Movie Reviews : ‘Bulletproof’? It’s Shot Through With Holes
“Bulletproof” (citywide) is almost sense-proof as well. First it asks us to accept Gary Busey as a gung-ho cop who tangles single-handedly with gun-running gangs.
Then--in the era of multibillion-dollar high-tech military programs--we’re presented with a major superpower confrontation somewhere down in Mexico, where a scurvily grinning, sadistically murderous band of Cubans, Nicaraguans and Arabs--dominated by a Soviet officer who talks like Bela Lugosi--have imprisoned a few CIA agents, a priest and assorted peasants in the local church. They’ve also stolen America’s ultimate new weapon--which turns out to be a bulletproof tank.
Wait a minute. A bulletproof tank? What’s the target of this invasion: Disneyland? Pretty soon, bulletproof Busey is dodging flak and slipping ammo south of the border, while his old girlfriend, peppery-tongued trouble-shooter Darlanne Fluegel, is fighting off the oily attentions of the baddies’ glowering, leering, sex-crazed Arab leader (Henry Silva).
The writing here is probably less intelligent than Silva’s much-mentioned camel--and Steve Carver’s direction probably moves more slowly. Only the opening scene has any life. For the rest of “Bulletproof” (MPAA-rated R, for sex, violence, nudity and language), dreary music drones while actors thrash around sullenly in muddy cinematography and muddier platitudes.
It’s a genuine shame to watch Busey--one of the most vital character actors of the ‘70s, wasting himself in a cliche-ridden stinker like this. Or to see those two old Peckinpah troupe veterans--L. Q. Jones and R. G. Armstrong--slogging along in their thankless honcho roles. It’s as if the movie itself were a terrorist attack, torturing the cast and holding the audience hostage, while systematically stupefying them. Advice to the potential customer: never negotiate.