Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

There is a reason I included all of the box covers that I could possibly find to display on this page.  I wanted you to see all that this film had to offer and not go out and waste your precious time renting it.  Look at those girls over there.  Good looking, aren’t they?  Keep on looking and take it all in.  Just in case you think you should rent the flick for the chance of seeing one or more of our lovelies all nekkid, don’t waste your time.  I have one little gripe with one the box covers however.  The one when the girls are in their cat burglar suits?  I don’t think that is actresses Candise Lakota’s real ass.  Her ass looks okay in the movie and all, but I betcha they found a shot Rihanna’s badonk or Gabrielle Union’s bum and superimposed it on Candise’s ass.  Of course if Ms. Lakota wants to prove to me otherwise, I accept that challenge.  Keep on lookin’ and take it all in my friends because I’ve sacrificed 100 minutes of life to keep you from doing the same.

‘The Champagne Gang’ starts out with Bliss (Lacey Toupes) narrating to the best of her ability over a scene of her and her three best buds getting arrested.  The origizationally minded Bliss, along with ditzy blonde Erika (Suri Serano), tough girl Erika (Tarah Tobiason) and smart girl Michelle (Lakota) – we know she’s smart because she wears glasses – spend their time pulling off sleight of hand liquor store heist in the Southern California area.  They aren’t bad girls, and they don’t use guns or anything and truth be told it’s just a way to pass the time.  A small problem arises when they smuggle in a crap load of knock off cigarettes from Mexico that were made of donkey shit.  That’s what they said.  Since the girls already spent their loot, they need a way to pay back their fence and they manage to hookup with local mob boss Cal Wertleib (David Anthony Pizzuto).  Wertleib takes the girls under his wing and turns them into real B&E crew, complete with a heartwarming safe cracking training montage.

Things are going well for girls, knocking over grocery stores and pulling in loot hand over fist, but this Champagne Gang as they will be known – this is allegedly based on a true story - start getting sloppy.  Like by having playful milk fights at one the stores they are supposed to be ripping off or buying Ferrari’s with no discernable means of income.  Enter Police Detectives Ricketts (Damon Whitaker) and LaGata (Jessie Camacho).  When Detective Ricketts appeared on the scene I, purely in jest, made the offhand comment ‘what the hell is Forest Whitaker doing in this movie?’  Little did I know that Damon Whitaker is actually Forest’ little bro.  Forest, letting your brother show up in this flick ain’t exactly good lookin’ out.  This pair of cops can’t seem to pin down who’s committing these crimes despite the surveillance tape they have, still looking for male perpetrators.  Now I don’t see too good, but the tapes clearly showed figures with pinched waists, flaring hips and high heeled black knee high boots, which means that these are either women or the most effeminate dudes ever.  But Detective Camacho had to slow the tape down frame by frame to convince Kojak over there that these aren’t dudes that they are looking for.  This ‘revelation’ makes solving the case pretty easy which takes us back up to our opening scene.

We have established the four girls on the box are very attractive, correct?  Now I don’t want to be mean but how hard can it be to find, in California no less, four pretty girls who know how to act.  I mean these four girls, all of them, struggled MIGHTILY getting through their lines.  We’re talking basic delivery here.  “You said you were (pause) going to meet us over (pause) here!”  They were just awful.  I guess they picked Lacey Toupes to handle the narration because she sucked the least, but even her narration came off like a second grade teacher reading a book she’s never seen before to her class.  It pains me to trash these girls because as you can plainly see they are just adorable in their little cat burglar suits and those bathing suit shots are just awesome.

And then there were the relentless montages which must of added a good forty minutes to the running time.  The training montage, the telling stories in prison montage, the ‘we're robbing folks’ montage, the ‘we're playing on the beach’ montage, the partying at the club montage.  Somebody, at whatever film school director Daniel Zirilli went to, told my man that only a sucker puts fewer than two montages in their movie.  I should also mention that actor Bokeem Woodbine makes a very odd albeit very brief appearance credited as ‘Rock Star’ where he is on stage howling out some tune with a Stratocaster swinging from his shoulder.  He invites the girls on the stage and they dance while he howls, leading me to fear another montage was approaching, but no, just Bokeem howling.  And that was it for Bokeem.

Seriously though, if the girls weren’t so awful in delivering their lines then this movie might have had a chance, but it’s very hard to get past their lack of skill to even start to enjoy or criticize what else might be right or wrong in the rest of the movie.  I think I’m feeling a montage coming on…

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