Thursday, October 22, 2009

Used Cars

Released: 1980
Reviewed: 10.20.09
Star rating: 3 out of 5

Kurt Russell (Rudy), Jack Warden (Roy/Luke), Gerrit Graham (Jeff), Frank McRae (Jim), Deborah Harmon (Barbara), Michael McKean (Eddie), David Lander (Freddie).

Rudy is a used-car salesman who wants to run for State Senate so he borrows some money from his boss Luke. But when Luke is killed by his brother Roy, who runs the car lot across the street and wants Luke's lot as well, Rudy realizes he needs to hide Luke's death while continuing to run the car lot. But when Luke's long lost daughter shows up the battle to keep the car lot out of Roy's hands becomes a war.

This is a complete 80's, over the top, slapstick comedy combined with mild nudity, sex jokes, stupid stunts, and plenty of overacting, flick. That is also what made it such an enjoyable movie. The plot is decent enough if you can forgive reality for a while but that isn't the point. This is about the comedy. The men are womanizing dorks, the cops are dumb, and the women are even dumber. Used Cars has all the elements needed to make it a success and yet most people have never heard of it, even in 1980.

Acting in this was ridiculous at best. Overacting, missing que's, bad body language, muttered speech, you name it and it probably happened in this one. But, who cares, it is about the comedy which most all of the actors pulled off nicely.

Camera work, sets, and sound were all mediocre at best. Effects based mainly around car crashes were pretty good while dialogue was completely ridiculous, as it should have been. Seriously, how can you make a bad movie that has Lenny and Squiggy and plenty of International's hauling butt across the desert? That alone is worth a few laughs. If nothing else the car crashes alone make the film worth watching.

Overall this is a decent though dated, long forgotten comedy that is worth being dusted off and watched again. If you want to see how Russell got into more mainstream movies watch this one.

A fair amount of nudity, violence, sexual content, graphic foul language, and other adult concepts so save this one for adults.

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