its symptoms are less subtle: giant disfiguring boils, pussing, bleeding, and vomiting to death. Yum! England's solution to this outbreak since they couldn't come up with a cure was to just wall up the entire country of Scotland - infected and uninfected alike - behind a humongous barrier armed with automated, non-discriminating firepower and then forget about them as a lost cause, a necessary sacrifice for the greater good.
Let me go on the record right now and voice my great disdain that this film did not feature the Loch Ness Monster covered in puss and boils chasing the good guys later on. Of course, doing so would have been an original moment and Marshall wasn't about to let that happen here.
Since I'm on the subject of monsters, Frankenstein's Monster may have been composed of the parts of different people but once he came to life he was his own entity. Marshall's Frankenstein's Monster of a movie never develops its own identity or becomes its own entity. It's also an undisciplined mess of a movie, the kind of movie you'd expect from a director who has displayed lesser capabilities behind the camera.
Jump forward a quarter century to the year 2035. The Reaper virus returns in London. Panic is immediate. Bleeding and pussing is the order of the day.
Dr. Bashir from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" is now the Prime Minister of Britain. You'd think he alone could come up with the cure for the Reaper Virus. I mean he's Dr. Bashir, the man who developed a vaccine for the Teplan blight; surely he could cure this Reaper crap. Years of politics must have made him soft because he's kind of a wussy Prime Minister, even a tad on the unscrupulous side. Later on when he gets infected and chooses to put a bullet through his brain it'll be hard to tell if we were supposed to feel sorry for him or consider it just deserts. I prefer my British Prime Ministers to be more Michael Sheen-ish. Speaking of which, has Sheen set some sort of Guinness World Record yet for the 10,000 different movies in which he has now portrayed Tony Blair? It has to be a record by now.
The Prime Minister is flanked by a second in command who many describe as the real power behind the throne - like Dick Cheney. Now this dude is just pure bureaucratic evil - like Dick Cheney. The way he looked, the way he dressed, the way he talked, the way he carried himself, I swear this dude should be assassinating politicians, not playing one. This guy looked, acted, and even smelled of a methodical hitman. But no, he's the #2 guy in all of Merry Ol' England. No surprise he'll turn out to be a merry ol' prick.
The British government has been keeping an eye on Scotland after they walled it in for everyone to wither and die hoping the Reaper Virus would wither and die along with it. And I Ireland thought they got it bad from the Brits. In the last three years they'd started to notice in satellite photos that there are people alive in Glasgow. What does this mean? The Prime Minister hopes it means that Malcolm MacDowell has come developed a cure for Reaper. MacDowell appears in a glorified cameo as a brilliant scientist who stayed behind to look for a cure when the wall went up and BRAVEHEART country turned into a diseased Darwinian holocaust. The plan is hatched to send a small group into the remains of Scotland in search of Dr. MacDowell in hopes of there being a cure to bring back and save London before England have to resort to their own similar worst case scenario plan: tossing the entire Manchester United team into a volcano as a sacrifice to appease an angry God.
Easy paycheck collecting Bob Hoskins recruits tough cop Rhona Mitra to lead a small armed force past the wall into Scotland. She initially refuses until he starts reminding her of that BEOWULF movie she co-starred in with Christopher Lambert and she bursts into tears. Now that she's been sufficiently shamed she's more willing to cooperate and agrees to the mission.
There is nothing to Mitra's character aside from being an attractive tough chick opining for the mom she cannot even remember that got left behind in Scotland when the wall went up. Aside from that, her persona is vapor - like every other character.
Now in case you weren't 100% sure DOOMSDAY is more plagiarism than homage when it comes to ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, guess what Rhona Mitra's character has in common with a guy named Snake Plissken? They both wear black. They both smoke. They're both surly. They're both handy with firearms. They're both wounded souls with murky pasts. They both have authority issues. And, yep, they even both have only one eye. But in the case of Rhona Mitra's character, she has a robotic eye replacing the one she lost as a child while playing with the Red Ryder BB Gun she got for Christmas. She only wears an eye patch on those rare occasions that she pops her robo eye out to use it as a remote spy camera; she can watch and record what it sees onto a micro disk in her Dick Tracy wrist-viewer. A neat concept except this cyber spy eye is barely used until the very end of the film. I don't know what all could be done with a remote-viewing eyeball, it's just hard to believe that Marshall couldn't come up with more than he did.
You know what? I'm just gonna call Rhona Mitra's character "Skank Plissken" because that's what she is - Snake Plissken with a sex change adorned in shapely spandex. Unfortunately, Rhona Mitra is no Kurt Russell. Her soft spoken yet strongly worded one-liners don't work because she's not a convincing bad ass. Even her sex appeal is merely just there and not actually played up. Might as well just be Milla Jovavich's RESIDENT EVIL curvier understudy.
The only character I gave even the slightest damn about was the soldier in charge of the troops she's sent in with. Played by the black guy from PRIMARY COLORS - his name escapes me and I'm feeling too lazy right now to surf over to IMDB. This guy displays convincing authority while still remaining likable and sympathetic. I rather wish he'd been the main character instead of Hot Pants Plissken and her posotronic eyeball. Alas, as is the rules even in British genre cinema, the black guy always dies.
So it's the future. There's been an apocalypse. Breakout the mohawks, the chains, the leather wear, the spiked clubs, and by all means begin painting tribal tattoos all over yourself. Society has fallen. Time to go punk rock!
The good guys first encounter these ROAD WARRIROR refugees in the remnants of a Glasgow hospital where MacDowell's lab used to be. This scene with the lab, it's like the circus clown car where one clown after another keeps getting out of the car and you begin to wonder how many clowns there are in there. You wonder how they fit that many mohawked, psychopathic, axe-swinging, post-apocalyptic, modern primitives into one tiny lab so that they could keep pouring out of it like that one after another. They just keep coming and coming and coming.
Now it's time to meet their leader, Saul, the long lost love child of Richard O'Brien and Wendy O'Williams. Saul clearly fancies himself the lost Sex Pistol. There may not be anymore coffee available behind the wall but that doesn't stop Saul from acting like a guy in desperate need of switching to decaf. Definitely a villain from the Rob Zombie I'll-annoy-you-to-death-before-actually-killing-you playbook. A screamer - sometimes he screams in the form of words, mostly he'll scream in the form of random syllables. A very angry guy, loves to punch women and ear bite them like Mike Tyson, too. Natural he'd be into biting because he is the crazy leader of a pack of cannibals that have yet to make it beyond Thunderdome.
When not beating up on the ladies or screaming randomly Saul entertains his troops as the host of some sort of combination USO variety show/Iron Chef program. Hint: the secret ingredient is always people. He roasts one of the soldiers alive and everyone goes after the guys' charred corpse in a manner not unlike the mourners at Ayatollah Khomeinis funeral.
Skank Plissken will escape becoming the entree of the day with help from another imprisoned young woman who will turn out quite inexplicably to be McDowells daughter. More inexplicably, Saul is revealed to be McDowells son. That Saul is the son of this scientist they're desperately searching for is an important sticking point that never gets played up nearly as much as it ought to be. Scientist dad has told everyone that there is no hope beyond the wall and they are the true remnants of the fall of civilization. Saul believes the opposite, that there is life on the other side of the wall, and he very much wishes to lead his people there, possibly to eat that life - who knows?
One of the still living soldiers will develop an instant romance with the doctor's daughter. I say instant because there's not a single scene of them even being properly introduced before they develop feelings for one another. There may not be any signs of the Reaper Virus in Scotland anymore, but the love bug is most definitely in the air. Heck, even after Saul's main squeeze gets beheaded in the melee he still keeps her noggin nearby. That what we call "Love, Apocalypse Style".
We're now off to a castle in the Scottish highlands where things take an odd turn and not just because they've been in Scotland this long and yet to run into Sean Connery. You just know he should be out there golfing in between slapping the taste out of the mouths of cannibals. They find McDowell alive at this castle leading a group of survivors as the newly designated last king of Scotland. Suck on that, Idi Amin.
Unlike Saul and his fellow members of the Lord Humongous Appreciation Society, McDowells subjects have gone positively feudal: living behind the confines of a castle's walls, dressing like Renaissance Fair employees, and wielding swords, crossbows, and other weapons that can cause 2d6 damage. Turns out McDowell has no use for those on the other side of the wall and views the arrival of these outsiders like the introduction of a new infection. He tells them there is no Reaper cure, that his people are still alive because they're the survivors of the fittest designated by nature to outlast the disease that wiped out a civilization, and that they've rebuilt a new and improved (yet still dark ages retro) civilization free from the ills of modern society. Yet for all his high-minded, high-falutin' talk about being better than post-modern man, Caligula is not above ordering an unarmed Rhona Mitra to fight to the death in gladiatorial combat against a knight in full armor for the amusement of his allegedly more civilized people. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Once escaping from MONTY PYHTON: BEYOND THUNDERDOME, it's now full speed ahead into ROAD WARRIOR territory. Good guys just happen to find a place locked up in the woods housing a sleek black roadster that still purrs like a kitten when you crank it up despite having sat around untouched for decades with 20-year old gas in its tank. Just in time for Saul to finally catch up with his hordes driving their holocoasters; his being a bone-adorned Cadillac convertible that looks like something Rob Zombie would be driving in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. MAD MAX mayhem plays out set to the tune of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Two Tribes". That is a song I never needed to hear again. Frankie says "Relax". Foy says "Remember that time you got booed off stage on Saturday Night Live?"
Neil Marshall is such a skilled director that DOOMSDAY zips along at a breakneck speed maintaining a certain level of watchability on a purely b-movie exploitation scale. At the same time DOOMSDAY comes across as low rent, low class, lowest common denominator, and low on the anything worth investing in. Little of interest flickered before my eyes; so little that although I wasn't bored, I still I felt complete detachment. The twist ending just further hammers home how pointless it all is. Too much been there, done that. I'd hate to give this movie a star rating because it was all at once acutely watchable, uninvolving, and sometimes even a turn-off.
I can appreciate a good bloody kill yet DOOMSDAY's pervasive sadism grated on me. DOOMSDAY is the kind of movie where a person can't just get run over by a car; we have to see their whole body erupt beneath the wheels. Someone can't just get shot in the head; the whole side of their head must be blown off. I usually have a fairly high tolerance for movie violence but this was just non-stop overkill. More decapitations than all of the HIGHLANDER films combined, endless dismemberments, bodily eviscerations, graphic footage of a body being carved up to be eaten by others: there's so much of this from start to finish that when it got to the characters whose demises are supposed to mean something, or in the case of villains whose fatal comeuppance were meant to make me react with a "Hell, yeah!" of sorts, I felt numb to it all. The gore in RAMBO was understated by comparison.
Though a box office flop and receiving a critical roasting, I know DOOMSDAY has more than its fair share of fans. I must say I don't get the love for this one. The more I think back upon the experience of watching DOOMSDAY, the more soured on it I feel. I know I'm not alone judging by the sheer number of people I saw walkout of the theater the night I saw it, the most I've seen bail on a film en masse since ULTRAVIOLET and this is still much better than that pastel atrocity. Personally, if I'm in the mood for an over-the-top throwback genre film rife with gore and fun action sequence made with some real wit and imagination I'll just pop PLANET TERROR or HATCHET or RAMBO back into the DVD player and not this brainless mishmash of homage and sadism where the only thing at stake was how much more sadistic the next person's death would be and how much more impressed the director will be with himself for filming it.
You're better than this, Neil Marshall. Next time, please do better.
Ive always had a soft spot in my heart for the movie BREAKIN even though I've only seen the movie once in my entire life and have never had any desire to see it again, probably because I know that my memories would prove fonder than reality. My sister took me to see it when I was still a wee lad and we both had a blast. While I personally was not into the whole breakdancing fad, Im more than willing to admit that I am a white boy with all the rhythm of a pregnant yak (Credit to Chiun, Master of Shinanju, for the metaphor), BREAKIN was breezy, cheesy, and fun. BREAKIN was also a very upbeat movie and despite not having the best acting or a particularly good script it was impossible to deny that the films joy and energy didn't spill over into the audience I was watching it with.
Now here we are some 20 years later and breakdancing has returned to the big screen - just don't call it breakdancing. Now its called street dancing. Aside from sounding like a really stupid word I see no reason they didnt just call the movie STREETIN'. That would have carried on a time-honored tradition.
Then again, YOU GOT SERVED is no BREAKIN. Hell, it isnt even LAMBADA.
Im not going lie to you. I admit some of the street dancing scenes in YOU GOT SERVED are quite energetic and the final dance sequence is pretty dynamic. A couple of really good dance routines are the only saving grace of this otherwise dismal dullfest that will hopefully be forgotten faster than you can say BEAT STREET. There is no Shabba Doo or Booglaoo Shrimp to be found here; we don't even have a Lucinda Dickey. As already stated, BREAKIN had a shoddy script and questionable acting that still wasnt so bad it dragged the movie down. YOU GOT SERVED on the other hand... Take the energetic dance routines out of YOU GOT SERVED and all youre left with is what I suspect a 21st century dramatic version of "Whats Happening!" would be like. YOU GOT SERVED boasts some of the laziest screenwriting in recent memory and keep in mind at the time I watched it I had just seen TORQUE two weeks earlier.
As best I can tell from watching this movie, street dancing is a hybrid dance form that combines the traditional forms and movements of breakdancing, rhythmic gymnastics, and epileptic seizures. As spectacular as some of the dance choreography proved to be, there remained an element to the dance scenes that I personally found beyond ridiculous (so far beyond ridiculous it would inspire one of the greatest South Park episodes ever). The majority of the dance sequences are what are known on the street as battles, wherein two competing dance teams, or crews as they also say on the streets, go back and forth trying to one up one another; about every other movement culminates in a lewd gesture being made at the other crew. When the time expires a judge steps in and decides the winner based on crowd applause. The winning crew gets the money that each team had to put up before competing.
As I watched these rival dance crews talking smack, making crude gestures at one another, and generally posturing like pro wrestlers, I couldnt help but to wonder if anyone involved really realized how profoundly idiotic this all is. This isnt a pick-up basketball or football game; its a talent show, people. This is competitive dancing and dancing is not usually looked upon as being amongst the most masculine or testosterone driven activities out there, but here are these guys (and a few girls too) going on about how they kicked the other crews ass after each wicked dance move. Yes; they kicked their ass... at dancing! Its dancing, people! Could you imagine competitive ballroom dancers choreographing their dance moves so it ends with them mocking the competition by grabbing their crotches in a suggestive manner or bent over signaling for the competition to kiss their ass? Actually, more people would probably watch ballroom dance competitions if they did, but I digress. While street dancing may be a more aggressive form of dance it is still just dancing and seeing it turned into an in-your-face game of one-upmanship struck me as one of the stupidest things Ive seen in quite some time.
When did something as simple as dancing get turned into not only a form of gambling, but a means by which respect is measured? Oh wait, I forgot that street credibility and keeping it real are what its all about today. I guess in that case YOU GOT SERVED accurately reflects the all important Im better than you, beeyotch! mentality that permeates so many aspects of society today. You didnt see those two breakdancers that performed for the Pope John Paul giving each other the finger, but then they werent Americans.
Hows this for a pedigree? YOU GOT SERVED stars a member of the hip hop group IMX, his brother who is a member of the group B2K, other members of B2K in supporting roles, and the writer, director, and producer happens to be the manager for both groups. The ultimate irony here is that B2K split up not too long ago. Not soon enough if you ask me.
YOU GOT SERVED is the saga of Elgin and David, best friends looking to escape life in South Central Los Angeles. I dont see how this will ever happen as the only thing they ever seem to do is dance and shoot hoops. Their only means of making money comes from winning dance battles with their crew, but to raise money to compete in them they occasionally serve as couriers for Emeril, a local gangsta who looks like Notorious B.I.G. if he had lived and gone on to swallow Suge Knight. I dont think it was ever established if theyre couriering drugs or drug money for Emeril as the contents of the backpacks they transport is never revealed, only referred to as Emerils stuff. The "stuff" could be drugs, could be money, could be guns, or it could even be bodysnatching sentient yogurt bent on world conquest - we'll never know for sure. Whatever this stuff is they're helping a scumbag criminal like Emeril peddle, Elgin and David are really nonchalant about doing so and that doesnt exactly paint these two in a good light in my book.
Elgin and Davids crew is considered the best crew in the hood. Before long they find themselves being challenged by another crew from Orange County of all places led by an obnoxious rich white boy with a Billy Idol sneer and Dragonball Z hair. Elgin and David are both amused and insulted that some millionaires son from the O.C. would dare to want to come down to their neighborhood, the same neighborhood they talk of wanting to get the hell out of, preferably to someplace better like the O.C.
The challenge for SoCal dance supremacy is set. A $5000 dance battle, Elgin and David tell their crew they will put up their own money - and take a larger chunk of the winnings too, but they don't exactly have $5000 at their disposal. $1500 short, Elgin visits his grandmother and after explaining to her about the evil rich honkys challenge and how his street credibility is at stake she responds by giving him a speech on the importance of earning respect and then proceeds to give him the money.
First of all, I dont think gambling on dance battles is what Aretha Franklin had in mind when she sang R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Secondly, I want this woman to be my grandma. Ill just tell her how some of the Ain't It Cool News talkbackers were mean to me and then walk out of the house with a cool grand in my pocket.
I might as well mention all of the South Central dance battles take place inside a warehouse owned by Mr. Rad. As most of you know, Congress passed a constitutional amendment a few years back requiring Steve Harvey to appear in every movie geared towards a young urban audience so here he is as Mr. Rad. The producers must have shot him with a tranquilizer dart before every scene hes in because this is the most subdued Ive ever seen the habitual scene chewer. One thing I found amusing about his character was how he genuinely seemed to care about the kids that would compete in his warehouse and always preached to them about friendship and sportsmanship, but whenever things start getting too heated he'd tell them to save that for the street. So I am to take it he doesnt have any problem with the possibility of the rivalries leading to bloodshed just as long as the blood isnt spilled on his property.
Things start going bad for the less than dynamic duo when the O.C. crew defeats them thanks to some backstabbing by a fellow crew member who didnt think his potential cut of the purse was big enough so he jumped sides and taught the O.C. crew all of Elgin and Davids routines. Treachery, I tell ya. Just like BRING IT ON. Why must whitey always steal a brotha's slick moves?
The loss also prompts the first use of the films title. The evil jiggy WASP gets in their face and let's them know that you suckas got served prompting much laughter from the audience. Somehow I just dont think that phrase is going to catch on as anything other than a punchline.
David then vows to get payback on the traitor but that whole subplot is never brought up again. Speaking of useless subplots, David has begun romancing Elgins sister Liyah and that doesnt sit well with Elgin because... just because.
Worse yet, David is out on a date with Liyah and because she turned off his cell phone he doesnt get an urgent call from Elgin about needing him to help make an urgent delivery for Emeril. Im not exactly sure why either of them need a cell phone seeing as how neither of them have a real job and they dont seem to do anything other than play basketball, practice their dance moves, and just stand or sit around keepin it real. Elgin has to go it alone and ends up getting jumped inside a crack house where his leg gets badly injured and Emerils stuff gets stolen. With his leg now in a splint and in serious trouble with the neighborhood gansta, Elgin blames David for not being there, declares their friendship over, and once again orders him to stay away from his sister. Liyah is desperate to get the best friends back together and their crew also has divided loyalties as David starts his own crew which a few of them jumped to. Oh, the drama!
Its in this portion of the film that Elgin sits on a couch talking about how the doctors told him his leg will never be the same again meaning his dancing and basketball playing days are over. This prompts him to say, I cant dance. I cant play basketball. What am I supposed to do now? Oh, I dont know. Maybe you could go out and get a friggin job like the rest of us?
Instead what he ends up doing is - I kid you not - a training montage straight out of a ROCKY movie. With some simple leg stretching exercises and weight training for the duration of a single song and, miraculously, his leg is healed and the subject of it never being 100% again is never brought up. Hallelujah! God does indeed help those that help themself.
However, his personal well being is still in jeopardy as Emeril makes it perfectly clear to him that hell make sure he never walks again unless he gets paid back for the stuff he lost. Emeril is nice enough to give him a few weeks to do so and its just Elgins luck that The Big Bounce is coming up in a few weeks. No, not that new Owen Wilson movie that ironically opened the same weekend as this film. No, The Big Bounce is this big street dancing competition where the winning team gets $50,000 and will appear in a Lil Kim music video. Elgin vows to put a crew together and win The Big Bounce so he can pay back both Emeril and his grandmother and fulfill his dreams of street dancing stardom.
So after another mini music video consisting of Elgin and David performing slow motion dance moves in a pounding rainstorm in what is obviously just an excuse to pad the film and get them shirtless and wet, we're off to The Big Bounce. It'll come down to five teams competing in the finals the very next day. Davids team does not advance but Elgins does, as well as those cheatin wiggers from Orange County.
Oh, remember that whole subplot about Elgin desperately needing the money to pay Emeril back or else get kneecapped? Mr. Rad shows up at the dance-off and informs Liyah that hes already taken care of Emeril by sicking a cop friend on him and hes not going to tell Elgin or David just yet because he thinks they both deserve to sweat it out a bit more. Yes, an entire major subplot is done away with off-camera and then completely dropped with two lines of dialogue. And when Mr. Rad said he'd tell them later he must have meant after the movie was over because the topic never comes up again. Have I mentioned how pathetic this movies script is?
One thing I havent mentioned yet is that theres been this precocious little kid that a member of Elgins crew serves as a big brother for. Known as Lil Saint, the kid is always showing up and begging to become a member of their crew but is always being told that hes still too small to compete with them. I was absolutely positively convinced that this kid would end becoming a part of the crew for the big finale and turn out to be some kind of dancin wunderkind who would blow everyone away. You know what Im talking about because weve all seen this sort of character before. You just knew this is what they were building too. This little kid they keep blowing off is going to be a dancing machine that blows everyone away. Well, the writers of YOU GOT SERVED werent having any of that because the kid ends up getting blown away in an off-camera drive-by shooting. I wish I was making that up. They kill this little kid. They get a phone call at the end of the first day of competition informing them of a drive-by shooting and all rush to the hospital where the doctor has to tearfully break the news to them that Lil Saint died. Some major league overacting on the part of the despondent crew follows. Somehow I dont think the filmmakers meant for this turn of events to generate laughter from the viewing audience - thats what he got.
This is followed up with the scene where Liyah gets Elgin and David in the same room to lecture them about how Lil Saints death proves life is too short. Weve all seen movies with scenes like this so we know this is where the former friends will patch things up and go back to being best friends. Nope, not this time. The scene ends and theyre still at each others throats. Im all for screenwriters avoiding clichés but for crying out loud; these are two occasions where they should have just used the damn clichés already. What were they thinking?
Its the next day at the finals of The Big Bounce and Elgins crew has officially adopted the name "The Lil Saints" and even have hats with 'Lil Saint' airbrushed on them; one crew member is even wearing a t-shirt with a huge airbrushed picture of the kid on it. So in their state of mourning they found the time to track down an all night airbrush artist? I mean what the hell?
Lil Kim finally shows up and serves as one of the judges, albeit a judge wearing a teeny weenie bikini top that shes on the verge of busting out of. The camera makes absolute certain to get her breasts right in the eye line of every close-up she has. I think Russ Meyer may have been the cinematographer.
In what should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone, the competition results in a tie between the O.C. crew and the Lil Saints. Nobodys happy about this; the two crews nearly get into a brawl. Fortunately, Mr. Rad comes running down out of the stands and gets in Lil Kims ear suggesting they settle it in a battle just like they do on the street. She didnt seem to give a damn what this man had to say - I think her bodyguards would have annihilated a guy like him before he even got with three feet of her in real life - until he uttered those two magic words: the street.
I swear to God you could play a drinking game based around the use of the term the street as "the street" is the most commonly used phrase in the script. Everything in YOU GOT SERVED is about the street. They should have done something like the special word of the day on PeeWees Playhouse and have everyone scream and go nuts whenever someone uttered the street.
The mention of the street makes Lil Kims eyes light up like Marlon Brandos would when someone said the words all you can eat buffet and thus she approves of a final winner-takes-all battle between the two crews right then and there. This being the final showdown, its of course now time for Elgin and David to suddenly, inexplicably, rather instantaneously patch things up and reunite their original crew. Theres even a last minute ringer for their side too, an "old friend" we're introduced to for the very first time that chooses this moment to come out of retirement and rejoin his crew for this final climactic choreographed showdown against the forces of well-to-do whiteness. The Lil Saints tear the house down thanks to their use of psychic choreography, that uncanny ability possessed by a group of dancers in a motion picture that have had no time to prepare a routine yet magically put on a perfectly synchronized performance right there on the spot. The highlight of this high-energy routine is that ringer who does some truly incredible moves and easily steals the show and without whom the OC team probably would have won. Technically speaking, wouldn't bringing in this amazing ringer make them the cheaters and the OC guys the underdogs? In the end, the Lil' Saints win primarily due to the spectacular moves of a total ringer.
This truly is one of the worst written movies I've ever seen.
Elgin and David's crew win the day (Thank you, Mr. Last Minute Ringer!) and then the evil white boy gets in Elgin and David's one last time just so our heroes can fire back by zinging him with the movie's title. Everyone cheers some more and the closing credits roll.
Seeing as how the audience I saw the movie with reacted to the two on-screen uses of the films title in much the same way that Eddie Murphy reacted to walking past the two guys wearing Thriller jackets in BEVERLY HILLS COP, perhaps the phrase "you got served" will one day make the movie memorable in much the same way ELECTRIC BOOGALOO helped give the woefully inferior BREAKIN 2 a foothold in pop culture vernacular. Anyone who ever dares attempt to use the phrase you got served as a serious diss should be beaten to a pulp instantly. Thank goodness that South Park episode came along and righteously served YOU GOT SERVED.
Potential sequel titles:
ALSO GOT SERVED
GOT 2 SERVED
GOT SERVED 2: THE SERVENING
WHO'S SERVING NOW?
GOT SERVED EPISODE TWO: ATTACK OF THE WIGGERS
FREE OR GET SERVED
I KNOW WHO SERVED YOU LAST SUMMER
THE SERVING OF THE CHRIST
HONEY, I SERVED THE KIDS
THE DIVINE SERVING OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD
I SERVE ON YOUR GRAVE
THE DAY THE EARTH GOT SERVED
I KNOW WHO SERVED ME
TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER GOT SERVED
ME TO HELL
THE ENGLISHMEN WHO WENT UP A HILL BUT CAME DOWN A MOUNTAIN AND GOT SERVED
MY NAME IS SCOTT FOY AND I PAID TO SEE MILLION DOLLAR MYSTERY
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