Give 'Em Hell Malone Russell Mulcahy

Give 'Em Hell Malone Russell Mulcahy
Marketed as a crime-centred action film noir, given its stylistic sensibilities and awareness of genre conventions, Give 'Em Hell Malone is more of a subtle satire and comedy than anything from the Philip Marlowe lexicon. From the get-go, Malone (Thomas Jane) narrates the film with a caustic sensibility that implies familiarity with what is to come, despite the film playing as a straightforward mystery with exaggerated, off-centre elements. He's a private eye hired to uncover a briefcase for a sultry femme fatale (Elsa Pataky), who may or may not have an agenda of her own. Since we see what is in the briefcase within ten minutes of the film opening — something unheard of in these films, as referenced in modern fare like Pulp Fiction and Ronin — and Malone runs to his retirement home bound mother to stitch up his gunshot wounds, an overall tone of gumshoe parody is understood, even if it's exceedingly underplayed. Occasional jabs such as, "don't mumble, Malone, it makes you sound uneducated" act as a reminder of this throughout. The actual plot is appropriately convoluted, with a second detective named Boulder (Ving Rhames) searching for the suitcase with his pyromaniac assistant, Matchstick (Doug Hutchinson), in tow, along with a diversion involving a prostitute addicted lounge singer (played by French Stewart) and a schoolgirl ninja that likes to castrate men during fellatio. It all adds up to a deeper conspiracy, of course, which ultimately attempts to subvert the hyper-realized constructed universe these characters inhabit. In theory, this is an interesting play on cinematic expectations, especially given the timeless aspect of juxtaposing emails and cell phones with fedoras and '50s cars, but without analysis Malone just comes off as a crappy cable movie. It's hard to imagine an audience that would appreciate both its trashy, mainstream sensibilities and in-house, theoretical humour. Surely there is someone to appreciate noir farce, and if not, they can at least find amusement in the awkward Thomas Jane interview included as a supplement, where he comes off as an arrogant, inarticulate dick. (E1)