Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I’m trying to think of something to say about this movie ‘Confessions of an Action Star’ and I don’t have jack. At least outside of ‘I liked it’ and I thought it was really funny. But since I write these alleged reviews while I am at work supposedly solving some problem or another I gotta keep typing to keep the front up… man, my boss sees me just pecking away like a madman and he swears I’m like the hardest working dude in the company. Top that with the fact that my Tungsten C has died and I can’t play scrabble anymore my options are to ramble about this movie to the end of the page or do some actual work type stuff. Guess which option wins yet again?

‘Confessions of an Action Star’ is a mockumentary surrounding the life of movie star Frank Sledge (David Leitch). When we first meet Frank he’s a little down on his luck, but it wasn’t always that way as our story takes us to Frank's humble beginnings as a little boy somewhere in Iowa, or Idaho or one of those states out there that’s not California or New York, where he was an awesome dance student of Mrs. Jones (Lin Shaye). Things escalated for Frank from there as he would head out west as one of those bow tie wearing, no shirt possessing, thong sporting male dancers and might we add, the best of the best. Though I am unaware of this ever happening before, somehow being a male stripper led to Frank getting his first big break in some ‘Bloodsport’ type movie, complicated by the fact that Frank can’t fight, can't act and can’t follow simple direction, a fact that is reiterated by his co-star in the film Carrie-Ann Moss. Did I put the hyphen in the right place?

Fortunately Frank is saved by his sexually ambiguous colleague and former dance partner Glenn (Nathan Lee Graham). Actually when I think about it Glenn’s sexuality really isn’t all that ambiguous. The problem was that being a dancer Frank needed a beat and once that beat was provided… WATCH OUT!!!

Franks rise and fall from this point on was totally meteoric as he shows in classics like ‘Below the Law’ sporting a rather familiar looking pony tail and ‘Jimbo’, the classic tale of the tortured Vietnam vet coming to a small town kill up some people. Unfortunately during this rise Frank had forgotten where he has come from as stardom has consumed him. More importantly, he has lost the beat. His fall would be chronicled by a number stars, no less notable than Angelina Jolie but also includes such luminaries as Ernie Hudson, Sean Young, E-Rob, Jason George and my personal favorite Kelly Hu who laments how Frank totally screwed up her movie opportunity which consisted of the wise cracking L.A. cop teaming with the kung fu kicking Chinese cop, and why she is talking to us with no poster behind her head. Call me Kelly.

But like a phoenix rising from the ashe,s Frank makes a comeback in the films best scene which is a ‘Matrix’ spoof that features some rather inspired dance numbers with a title that you must actually see as I don’t want to ruin it for you. And how can you have a dance number without a Debbie Allen appearance as the Morpheus character, and might we add that Debbie, despite the fact sixty is fast approaching, was blessing us with some mighty heavy breastage with the bare minimum of support, and then the woman had the nerve to start tap dancing. Outstanding!

I am going to go ahead and assume that my man David Leitch is a really, really nice guy. I mean this is a flick that had to cost, comparatively speaking, next to nothing to make but yet dude managed to convince Angelina Jolie along with a host of other notable actors to show up and do work in. But if you look at the mans filmography he’s been the stunt coordinator or stunt double in almost every decent action movie made in the last ten years so I guess if a guy lays his life on the line so that you can look cool, the least you can do show up in his low budget independent movie. At least I would.

Regardless of all of that ‘Confessions of an Action Star’ has some really funny bits running through it and Leitch, who wrote this thing, directed by one Brad Martin, takes some rather sharp, but amusing stabs at his industry and the stars that inhabit this industry. Of course not all of the gags work and the movie has the occasional slow spot as movies of this nature tend to have to muddle through, but for the most part I really enjoyed this film. The only thing that puzzles me is that this movie is listed as being finished sometime around 2004 but yet it got released like yesterday, considering it’s early in 2009 as I’m writing this. What’s up with that and how exactly does that happen?

Anyway I thought the movie was funny and I am looking forward to see Leitch’s next project which just happens to be as Action Coordinator in the new X-Men Wolverine film. Whatever the hell an ‘Action Coordinator’ is.

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