Trenchcoat is an oddity. Although it was produced by Walt Disney Productions, it was never promoted as such. Disney hadn’t created Touchstone Pictures yet, so due to its more adult themes, Michael Tuchner’s comedy/action mishmash was released without any mention of Disney whatsoever. And who can blame them! Ech.
As of this writing, it has only been four days since I watched Trenchcoat, and I can remember almost nothing about it. Cinemanaut Bill, who joined me for the film, forgot that he even watched it. Normally at this time, I’d give a fairly thorough rundown of the plot, but fuck this movie.
It would appear that “Fuck this movie” was also the opinion of whoever produced the DVD.
Here’s what I remember: Mickey (Margot Kidder) is a writer of shitty noir novels. She’s out of ideas, so she goes to Malta to get some new ones. On the plane trip there, she meets some asshole (Robert Hays).
Please tell me they didn’t order the fish!
Upon reaching Malta she is harassed by an irritating cab driver, and after some confusion involving a postcard, a guy (Leopoldo Trieste) tries to murder her, but she murders him instead?
This scene is a win for anybody wanting to see a mustachioed man
creeping up on Lois Lane while she’s applying deodorant.
It is a loss for everybody else.
She confesses to the Maltese police (David Suchet), but they don’t give a shit. Also, the body is missing. So she goes to a beach and gets harassed by some skeezy fucker (Daniel Faraldo). Meanwhile, some kids find that body that disappeared earlier.
She is arrested because of the body, and maybe something to do with drugs? Anyhow, the guy from the airplane (also from Airplane!) lies to the cops to get her out.
Unlike Joey, Mickey may end up in a Turkish prison.
She does some shitty detective work and discovers that some dead sailor was in love with a drag queen he knew. It’s kind of a sweet moment, except for the fact that the sailor is dead, and the movie is boring. This all apparently has something to do with the drugs and the murderer and the postcard. Also maybe a nuke now?
Honestly, I am not certain what anything has to do with anything anymore.
As it turns out, everyone we’ve met up to this point has been a spy. Even the two old English people who were too boring for me to mention earlier. It turns out that they were the most evil spies of them all.
Surprise! Or something.
The day is saved when the old couple drive their car into the ocean, and hopefully die.
Trenchcoat, if it is about anything, is about honesty, and being genuine. I mean, what else could you expect from a movie where every single character is a shitty-ass spy.
(Except for this guy, who is a shitty ass-spy.)
Our main character takes a break out of her everyday life as a court stenographer to pretend that she is a spy and transform herself in the the novelist she always dreamed of being. In order to be who she wants to be, she must first pretend to be someone else.
Almost as exciting as writing for the Daily Planet!
At one point Robert Hays (damned if I remember his character’s name) takes Mickey out to dinner and tells her all sorts of bullshit stories about his past. She insists on his cutting the bull, to which he replies, “Sometimes the truth can be pretty tedious.” After he comes clean, she sadly agrees that the truth is boring and dull.
A healthy relationship in the making!
Going along with this theme, at one point a couple of Arab stereotypes pump Mickey full of Sodium Pentothal. With a truth serum in the mix, we have an opportunity to see what one of our characters actually thinks, without any inhibitions or deceptions. What does she say? Nothing even remotely interesting.
Though there is much “comical” flopping and flailing.
I guess in the world of Trenchcoat, the only way to be interesting is to pretend to be something you’re not. If only Trenchcoat had taken its own advice and pretended to be a good movie.
WHY DON’T PEOPLE LIKE IT?:
So, I think Trenchcoat doesn’t know what type of movie it wants to be. For all its boring missteps, it has a fairly solid skeleton of interconnected characters all getting in on the espionage action. Unfortunately, the movie can never seem to decide whether it wants to take itself seriously or not. One minute people are getting stabbed in the stomach, the next, a zany cab driver who looks like Jimmy Fallon is cracking shitty jokes.
And forcing celebrities to perform dumb skits with him, probably.
The movie is the worst of both worlds: it still thinks it’s a zany Disney film from the ’70s. But without a wacky twist (computer brain, goose that shits platinum, magical cat, etc.), there’s no appeal. Add in just enough mildly risqué adult material to keep kids out of the theater (and Disney’s name off the marquee) and we have a movie for nobody.
MOST REGRETTABLE MOMENT:
After a snooty and slightly effeminate hotel clerk refuses her tip, Mickey snidely remarks, “I guess he only takes three-dollar bills.”
Thank you, Trenchcoat, for reminding me that that particular slur existed!
I had a bad time. Though, after I told Phil that the movie blew all the chunks, he insisted on watching it. He didn’t think it was quite as bad as I’m framing it, so make of that what you will. If you want to see for yourself, Amazon prints copies to order, because no one is stupid enough to just print up a bunch of Trenchcoat DVDs on the assumption that someone will eventually want them. Ech.
Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992)