Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Frank Review of "Kuffs" (1992)

The Short Version? Beverly Hills San Francisco Snark
What Is It? Action Dramedy
Who Is In It? Clarence Worley, Lilli from Return to the Blue Lagoon, Tom Nuttall, Carl Bruner
Should I See It? No.

Kuffs was my breaking point when it came to Christian Slater fandom, which is why I didn't see True Romance the following year. I caught this at the dollar show, which I'd gone to without my glasses for some reason. My abiding memory of the movie is two girls a few rows back either flirting with or picking on me by throwing popcorn, and my both being too shy and too blind to follow up on it. As for the movie, well, it's a piece of shit that I'd forgotten 95% of in the twenty years between viewings.

Bruce Boxleitner plays Brad Kuffs, head of some landmark rent-a-cop agency that exists as a parallel to actual police by some quirk of local politics. His ne'er-do-well brother George (Slater) had just knocked up and abandoned his girlfriend (a sixteen year old Milla Jovovich) when circumstances force him to take over Brad's duties. This leads the junior Kuffs into conflict with a crimelord with designs on his precinct, the police who don't feel he's up to the job, and his own mutinous employees. George solves all these problems with a smirk and a lot of bad decisions that would only pan out in a movie.

Kuffs is a deeply unlikeable, smug white suburbanite Axel Foley. He's got some decent support in Tony Goldwyn and Troy Evans as adversarial cops and Leon Rippy as a sinister henchman, but it's really the Christian Slater show at its most banal. Few laughs, pedestrian direction, mediocre soundtrack, gratingly repetitive score that's a blatant imitation of Harold Faltermeyer's "Axel F" and entirely too much mugging.

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