Wade D., Here….
‘Leonard Part 6‘ is one of those movies that I remember watching as a kid, and even then I was wondering what the hell was going on. I remember wandering through the video store and seeing this movie with Bill Cosby on the cover. A spy movie with one of my favorite TV funny men, and I thought to myself “This is a definite rental!” For those that are unfamiliar with this movie, let’s catch you up. On paper, this movie sounds like it has success written all over it. This movie was released in 1987, starring Cosby as the best CIA agent in the world that is pulled out of retirement to fight a unyielding crime syndicate in this spy spoof movie. Sounds like a can’t miss, right? It missed….bad.
This flick is labeled as Part 6, but there was no parts 1-5, and it explains this early on that those films were locked up for world security. Leonard is an exceptional spy, but his talents go far beyond hand-to-hand combat and driving his jet-powered spy car to include running a high-end restaurant. The crime syndicate that has the CIA on its heels is a vegetarian faction using brainwashed animals to murder those that get in their way. Our hero Leonard saves the day through a ballet dance-fight, ground beef and fleeing on the back of a flying ostrich.
If you haven’t seen ‘Leonard Part 6‘, I’m sure there were several lines in the last paragraph that needed to be re-read, perhaps with a jaw dropped in disbelief. All of the jokes in the movie fall flat on many accounts. It is really unclear why there is this whole vegetarian angle, and it doesn’t work. There is a secondary story line that runs through the movie with Coz dealing with issues with his wife and daughter. Even though this is right in Cosby’s comedic sweet spot, shockingly there isn’t that much funny here either.
While the absurdist angle doesn’t work in the sense of the parody for spy movies, somehow it is so crazy that it works as a Diamond in the Rough movie. One of the reasons I love these movies is because you don’t have to follow the plot that closely, and can have some beverages and conversations here with your friends. The visuals on this movie are crazy, and because the plot is so absurd you don’t have to work too hard follow the story, after all, it’s unlikely the filmmakers did. There is a line in the movie during the ballet dance-fight where the antagonist says “clever, but dumb” which I believe they were trying to communicate to the audience that they were in on the joke… the problem is that the movie is not clever either.
Is this one worth watching? Sure. This is one of those movies where the visuals and dialogue are insane, and the movie starts out from such a crazy place that it works for being a good “bad movie”. Plus, this movie is pretty clean in language and nudity, so it is a fun bad movie that you can watch with the family. This is an important note, because most of the movies that will be reviewed later are not suitable for children (if anyone). What I hope for here is that in this age of movie remakes, we can just let this one be.
Overall, this movie is a fun one to watch with a group of people over some adult beverages. Even though Cosby is drenched in sweat (perhaps of the flop variety) throughout the entire movie, the special effects are good for the time and the disjointed lunacy makes this one movie you will likely remember for quite a while. Watch it and weigh in… Let your voice be heard!