Review: ‘The Adventures of Ford Fairlane’

Surprisingly funny and expectedly rude, this first starring vehicle by vilified standup comic Andrew Dice Clay has a decidedly lowbrow humor that is a sort of modern equivalent of that of the Three Stooges.

Surprisingly funny and expectedly rude, this first starring vehicle by vilified standup comic Andrew Dice Clay has a decidedly lowbrow humor that is a sort of modern equivalent of that of the Three Stooges.

Clay plays Ford Fairlane, a private eye specializing in cases involving rock acts (hence his overused nickname, ‘the rock & roll detective’). He gets drawn into a murder mystery linked to a shock-radio deejay (Gilbert Gottfried, in a hilarious cameo), and a sleazy record executive (Wayne Newton) and his ex-wife (Priscilla Presley).

With its heavy rock bent and the direction of Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2), much of the film resembles a musicvideo.

Aside from his appeal to rednecks and high-school boys overly impressed by certain four-letter words, Clay’s chain-smoking goombah in many ways self-parodies the macho ethic that prize rock’n’roll, fast cars and cheap bimbos above all else.

The film’s most significant find, undoubtedly, is Lauren Holly who brings a lot of flash and charisma to a difficult role as Fairlane’s longing girl Friday. Also, Robert Englund (aka Freddy Krueger) plays a sadistic killer, sans makeup.

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane

Production

20th Century-Fox/Silver. Director Renny Harlin; Producer Joel Silver, Steve Perry; Writer Daniel Waters, James Cappe, David Arnott; Camera Oliver Wood Editor Michael Tronick; Music Yello Art John Vallone

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1990. Running time: 104 MIN.

With

Andrew Dice Clay Wayne Newton Priscilla Presley Morris Day Lauren Holly Robert Englund

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