Wanted Dead And Alive (Bollywood Movie Review)
Release Date 02-Oct-2008
Director Prabhu Deva
Producer Boney Kapoor
‘WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE’ was a 1958 television series starring Steve McQueen. It has now, in the process of upcoming movie lost its colon, and that’s not the half of it. Even to those of us who have upcoming more or less used to the cultural cannibalism that passes for inventiveness these days, the movie Wanted Dead or Alive which opens today at the National and other theaters, will seem outstandingly unnecessary. It’s not that the television show was sacrosanct; all it really had to recommend it was Mr. McQueen. It’s just that producers wanting to make another latter-day urban ”Rambo” should at least be expected to come up with something of their own.
It is mentioned casually in one scene, to the tune of some old timey harmonica music, that Nick Randall, the new film’s hero, is supposed to be the great-grandson of Josh Randall, the bounty hunter played by Mr. McQueen. Beyond that, and Nick’s career as a latter-day bounty hunter who works quietly for the police in Los Angeles, the new film has nothing to do with its supposed predecessor. It involves Nick in the hunt for a wily Arab terrorist named Malak Al Rahim after Malak blows up a Los Angeles movie theater in which more than a hundred men, women and children were at a matinee of ”Rambo” itself. There may be those who fail to see this in the calamitous light that is intended.
Nick Randall is played by Rutger Hauer, who will run his career into the ground by taking more such roles. Mr. Hauer, who is Dutch, has improved his American accent to the point where it sounds innocuously flat and seems to be emanating from somewhere other than his body, but in any case there is little for him to say. He is required mostly to shoot and sneer, and he does this in a wearily one-note way. ”He’s the best there is at a job he hates,” say the posters for this film. If he doesn’t care, why should we?
”Wanted Dead or Alive” has a dim, grubby look and a mostly anonymous cast, though Gene Simmons makes another stab at super-villainy in the role of Malik. Robert Guillaume appears as an old pal of Nick. When confronted with a blood-smeared locker into which Nick has just poured some buckshot (there was an Arab terrorist inside it at the time), he shakes his head with fond bemusement. Mr. Guillaume is better than the rest of the cast, but he has no more reason to be here than the chance to utter some words that could not be said on ”Benson,” his hit television series