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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Retro Review: The Man With One Red Shoe (1985)

The Man With One Red Shoe
Cast: Tom Hanks, Lori Singer, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, James Belushi, Carrie Fisher
Genre: Comedy
U.S Box Office Gross: over $8.6 million

Plot: A man picked randomly out of a crowd is made the target of CIA surveillance and pursuit

'Shoeless Attempt Of A Comedy & Lacking In Laughs'

An espionage comedy of huge proportions, but for the odd moments, The Man With One Red Shoe is sadly devoid of humour and laughs.

Based on the original French motion picture, Le Grand Blond avec une chaussure noire (translated as The Tall Man with One Black Shoe) by Francis Veber who did La Cage Aux Folles, which was remade and released in 1996 as The Birdcage and Les Compares, as well as co-writing the screenplay for 1997's Fathers' Day, The Man With One Red Shoe sees Tom Hanks as Richard Drew: a violinist who becomes an innocent pawn and who is followed, his house is bugged and is on the run, all because he wears a pair of red shoes - or be it sneakers.

Before his permanent and full-time turn as a dramatic actor, Hanks's output up until Philadelphia in 1993 were mostly light-hearted comedies, as well as carving out his name in the TV world with sitcom, Bosom Buddies: whilst many of the films but for say Big were largely disappointing, that comedic and fun side of Hanks was a joy to watch sometimes and it is definitely something that has gone amiss these days from his movies. Had his comedy movies output matched the comedy talents of Hanks, then maybe perhaps his career would have been far more diversive in having both good comedy and dramatic movies (much like with Robin Williams) and for that alone, I would have been more than satisfied. Because Hanks has a very likeable onscreen presence and he has shown how adept he can be at doing light-hearted and serious roles with ease.

As well as the one Red shoe, Richard has one pair of one red briefs/underpants.

The film was a little slow at the beginning and was very bland and uninteresting, but once Hanks's character showed up, it regained my attention, only for the story to get even more dreary and dull. The characters themselves are very underdeveloped characterisation-wise and the movie is very disjointed and I nodded off a few times. Maddy is a forgettable and dull character and despite Footloose and Fame's Lori Singer's portrayal, a more recognisable actress would have brought far more to that role than she did. Additionally, Singer and Hanks's chemistry just didn't work for me and it looked unconvincing.

The Man With One Red Shoe wasn't as funny as I'd expected and hoped it would be; as a spy-like movie, this has more in common with Fletch (although Fletch has a few more watchable scenes than this film). The scene where Lori singer's, Maddy hair gets caught in Hanks's zipper was a tad amusing though. The film finally reaches its climax during the last 10 mins and it was the best part of the movie.

Otherwise, this is a drudging snooze fest, tame in many respects and is totally lacking in genuine comedic and humourous scenes. It's no huge surprise to see why it tanked in America. Though I'm not going to give it an even lower mark because Tom Hanks is a great performer and an okay kind of guy with plenty of charm.

But this is yet another case where insofar as his comedy movies go, he deserved far better.

Final Verdict:

Tom Hanks fans may want it to add to their collection, but with the others, it's perhaps worthy of a rental or when it's on TV, and yet not worth owning on DVD.

Hanks, himself, is apparently not a fan of The Man With One Red Shoe, and that is understandable. The comedy just didn't materialise or come through, whatsoever and the mystery and intrigue that has been alluded in this film were simply lost, no thanks to the not so amusing script. Seeing as it was based on the original French version of the film, I wonder exactly how interesting, or not that particular version was, and that if it wasn't that interesting or funny enough, how this was green-lighted for a U.S remake.

Low on fun and amusement, unlike Ivan Reitman and Francis Veber's remake of Fathers' DayThe Man With One Red Shoe is sadly dreary and not very funny as it is shoe-less.


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