Barb Wire (1996)
Pamela Anderson's Blue Movie
Don't call me babe! - Barb Wire
In the year 2017 America is in a state of emergency as a second civil war has caused mass destruction, except for a city called Steel Harbor where Barb Wire (Pamela Anderson - Scary Movie 3) runs her night club "Hammerhead". But Barb is forced to take on extra work as a deadly bounty hunter to keep afloat and finds that her legendary status not only receives attention from the Congressional Forces but also her ex boyfriend Alex (Xander Berkeley - Leaving Las Vegas) who as a resistance fighter wants Barb to help him out.
From the opening credits which deliver a short scrolling text which informs us that in the year 2017 there is a second American civil war going on and the following extensive footage of Pamela Anderson erotic dancing, in a skin tight leather outfit which she frequently bursts out of whilst being drenched in water, everything about "Barb Wire" screams terrible. It's best to describe "Barb Wire" as a 90s reworking of an 80s apocalyptical movie, with more than a touch of the soft porn about it with its frequent skimpy outfits. Think "Mad Max" meets "Streets of Fire" and you sort of get an idea of what "Barb Wire" is trying to be.
Except "Barb Wire" doesn't get close, its attempts at an apocalyptical future are terrible with cliche after cliche being thrown in. Even the storyline itself is nothing more than a reworking of other movies, patching together elements of various stories to try and pad it out. But to be frank the storyline becomes insignificant as quickly as it becomes incomprehensibly far fetched. I would usually say that the storyline is riddled with plot holes but I would say there are more plot holes than actual storyline as nearly every scene; every so called plot twist just increases the level of contrivance. Any attempt to create intrigue surrounding the main character of Barb Wire is lost because it feels almost like it's a character made on the fly, when suddenly someone suggests well lets make her this everyone else agrees with no consideration to what has been done before.
But then I honestly don't know whether "Barb Wire" was made to be a serious movie or an attempt to pastiche others. There are too many humorous moments from corny dialogue through to caricatures such as the character Big Fatso which seems to be inspired by Jabba the Hut to make it a serious movie. Yet the humorous moments jar with the actual story that for the most feels like it is trying to be taken seriously.
Of course we have the performance from Pamela Anderson who delights us with various tight outfits throughout the movie accompanied by an ever changing hair do. What can you say other than "Barb Wire" makes the most of Pamela's assets and I am talking about her breasts as they become the focus of many a scene which I presume is partly an attempt to distract from both poor acting and to be frank a poor character. One minute we have this feisty rebel/bounty hunter who will kick peoples butt if they call her babe yet in a split second she will then pout and worry about a broken nail. It's a confused character, maybe developed to be intentionally ironic, but it leads to the confusion as to whether "Barb Wire" is trying to be serious or funny.
In many ways it's probably a good thing for many of the other stars that their performances were unmemorable and over shadowed by Pamela's because with the likes of Xander Berkeley, Victoria Rowell and Jack Noseworthy appearing they add little or in fact anything to make it any better. It is quite sad that a scene which features a dog being a bouncer at the club being one of the most memorable and entertaining moments.
What doesn't help things is between director David Hogan's attempts to make it moody with a lot of dark scenes flooded by blue light and a rock n roll soundtrack, which features when ever the movie is set in the HammerHead nightclub, you are more likely to get a hammering headache from trying to watch.
What this all boils down to is that "Barb Wire" is an obvious attempt to capitalize on Pamela Anderson's popularity during the middle of the 90s, but ends up being a movie which only capitalizes on her noticeable assets. It attempts to be one thing, that of an apocalyptical action flick, but when it tries to combine humour into the proceedings it makes for an uneasy blend. All of which is no real consequence because to be honest the storyline is terrible and nothing can disguise that, even corny dialogue and cornier acting. It is basically a movie for fans of Miss Anderson and her assets and as such the opening erotic dancing scene will not disappoint.
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