Movie Review: Ishtar

And as long as we’re talking about wacky thoughts, DKC and I watched the infamous Ishtar last night. Well known for being one of the biggest movie flops of all time, I actually didn’t think it was all bad. It stars Dustin Hoffman, Warren Beatty and Charles Grodin, and tells the story of two clueless wannabe singer/songwriters (Hoffman and Beatty) who travel to Morocco to get their big breakthrough. There, they become enmeshed in an outlandish CIA plot that involves secret agents, assassins and blind camels. Yeah. Honestly, if it had starred say . . . Chevy Chase and Steve Martin, I think this film would never have received the ignominy it has today. As it was, it’s sort of like the filmic equivalent of everyone hearing Dostoevsky was going to come out with a slapstick comedy–there’s this big rush of anticipation. What in the world will this do to the slapstick genre? Surely someone with as much genius as Dostoevsky will blow our minds and make us see slapstick from a whole new angle. And all that turns up is . . . a fairly decent slapstick comedy. It’s the disappointment that burns.

The film was fun, I’ll give it that. Certainly wacky. And it had intentionally bad music by Paul Williams (of Bugsy Malone and Muppet Movie fame). If you haven’t seen it, give it a whirl. Sure, I only give it about two and a half stars, but I think this might be one of those movies that gets better with repeat viewings. Preferably late at night with a large group of punchy people. Anyone else out there seen it?

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6 Responses to Movie Review: Ishtar

  1. berjouhi says:

    I have seen Ishtar, but I probably need to see it again, because I remember Chevy Chase being in it. Strange what my mind decides to do to me.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ishtar Rocks!
    Ishtar is a hysterically funny movie. You really don’t need to be drunk to appreciate it, just have a good sense of humor. There are some hilarious clips up on YouTUbe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzaCqLy7XRo

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