Sony // 1987 // 85 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 6th, 2005
Our world is in safe hands.
Here's a long-lost piece of psychological trauma from 1987. Leonard, Part 6, Bill Cosby's cinematic low point, tells the story of a millionaire superspy, his estranged wife, and the plot of a crazy vegetarian to overrun the world with hyper-intelligent woodland creatures. Oh, Picture Page, where are your super-erasing powers when we need them?
Leonard Parker (Bill Cosby, Ghost Dad) is a former CIA super-agent, now turned millionaire restaurateur. When he's not in the kitchen of one of his mega-successful restaurants he's languishing in his mansion, pining for his ex-wife.
Meanwhile, government agents are being systematically killed by seemingly harmless animals. The most recent death, that of a spy devoured by a maniacal rainbow trout, prompts the CIA to recruit Parker back into action.
Leonard resists, but when it's made clear to him by his wife she hates his guts, he turns to his other love: tooling around his armored Porsche and causing large amounts of property damage. So he suits up and heads for the International Tuna corporation, a front for the evil Medusa Johnson (Gloria Foster) and her covert operation to convert the world's population to vegetarians by using a device that turns harmless animals into bloodthirsty killers.
Chaos ensues, followed by lots of incoherent nonsense, then more chaos, probably immediately followed by the viewer place-kicking the DVD out the living room window, then falling to his or her knees and begging his or her Divinity to forgive him or her for wasting the past 85 minutes of his or her life.
Leonard, Part 6 is one of the true blights on the record of recent theatrical history. Bill Cosby himself recognized the stratospheric turd that was this movie; he warned audiences on national television to conserve their money and stay away from the movie. Kudos to him -- that actually kind of lets him off the hook for bringing this fetid piece of chimpanzee feces into existence.
The strongest part of the movie is the opening, where a rainbow trout consumes a CIA agent in his pool. And even that's pretty stupid. The next 45 minutes or so are painfully slow and unfunny. Leonard meets with the CIA for some exposition. Goes home. Says hi to his daughter. Gets dressed up. And then has dinner with his ex-wife for an interminable amount of time. When he finally does suit up for action, we're two thirds of the way done already. But the worst is yet to come. The Leonard-in-action sequences are not only unfunny and not the least bit entertaining, but nightmarishly surreal. He fights a bunch of guys in chicken costumes, then puts on some ballet slippers (?) -- cut to obvious stunt legs -- and next thing you know he's shaving a chicken guy with an electric razor.
But wait, there's plenty more to endure! There's the whole incoherent, nefarious scheme that Medusa rattles off, the weird eunuch goons who cower before a piece of steak, the horrible special effects, the annoying butler/narrator, the ridiculous finale...look, the whole affair is a disjointed, nonsensical, unfunny rabbit punch to the spleen. I'd like to look for the silver lining, but I'm sorry, this a film that was better left locked in a vault filled with scorpions, lined with poison sumac, and launched into space. It's not even in that "so-bad-it's-amusing" category. It's in the "so-bad-I-want-to-swallow-Liquid-Plumr" category.
The DVD is a barebones offering -- as expected. An anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfer is satisfactory, but nothing special. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is fairly subdued and front-loaded. No special features. And we're done.
Okay, I just thought of something I kind of liked. The underarm missiles. Those were pretty nifty.
When I was young the Ponderosa steakhouse chain was marketing Leonard Part 6 and offered a variety of movie-inspired trinkets. One was a mini-camera. I bought it and enjoyed it. And that is the only pleasant feeling I associate with this horrid, horrid movie.
Guilty and sentenced to repeated bull gores.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 1987
MPAA Rating: Rated PG