LEONARD PART 6 is one of those titles that spring to mind whenever one wants a definitive example of a bad movie. But is it really that terrible? Since it was being shown today on the Black Starz channel, I decided to see for myself. Perhaps it's just misunderstood, or maybe there's untapped camp potential in it, and it's about time I watched the whole thing to find out.
The verdict? It's bad, yes, but it's only bad - not offensive, ugly, tasteless or depressing. The premise actually had promise - a retired spy (whose assignments 1-5 were classified "in the interest of national security") returns to thwart the plans of a vegetarian madwoman who, with the help of armies of mind-controlled animals, is bent on world domination. But, boy, is the final product a lethargic bore. The movie plays like an experiment to see just how slow an eighty-minute movie can feel; it's badly written and directed, the actors seem lost and lacking in energy, and there's no evidence of even the slightest bit of intelligence on either side of the camera.
Is there any reason to see this movie? If you're a MST3K fan, perhaps; there's plenty of dead air to weave your own snide commentary through, and the movie even features Joe Don "MITCHELL" Baker in a small part. Or maybe you've heard about all the blatant Coca-Cola product placement in the movie, and keeping count of them could provide something for your brain to do. That's what I did, but I counted only three Coke plugs - not a whole lot, granted, but the second sighting was inexcusable. (A full bottle of the Pepsi rival is held in the middle of the frame for an extended shot of meaningless chitchat - it wasn't being sipped from, just held there for no real reason.)
What else? Well, the actresses who play Leonard's wife and daughter are quite beautiful, the villianess embodies the appropriate, Cruella de Vil-like dementia that the role requires, and the various animals deployed in the plan - ostriches, zebras, anteaters, frogs, trout and lobsters - are fun (or, rather, they'd be fun in a livelier movie). But what's up with that final scene? Is dumping pasta and cake on your loved one in a fancy restaurant anyone's idea of foreplay?
Alas, despite a half-hearted chuckle or two that this movie produces, there's no camp value to be found. LEONARD PART 6 doesn't inspire any venomous hatred like, say, FREDDY GOT FINGERED does - it's more like a "bad boring" movie along the lines of GLITTER. Whether that's better or worse, I leave you to decide.