Bulletproof (1996) – Review

3 Stars

Bulletproof is a seminal moment in the filmography of former SNL funnyman, Adam Sandler. It would serve as the last raunchy R-rated unadulterated Sandler vehicle until 2012’s That’s My Boy. Which makes Bulletproof a somewhat precious and intriguing picture. Would the comedian have gained the worldwide acclaim and stardom had he stayed with this offensive and sophomoric material instead of homogenizing his brand into family friendly fare? It’s an interesting question that kept popping into my mind as the film played.

Archie Moses (Adam Sandler) is a small-time car thief, who has become a drug mule for a kingpin named Frank Colton (James Caan). Moses is totally unaware that his partner in criminal activites Rock Keats (Damon Wayans) is actually an LAPD undercover cop, who is collecting evidence against, and using Moses as a method to infiltrate Colton’s underworld. During a botched raid on Colton’s warehouse, Archie realizes that Rock is an LAPD cop, and as he tries to escape the warehouse Moses accidentally shoots Rock in the head.

Miraculously, the cop survives and makes a full recovery with the aid of his physical therapist Dr. Traci Flynn (Kristen Wilson). Moses goes on the run only to be arrested for drunk driving and brought into custody. Fearing retaliation from Colton’s goons, Moses is placed in protective custody under the care of his former partner Rock, who’s actual name is Jack Carter. Still harboring bitterness over the shooting, Carter treats Archie with scorn, but the two must work together to outwit henchmen intent on killing Moses before he can testify against Colton.

Adam Sandler and Damon Wayans show considerable on-screen chemistry as a comedic duo in the action/comedy Bulletproof. Directed by Spike Lee’s longtime collaborator Ernest R. Dickerson, the film packs laughs and shoot-outs in a brief, but lively 84 minutes. Bulletproof is a showcase for Sandler who still hadn’t hit superstar status at the time of the film’s release, but his talents are on display and it’s his presence that makes this project worthwhile.

Director: Ernest Dickerson
Stars: Damon Wayans, Adam Sandler, James Caan

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