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Know this first: Gymkata is a truly awful movie.  While watching, you will ask yourself on multiple occasions what on earth motivated you to choose the film, how the filmmakers could have been allowed to create such a monstrosity, and why the movie hasn’t been banned by some sort of convention in Geneva.  (As an aside, I’m firmly convinced momentous meetings happen in Geneva because their delicious cookies.)

And then Kurt Thomas (Olympic gold-winning gymnast) happens upon a pommel horse in the middle of a town square, proceeding to beat a mob of bad guys (who advance one at a time, naturally) with his fusion of gymnastics and martial arts.  If all is not forgiven, at least some is.

If you read Bill Simmons, you’ve probably heard of Gymkata – he seemingly mentions it in every third column.  And hey, in all likelihood, that’s how the movie ended up on my queue.  I’d also urge you to check out i-mockery’s review.  The premise is sublimely absurd.  The U.S. wants to put a military base (as a Star Wars missle defense buffer) in Parmistan, a xenophobic country that thinks the 18th century sounds a bit scary.  The only way to get the country to agree to the base is to have someone enter The Game.  Which is a long obstacle course you could think of as a precursor to Guts or Legends of the Hidden Temple.  Only pretty much everyone who plays The Game loses, the penalty for which is death.  But should someone ever win, by the custom of Parmistan, he’d be granted a wish.

The movie is quite boring, with occasional spurts of unintentional humor.  Apparently it is harder to find ways to blend gymnastics and martial arts than you might think.  I mean, sure, you can have the scene in an alley which has parallel bars, allowing Thomas to flip over and over, knocking down the bad guys.  And a random dude on a bicycle.  And then there’s the aforementioned scene with a pommel horse.  But…uh…apparently that’s it.  Except when (spoiler alert) he crushes some dude between his thighs.

So I dunno.  Is ten minutes of boredom for two minutes of ridiculous an exchange rate good enough to get you to see a movie?

Two Stars

Trailer after the jump: Read the rest of this entry »

October 2008