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some movies require you to turn off your brain in order to watch .
then there are movies that require you to accept that everyone * in * the movie has turned off * their * brains .
the real mccoy is both .
it's charmless , molasses-slow and so full of genuinely stupid people that the film commission of atlanta , where the real mccoy is set , might well consider some sort of ritual suicide for their complicity in this humiliation .
the real mccoy opens with bank robber karen mccoy ( kim basinger ) being arrested in the middle of a job .
six years later , karen is out on parole and looking to stay straight .
she soon bumps into j . t . barker ( val kilmer ) , a hapless would-be thief who idolizes karen .
j . t . also has ties to jack schmidt ( terence stamp ) , the man who blew the whistle on karen six years earlier for refusing to work with him .
schmidt , who is in cahoots with karen's sleazy parole officer ( gailard sartain ) , again wants karen to help him stage a robbery .
this time he has some leverage : karen's kidnapped son .
just when she thought she was out , they keep pulling her back * in . *
contrivances and sloppy plotting fly off the screen so fast and furiously you have to duck to avoid being hit by them .
leading the list is the jack schmidt character , who through unexplained but presumably foul mains is already extremely wealthy when our story begins .
there is no reason given why he should need or want to get involved in another crime , let alone why he would actually participate in the break-in .
karen's initial encounter with j . t . during a botched convenience store hold-up also strains the limits of credibility .
it would have been simple enough to have them somehow entangled at that point , but instead they run into each other the next day because they're leaving their parole officers at exactly the same moment .
small world , eh ?
then there's the convenient car trouble during an attempted escape , and pet tigers which , through the power of the laws of bad cinema , must inevitably confront someone who has blundered into their cage .
however , the buffoon prize goes to the atlanta police , who come off like the keystone kops on a bad day .
but the fun doesn't end there in the shambles of a script by william davies and william osborne .
there is also the absence of a single , solitary interesting character .
karen is earnest and single-minded in her motherly devotion , but lacking any kind of edge which would make her a convincing criminal , and basinger is not a thespian adept at fleshing out flimsy material .
schmidt is a flaccid villain , the parole officer is a complete blank , and karen's son and ex-husband might as well be furniture .
only kilmer's j . t . is remotely appealing , but his one potentially intriguing quality , his ineptitude , is never developed .
in fact , kilmer disappears during the middle of the film , just when his admiration for karen could have made for an interesting sub-plot .
i might have been more forgiving if the pacing had been more appropriate to a caper comedy , but the real mccoy goes nowhere fast .
various scenes of sneaking and skulking seem to take forever , and some end with no reason evident why they didn't end up on the cutting room floor .
even the reasonably clever climactic break-in falls victim to this syndrome , including a scene of one of the thieves drilling open a vault which lasts ( i kid you not ) four minutes .
there is no tension in the scene , just tedium .
russell mulcahy ( highlander ) is a director with some style , and indeed the real mccoy looks reasonably good , but he completely stumbles in the editing room .
there are so many big problems with the real mccoy that i'm tempted to overlook the little ones .
like karen disarming one of schmidt's henchmen and throwing his gun into the middle of a park where her son is playing .
like a fountain crushed when a van runs into it reappearing in one piece a few moments later .
tempted . but i'm pretty good at resisting temptation .
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