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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Some Kind of Hero (1982)

  • Richard Pryor
  • Margot Kidder
  • Ray Sharkey
After five years as a Prisoner of War in Hanoi, Army Corporal Richard Pryor is rescued and returns to the States a hero (he makes the evening news after a journalist suggests he bend and kiss the ground). Still, heroes don't linger long in a busy world, and soon Pryor is fighting for his self-worth after the government turns their back on him and his wife admits she's moved on with her life. Serio-comic adaptation of James Kirkwood Jr.'s novel by Kirkwood and Robert Boris makes an uneasy vehicle for the star, who is encouraged to go deeper as an actor yet still retain his naughty persona and signature foul mouth. The character's imprisonment under the Vietcong takes up thirty minutes of screen-time (far too long), while the limply dramatic stuff with the unfaithful Mrs. chews up another ten. Pryor has some strong scenes here and there, but he's relying on externals to get him through. He allows himself to be vulnerable and loving, and this works up to a point, yet the feel-good ending is a cheat (larceny cures all!) and a romance with Beverly Hills hooker Margot Kidder (who appears to have no other clients) is rather unlikely.


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