1986 was quite a year for movies. That year gave us Platoon, Big Trouble In Little China, Star Trek 4, the Animated Transformers:the Movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Aliens, the Fly, Crocodile Dundee and the Hitcher. Not to mention Howard the Duck and Troll. It was also the year that Shia LaBeouf entered the world (coincidence that he was born the year a Transformers film was released? Or prophesy?) and Robert Pattison of Twilight was born as well. In fact, a whole slew of modern tabloid fodder entered the world to no fanfare in 1986. What were we thinking?
Australia had quite a year that year, what with Crocodile Dundee, where most of late 80’s mainstream America learned everything it knew about Australia (much like how we learned everything we knew about Botswana from the Gods Must Be Crazy). But there is a part of Australia that Crocodile Dundee never educated us on.
Fair Game is an Australian cat and mouse/woman in peril action movie in which Cassandra Delaney (who apparently had a kid with the Late John Denver) plays Jessica, an environmentalist in veeeeery rural Australia. She has a little animal refuge full of cute animals.
One day she attracts the attention of some poachers. There is the Beefy One, the Scrawny One and the Fat One. They are your standard misogynists, and probably were jocks before they went to poacher college. While driving on the road they use their massive jeep to run Jessica off the road. She gets home and everything seems fine. She decides to strip and go to bed. The next morning she wakes up feeling great, it’s a beautiful morning. And hey, look, there is a Polaroid of her sleeping naked pinned to her fridge! Pretty sure her dog or a kangaroo did not take the picture, she starts to look around. The Beefy One appears in her doorway and a chase ensues. Eventually she loses them in the outback and goes home. Because, surely, they would never look for her there.
But wait, you might think she is preparing for them, setting booby traps and everything. That makes total sense. But, yeah, she just makes a phone call. Her phone dies before she can explain what is happening. They show up again, chase her, she gets away and goes home. Yes. And sets traps, you ask? No. She goes home and plays with her pets. That night she hears her horse and sees the Poachers are harassing it. She sneaks into their camp, does some minor sabotage, steals a gun and goes home. The next day she finds a dead Kangaroo in her car. Very Godfather. They catch her, strap her to the hood of their jeep, strip her clothes off and ride through the outback. This should make one feel sleazy, but I have pretty much lost my sympathy for Jessica at this point. She wakes up in the dirt alone… and goes home and does nothing. Again.
And this is why I lose all sympathy for our supposed heroine. She just keeps going back to the one place they will most easily find her. She has a horse. Does she ride off to civilization? No! Because that would…I don’t know…make sense? Jessica would never be the final girl in any other film. If Mother chased you around the Bates Motel and you got away…would you turn around and go back to your motel room? Of course you wouldn’t. Jessica, however, would. Afterall, it would be unfair to Mother if you made her look for you, right?
So, finally, they destroy Jessica’s house, which makes you think she would jump on her horse and ride off to civilization, finally. But she doesn’t. She hops on her horse for one last chase, they shoot the horse and she goes back to her destroyed house. They come back to the house and it turns out she finally set some traps. The Scrawny one electrocutes himself, the fat one impales himself on an anvil…and the Beefy One? He accidentally drives into a trench and she blows up his truck. Jessica then grabs her dog and walks away as a song that could be the alternate theme to Beaches plays. Yeah. This movie…sucked.
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