Simon Sez

1999, Movie, PG-13, 90 mins


This on-the-cheap action thriller appears to exist purely as a showcase for the limited talents of self-created caricature Dennis Rodman, who in turn clearly needs to exploit himself while the exploiting is good. A retired CIA operative who now lives in France and works for Interpol, Simon (Rodman) gets sucked into the apparent kidnapping of a software magnate's daughter (Natalia Cigliuti) by a former spy-school classmate, the buffoonish Nick Miranda (Dane Cook). Simon and his support team, a pair of techno-geek monks who call themselves Brother Macro (John Pinette) and Brother Micro (Ricky Harris), find that the shady business actually has to do with a stolen laser weapon and a computer disk containing launch codes. The weapon is now in the hands of highly affected psychopath Ashton (Jerome Pradon), who plans to blow up the Eiffel Tower and launch his career as a high-tech mercenary. The air of low-budget Eurotrash is unmistakable. Almost everybody has an unidentifiable accent, everybody's a martial artist (including the fat monk), the gadgetry is ridiculous (flying, remote-controlled surveillance cameras disguised as insects), thugs buzz around on silly little motor scooters, and there's always a flock of sheep in the way of something. And it's all truly juvenile: Rodman, of course, is a living cartoon; baddie Ashton is Pee-wee Herman's evil twin, attended by malevolently clownish henchmen; the funky monks act like naughty 12-year-olds; and Simon's nemesis, a Scandanavian martial artist identified as "The Dancer" (Emma Ssjoberg), is a cyberbabe come to life (her strobe-lit sex scene with Simon is the stuff of pubescent wet dreams). Screenwriter/producer-turned-director Kevin Elders cut his teeth on the low-rent IRON EAGLES series, and exploitation stalwart Moshe Diamont of the Dennis Rodman/Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle DOUBLE TEAM produced this time-waster. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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