Welcome to the first instalment of The Second Chance Saloon, a venture in which I attempt to do psychological harm to myself by watching, in no particular order, the one hundred films that IMDB.com have deemed to be the worst ever made. Today’s treat, coming in at number seventy-four on the ‘bottom list’, is 1999’s Simon Sez. Described as an action comedy, this unbelievably bad star vehicle has an unnecessary abundance of the former and an outrageous lack of the latter. Dennis Rodman is said star to be ‘vehicled’ in a Michael Jordan style attempt to switch from basketball to acting, but whereas Jordan’s turn in Space Jam was heart-warmingly dreadful, Rodman fails to display any kind of charisma or stage presence, leaving his bleached hair, numerous tattoos and heavy duty face jewellery to remind the audience that he is actually there. A quick bout of internet research on the former NBA star informs me that he is one of forty-seven siblings, astounding me further to think that someone who must have had to do his fair share of attention seeking in life can be so utterly forgettable on screen. Rodman plays Simon, a CIA agent who is on a mission in picturesque France to save the day when a generic Bond villain with a horrendous generic European accent comes in to possession of a giant laser with the intent to blow up the Eiffel Tower. His motive? Because he has never had a job, that is verbatim.
Our ‘hero’ is helped and hindered along the way by a vast array of terrible actors and even more terrible characters, including two undercover monks with access to the most basic looking technology HQ I’ve ever seen on film, and an excruciatingly annoying sidekick played by stand-up comedian Dane Cook. The love interest is provided by model turned actress turned model again Emma Sjoberg (now Wiklund), who whilst being pleasant to look at, has very little dramatic ability and does little to lift the film out of the very bottom of the barrel in which it sits.
So, was there anything, any tiny little thing that I can pick from the rubble of this hot crumbling mess of a movie and say I enjoyed? Honestly, not really, but if you lower your expectations to a level at which you thought they could never sink, than some aspects of the film become slightly less abhorrent. For example, the way in which the main villain’s gang of goons where glam rock make-up for absolutely no valid or explained purpose. The sight of this pleased me for some reason, perhaps just for the fact that it was distraction from the details (if you can call them that) of the plot. Secondly, the film’s action came mostly in the form of very badly choreographed and poorly executed martial arts scenes that took me back to my childhood days and the hours and hours I spent watching the very same thing in episodes of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. However, like the Power Rangers, does Simon Sez have a kick-ass theme tune to make up for it? No, no it does not.
There is no point in awarding scores out of five for anything I cover in The Second Chance Saloon, because without a doubt they are all in minus figures and in an entire universe of their own. On the plus side, Simon Sez was only eighty-two minutes long. On the down side, according to IMDB, there are seventy-three films I have yet to watch that are judged to be worse. Lord help me.
Here is the trailer, for your viewing pleasure.