May 16, 2000

Eve of Destruction (1991)

The IMDb says: "Eve is a military robot made to look exactly like her creator. When she is damaged during a bank robbery, the robot begins to use more of the memories she has been programmed with by her creator, the dark, angry ones. She will also become a killing machine if anyone tries to stop her. Gregory Hines is assigned to stop the robot and with the scientist who programmed her tries to think what she will do next."

and more:

"Eve is a robot, modelled on her creator. Eve's armoury includes a nuclear bomb, which for unexplained reasons is on-board during Eve's testing. When things go wrong during the tests, Eve is lost in the big city. Enter the rescue team, which includes the real (human) Eve. They must find and disarm her before she goes bang. Eve is programmed to protect herself at all costs, so when she runs into a problem, she resorts to her super strength; hence the destruction."

Ooh, doesn't it sound exciting! Unfortunately this film from 1991 is so s-l-o-o-o-w that it has taken me until now to finish watching it. I found it half wound in my old video drawer and thought I'd give it another go... I wish I hadn't.

I don't think I've ever heard actors deliver their lines quite so slowly ever before. I now have a new thing to add to my "Things said in front of the telly!" blog: "For God's sake, spit it out and get on with it!" Of course this would be better suited to my "Things said in front of porn" section especially as the "heroine" of the title is Dutch... but that's another story.

In spite of the fact that the Eve robot (and the sexy Eve doctor) is played by the gorgeous Renee Soutendijk from "Spetters" (1980), and this film also starred the late Gregory Hines (no, I didn't know he was dead either. I wondered where he had gone!), it was a complete and utter bomb (no pun intended).

There is very little suspense even though we know that the robot contains a nuclear device which could explode at any time. The biggest trouble is that it just doesn't explode soon enough to spare the audience from watching the rest of the film.

The script is nothing better than you'd get on something like an episode of "Torchwood", mind you, it's no worse either. Having the director as a co-writer should have made things easier to get right. Unfortunately the director was Duncan Gibbins who is known mainly for pop videos including the 80s classic by "Wham!" - Club Tropicana! I rest my case!

It really is the acting, or lack of it, that lets this down though. It's so deadpan that they might as well all be in Pet Shop Boys video (or maybe that was the idea!). You get the feeling that that once they'd all got dressed up the actors decided that was enough to earn their money and gave up on the rest of it. I can't say I blame them either.

To see Renee in something good though I recommend "The Girl with the Red Hair" (about the Dutch resistance in World War II). Couple it with "Soldier of Orange" with Rutger Hauer and then watch "Spetters" (with both of them in!) for a fully satisfying evening! I also recommend her in "The Fourth Man" (the forerunner to "Basic Instinct") if you want something a bit sexier!

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