Ah… the dark days of Marvel Comic
movies. Way back before Iron Man and stuff, when Reb
Brown was Captain America, or Albert Pyun was directing
Captain America, or my main man Dolph as The Punisher.
Don't forget those TV Hulk movies featuring Rex Smith as the
Daredevil and Erik Allen Kramer as Thor, not to mention that
Spiderman TV show from the seventies starring Nicholas Hammond
that I remember loving as a kid and of course that Fantastic
Four movie that's was supposed to be so bad that it has been
buried under a fifty feet of concrete for all time. Of
course we own that movie, as well as those others, except that
Spiderman show which seems completely unavailable, and that
makes me sad. But we're here to speak of the darkest
days, the year of 1998, years before Samuel L. Jackson would
don the eye patch, but The Hoff… David Hasselhoff as the
erstwhile chief of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury. And while
that might sound like a recipe for complete disaster to
you, the truth of the matter is that 'Nick Fury: Agent
of S.H.I.E.L.D.' isn't really all that bad. Uh… that is
when taken in context.
The cold war is over and there's just no room for tall,
grizzled, eye patched, hardcore soldiers like the good Colonel
Nick Fury (Hasselhoff), that is until the crazed but hot
Andrea Von Strucker (Sandra Hess), known in the villain world
as Viper, kidnaps her dead, frozen father Baron Von Strucker
out of some high security facility with low rent
protection. So what, right? She kidnapped a dead
dude, BFD. Unfortunately this dead dude has the
remnants of a killer virus in his system that Viper plans to
harvest and unleash upon the world. Not cool. Now
that things are looking pretty dark for the planet Earth, it's
time to dust off Nick Fury and beg him to save us all.
Nick is down with this because planet
saving is what he does, so he and his crack team of agents,
which includes green agent Neil Roberts (Alexander
Goodwin Pierce) and his
former love Valentina (Lisa Rina), the team
is ready to take down the forces of HYDRA! The whole
former love thing does serve the purpose of introducing a
healthy bit of melodrama into this tale, which it really
didn't need, but we got it anyway.
But this Viper… man, she's one sneaky chick. She manages
to give Nick the Kiss of Death, and the way she pulled that
off, in of itself was super sneaky, but this means Nick has
just a few hours to save the Earth before he dies of frog
poison. It's complicated. Worst still is that
Viper has cultivated this virus of hers, weaponized it and
pointed it at Manhattan. That means there's a clock on
it. And Nick has a clock on him. That's two clocks
counting down to triple zero and that's not a good
thing. Not that any of these cataclysmic events is doing
anything to stop Valentina from whining about how Nick never
really loved her. Just shoot me now, or better yet,
hopefully Viper's bomb will just bop me on the head and put me
out of my misery.
One notable thing about 'Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.', as
the box cover points out, is that it was written by one of the
writers of 'Batman Begins'. What does this mean, that
David S. Goyer wrote the screenplay for this movie?
Well, if you're my friend Andre, that means that the fact this
is a crap movie was unavoidable. He hates David S.
Goyer. I think it has something to do with Blade
Trinity, but to the rest of us however I think it means that
this means that the 'Nick Fury' movie was probably off to
about as good a launching point as one could hope for, all
You see for the most part 'Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.'
is a completely competent, if not also a completely run of the
mill TV action movie. It has a cast filled with solid TV
character actors such as Ron Canada and Gary Chalk, Sandra
Hess is some kind of pretty and gloriously overacted as the
character of Viper, just as a role like this would call for,
Goyer's narrative is logical and follows a very tried and true
hero's arc, Rod Hardy's direction is solid and filled with all
of the prerequisite action sequences and numerous triple zero
countdowns… It's functional entertainment.
The problem, of course, and what makes this movie often the
target of derision on the internets and whatnot is the
inclusion of one David Michael Hasselhoff as Nick Fury.
Now we here at the FCU aren't the ones saying that The Hoff
wasn't right for the role of Nick Fury, but we can admit that
putting a eye patch, razor stubble and a stogie in the Hoff's
mouth didn't necessarily transform him into a grizzled tough
guy, and it did even less to remove the fact that this is the
dude that we didn't used to watch on Baywatch. This is
what happens when you do something really well, then people
always associate you with it. This is why Sean Hayes
from 'Will and Grace' will always be that gay dude on that
show, no matter what he does, because he was so good at being
that gay dude on that show.
But I do think if you can somehow you can put Baywatch… not so
much Michael Knight… out of your mind, then 'Nick Fury: Agent
of S.H.I.E.L.D' stays solid if not totally run of the mill
entertainment. We liked it well enough. This is a
failed pilot and I can't say we liked it well enough that we
would've tuned in every week to watch it, but we did like it
well enough to enjoy it this one time.