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ANDREW DICE CLAY IN 'THE ADVENTURES OF FORD FAIRLANE'

year: 1990 rating: ***
This movie seems like something it isn’t – an introduction to Andrew Dice Clay onto the big screen, the at-that-time popular standup comic whose gloriously chauvinistic routine gave him the chance to have his own vehicle and character both, FORD FAIRLANE, and yet THE ADVENTURES is hardly his first time at bat… Clay had a scene-stealing role, praised by critics and audiences alike, in CASUAL SEX, played the cool bouncer bonding with Jon Cryer in PRETTY IN PINK and before all that was a thug nicknamed “Dice” in the Judd Nelson comedy MAKING THE GRADE.

The Koala Survives!
But FORD gave the man the chance to prove his worth as a screen giant, and surprisingly it was not in a comedic fashion… Which doesn't mean Dice doesn’t try to be funny… Yet his signature one-liners seem rather contrived – the comic persona fails to resonate throughout the otherwise entertaining story about a Rock N' Roll detective caught in a Neo Noir Gumshoe maze, searching for the cause of a famous singer's death, and that of an obnoxious deejay. Like the Bogart genre this intentionally mirrors, there are tons of smitten dames, last names, dangerous clues, neon nighttime locales, and noisy brawls where Dice seems most comfortable.

High octane director Renny Harlin began as a second rate Tony Scott, specializing in extreme close-ups captured within an MTV gloss readymade for opening night audiences, but no one can deny his talents here, rising above a flawed script while making FAIRLAINE a worthwhile action vehicle even when the driver seems overwhelmed in the process. Like when Dice shined in his cameo roles, he basically plays second fiddle to all the suspenseful big budget distractions.
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