May 1, 2009

The Wraith

The Wraith: a film that has been following my shadowed memories since I began indulging in cinema at an incredibly early age. Upon my initial obscured viewing of The Wraith, traces of this film stuck like tacks to my every film experience. The black figure reminded me of Robocop and in turn the revenge plot took me right back to The Wraith. The lone enigma provoked thoughts of Grease 2 and that 80s byproduct of hairspray and motorcycles refreshed my memory of the spunk that The Wraith accounted for. It wasn't very long until I realized that every route in my cerebral channel will inadvertently wind back to the original slave & master relationship that The Wraith created and damaged with its vicious familiarity attack on my senses. In short: fuck my life.

This is simply one of those films that are relishable to those who appreciate the era. Mocking the harmless, self-contained 80s cheese is that of complaining about the over-abundance of black and white pictures in the 50s. For a sci-fi revenge film, The Wraith isn't grossly disappointing. When it comes down for the retribution, you'll find a lot of irritating cats being iced by methods of a kamikaze parked car in which they crash into at full speed, only to have the car reassemble itself and drive off. For the impact solely based on The Wraith's universe, it's a bit on the ridiculous side. Having an anti-hero to root for is always a welcome tiding but to have a completely indestructible being that jumps from one greaser to the next is just an inevitable countdown that you are now apart of, willingly or not.

In this top billing role, Charlie Sheen shares about 10 minutes screen time tops while the prototype Dodge "Turbo Interceptor" steals the shows and the applause with a futuristic look that, still to this day, creates a forcefield of timeless antiquity. At it's core though, The Wraith is nothing but vehicular fetishism. It's what The Wizard did for Nintendo and at times, the product placement of this blisteringly "cybernetic" automobile seems gratuitous and unresourceful with the many changes that the script could have used. What's worse is the implementing of an "innocent young woman." Most women in revenge fare involve betrayal, deceit, or a slew of virtue-smashing pseudo-dyke whores, for the most part. To see a woman beat to the ground and haven't cracked yet is Hollywood fabrication at its best.

Along with the mocking of the feminine spirit, it seems that The Wraith also indulges in several scenes that follow a contradictory homosexual/homophobic script writing trend with young males, fast cars, and enough euphemisms to temporarily stuff fill the crater that is Jennifer Garner's slutty face - nonsensical at best. To be true to my own developed senses, yes, The Wraith is an absolute travesty on film. But alas, somewhere in the visioning of this masturbatory 80s explosion exhibitionism lies charm, not your normal everyday charm but a festering pocket of immense joy that can only be delivered by a ghost/robot Charlie Sheen. The Wraith isn't scared of making mistakes, rather it chooses to deliver smash bang entertainment with an awkward Lego warrior and an extremely fast car that delivers an enigmatic atmosphere with a droning engine noise that blazes down the roads with such neglect that could only be filmed by a teenager himself.



665+1 said...

I remember watching this one on Sunday afternoons as a kid- always seemed to be on. Judging from your review, what seemed so sinister and kickass to me as an eight year old probably sucks the big one. I'm still inclined to rent it, though- sit in front of the tv, get out some Legos, crayons, try to get the knots out of my yoyo, look up whenever someone is getting plowed into, draw some pictures of Charlie Sheen sprouting gigantic tits.

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