Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I Finally Ran Out of Patience: "Running Out of Luck" (1987)

This kooky ninety minute music video blitz showcases Mick Jagger without any Rolling Stones gathering around. It is truly bizarre.

Mick plays Mick, a huge rock star who is in Rio de Janeiro to shoot a music video directed by Dennis Hopper (none of the characters, aside from Mick Jagger, have proper names). Mick gets jealous of Jerry Hall during the shoot, and goes off alone with three women to his trailer. The three women are in fact transvestites who rob Mick and throw him on the back of a meat truck headed out of town. The three transvestites then fight amongst themselves, one is killed, and they put his body in a car and roll it off a pier.

Mick wakes up, abandoned in the middle of nowhere, trying to find a phone. He wanders, until being kidnapped and held as slave labor on a banana plantation, where he meets a local prostitute played by Rae Dawn Chong. Chong tries to help Jagger escape. The transvestite's body is found, mistaken for Mick Jagger, and Jagger is assumed to be dead.

The film features about nine songs from Jagger's solo album "She's the Boss," all shot complete in music video format. These are standard looking MTV fodder, it is the story filling in the blanks that is so truly bizarre. Jagger cowrote this, and gives himself lots of screen time. Jerry Hall proves once and for all that her acting career was a fluke. Chong is okay, Hopper is wasted, and the Brazilian scenery is nice. Temple directs the conversations the same way he directs videos, trying to hide the weird story.

At one point, Hall is dating a senator while Jagger cools his heels in prison. The senator has Hall kidnapped, but she escapes and gets her revenge by killing him! The banana plantation owner's wife beds Jagger immediately, so Jagger dresses in drag to escape with the other prostitutes. Recent Oscar winner Jim Broadbent has a tiny role, figuring out Jagger is not dead. This thing is unbelievable!

While it claims to be a musical-comedy-adventure, it is none of these. Jagger's songs all sound the same. The laughs aren't funny, unless you take into account Hall's "acting." There is no action or adventure. Thank goodness for the extended sex scenes between Jagger and Chong, and Chong's unique prison break plan.

"Running Out of Luck" was probably meant as a video album for the fans. Instead, it is so bizarre, so out there, so weird, so bad, that I could not take my eyes off of it. You won't care about the story or characters, but you will be hard pressed to forget such an odd film. (* *) out of five stars.