Bad Boys for Life
I Am Not Okay with This
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I saw this as a kid. I loved the line "I hope you like tea!" "Why?" "Cuz we are gonna be up to our ass in it!". An accurate thought when an American goes to the U.K.! You have to like Sellers and like old weird movies like this. The humor is quirky and offbeat. My kids would find it a tiresome bore and would not last 15 minutes. But I just watched it again and liked it. Is it a laugh a minute affair? Certainly not. But I didn't doze off either. If you, like me, grew up with UHF TV and old Laurel and Hardy, Three Stooges, Abbot and Costello, Rat Pack and the like, you'll dig it. It's like the old Doctor Who serials compared to the New Who with Tennant and the new guys. I love the old stuff and the new, but my kids only care for the New Who. They find the old serials too slow and plodding. And this movie is just that. Slow and plodding with several jokes that many would find cringe worthy. But I enjoy cringe worthy comedy. So while I like this movie, your mileage may vary some!
The first five minutes featuring a side-splittingly funny gag (I won't say what). Nothing that follows is anywhere near as entertaining. Helen Mirren is the best thing about this.
Peter Sellers plays the titular character, Fu Manchu, a Chinese evil genius who is in the process of stealing all the world's largest diamonds. It's 1933 and Fu Manchu is 168 years old, and uses the diamonds to create an elixir to keep him alive. Some funny, rather offensive things wouldn't make it in a Hollywood film nowadays, but overall slow and uneven.
Yes, this is Peter Sellers final movie, but no, it's not as horrid as they say. Heaven knows, there are Christopher Lee Fu Manchu movies that are worse than this, but there are definite problems. The characters are a wee bit too goofy, and wtf is up with that ending.
And so it came to this, this proved to be Peter Sellers' final film, straight off the critical success of Being There (1979). This followed on from The Prisoner of Zenda (1979), and gave Sellers a chance to play more than one character with this spoof of Sax Rohmer's books. But it ends up being quite embarrassing and tragic, with a lacklustre script with jokes that have been done before and much better too. In the 1930's, Dr. Fu Manchu (Sellers) is celebrating his 168th birthday, but his age-regressing elixir vitae is spilt, Fu has to come up with a plan to make a new batch of the elixir. He sends his minions across the world, to Washinton to steal the Star of Leningrad diamond, and then to London to steal the George V diamond. FBI agents Joe Capone (Sid Caesar) and Peter Williams (Steve Franken) go to London to coax Dennis Nayland Smith (Sellers again) out to retirement to stop Fu Manchu's plan. Fearing the Royal Family might be in danger, Smith and Scotland Yard send in Alice Rage (Helen Mirren) to impersonate Queen Mary, but she ends up becoming enamoured with Fu Manchu, and ends up aiding in his plan. Some of it looks good, but it's sad that Sellers ended his career on this one, seeing him as Elvis is just embarrassing, and not even support from David Tomlinson, John Le Mesurier, Burt Kwouk and Clive Dunn can save it. Piers Haggard (Blood on Satan's Claw) started directing the film, but Sellers fired him and took over. Says it all really.
Not his BEST film but..not his worst...it's def. in between cause you look at it and can say..he's done worse but he's def. done better then this. for me I look at this film as...a sad Peter Sellers Swan song. I think he really tried to be good in this film and all but..it just didn't work. But his performance is great.
Never before (and likely never again) will Fu-Manchu be so light-hearted and downright adorable.
Ive seen 5 Fu Manchu movies & some are good/some not so much but I can't deny that Fu Manchu is a great character. He's main reason why I tune in. A really funny spoof of this series could be made..this isn't it even w/ Peter Sellers pulling double duty as Chu & Nayland Smith. It's actually a tragedy that this was Sellers last role that he end being caught up in such a lame duck production. I didn't think it was going to be as bad as it turned out because I got a couple of giggles in the opening scene before the credits rolled but it falls flat on its face right after that. It's too bad because Sellers tries hard playing to his greatest strength as a master of disguise. It just seemed that the makers of this film thought that would be enough. For his die hard fans it may have been but I found it to be more embarrassing then anything else
This is sadly Peter Sellers's last movie. It isn't that astonishing and lacks the magic of his other films. It's funny only briefly. It's worth seeing for the die hard Peter Sellers fan!
Not the ideal way for Peter Sellers to go out. The film awkwardly juggles a few different brands of humor (none of them particularly funny), and Sellers, though clearly game, is saddled with dual roles that are not all that interesting. It's certainly no atrocity, but it's thoroughly unremarkable.