We’re watching Empire’s 25 worst movies of… the last twenty five years? Please let there not be more.
You would think a movie about strippers would at least have the one redeeming quality of being sexy. After all, that’s why they add all the naked people to the boring exposition scenes in Game of Thrones. Unfortunately, it turns out that if you add enough jerkiness and flailing to both the script and the performances, it doesn’t matter how much nakedness there is, it won’t be even slightly erotic.
Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley) comes to Vegas to dance. Her suitcase is stolen, but she manages to find a friend by exhibiting the sort of emotional whiplash that would make this film the wet dream of misogynists everywhere, if it wasn’t so very boring. She starts working in a seedy strip club (which seems to be advertised prominently on every taxi in Vegas), and through a series of unlikely coincidences, tantrums and lap dances manages to land a part in a big show. Nomi wants the lead role, and the lead dancer apparently wants Nomi, in the least convincing performance of a lesbian ever committed to film. The lead actress suffers an ‘accident’ and Nomi takes over her role and her boyfriend.
Could be worse, right? At least in taking ‘All about Eve’ as a template, they have a good, solid, dependable storyline at the core. Except they decided to cram in two other storylines, neither of which make the slightest bit of sense. There’s the male dancer who wants her to fulfil her artistic side, but who is overwhelmed by his ‘problem with pussy’ (that’s a direct quote), gets booed off the stage, and goes to get married. And there’s her best friend, who sporadically acts as her conscience, and then gets raped. The subject of rape is dealt with using the same care and delicacy as everything else in the movie, i.e. none at all. A nurse states that the victim will be ‘just fine’, and that apparently makes it all okay. I actually don’t have words for how disturbing it was for a rape to be introduced as a way of tying up the story neatly, because the writers were too lazy to think of something better.
My conclusion: don’t see this movie. Ever. If you want to see a good movie about strippers, watch Magic Mike. The only thing I learned from watching this is that it is possible to be concerned that one of the actors is going to be injured by a flying breast. How could the man capable of Robocop make such drivel? I wouldn’t buy this for a dollar.