The Fan

Bomb Rating: 

(Director Tony) Scott is more of a salesman than a film director. His movies are brain candy for men who can't think and chew at the same time.

When I think of Tony Scott, I think of him making tampon commercials. Imagine a deep blue sky behind an incredible desert panorama of majestic mesas -- then suddenly, out of nowhere, comes Elmer the flying tampon. Quickly, Elmer is on billboards across the country and for the first time in marketing history, men are buying tampons like baseball cards.

I suggest this ridiculous scenario only because Scott is more of a salesman than a film director. His movies are brain candy for men who can't think and chew at the same time. For God's sake, someone came to this man and said, "we'd like you to make a movie about a sport where guys drive around in a circle real fast," and he did it ("Days of Thunder"). Before that someone came up to him and said, "we'd like you to make a movie about guys flying planes real fast," and he did that too ("Top Gun").

In "The Fan," Tony Scott is selling again and, unless you're an idiot, you should know by now to keep your money in your wallet. Robert De Niro plays Gil Renard, a loser and crazed San Francisco Giants baseball fan who admires and stalks his favorite player, Bobby Rayburn (Wesley Snipes). Tony tries to sell us the Robert De Niro as crazed lunatic schtick, which is kind of like a chef regurgitating his lunch and trying to pass it off as an exciting new dinner special. Tony, have you heard of "Cape Fear"? With the incessant music of The Rolling Stones and Nine Inch Nails playing during all moments of the film, Tony is also reminding us that "The Fan" soundtrack is now available in stores.

The final thing Tony tries to sell is Ellen Barkin as Jewel Stern, a popular sports radio personality. The sale falls through on the first full shot, when Ellen pulls off her jacket and there are her nipples sticking through her shirt like tent stakes. Can anybody recall a movie in which Barkin wasn't obviously braless? If Barkin ever starred in a Mother Theresa biography, the producers would be forced to play to her strengths and rename it "Mother T in the Arctic."

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