Tag-line: "When you have attitude - who needs experience?"
Notable Cast or Crew: Written and directed by Bruce A. Evans (writer of STARMAN, STAND BY ME, and JUNGLE 2 JUNGLE). Christian Slater, Milla Jovovich, Bruce Boxleitner, Ashley Judd, Don S. Davis (Major Briggs on TWIN PEAKS). Music by Harold Faltermeyer (TOP GUN, FATAL BEAUTY, TANGO & CASH).
Best one-liner: "Now I hate to repeat myself, so, you're all under arrest, come out in front of the cars, and lay down on the ground or something."
'Why are we doing so much running? Aren't we all going to be in cars?!' Personally I never thought that the Slater Factor could eclipse the zenith it reached in HEATHERS. Well, guess what? I was wrong. What we have here is somehow the love child of DIRTY HARRY and FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF.
With a healthy sprinkling of TURNER & HOOCH?
And Slater is somehow the exact median point between Eastwood and Broderick. Man, this day is full of firsts- I just compared Slater to other performers and never once mentioned Jack Nicholson! Plus, the movie is called KUFFS. And Slater's character is named George Kuffs. If you can't appreciate the simple bone-headed beauty in that, then you probably shouldn't be watching Slater movies anyway.
Now you might've already heard that KUFFS breaks the fourth wall. You hear that a lot- then, as it turns out, there's a throwaway line directed at the camera, or a wink and a nod here or there... maybe something at the very beginning, or something at the tail end, or something similarly half-assed. Now I must inform you that KUFFS does not break the fourth wall– it SMASHES it into a thousand shards and bits of plaster, arches its eyebrows, then says with a smarmy grin, "Am I gonna be tested on this later?"
I've never seen a fourth wall pummeled quite so aggressively- Slater was constantly talking to ME.
He was telling ME about his life, he was narrating to ME, he was revealing to ME his innermost thoughts.
And sometimes said innermost thoughts are uttered in the presence of Don S. Davis.
He was cracking jokes with ME, he was yelling for ME get the hell out of his bathroom.
It was a singular experience.
But just when you think this movie is all about dismantling the fourth wall, it reveals that it's additionally all about Slater dancing around the apartment, wearing only stonewashed, tapered 90's jeans.
Dancin with Jovovich.
Dancin' with the champagne.
Dancin' on the bed.
A dance session cut short.
And just when you think that between the fourth-wall shenanigans and the jeans dancin', they can't possibly introduce any more rich visual tropes- BOOM- they blow up some turkeys.
Two of 'em. Why? Gives Slater somethin' to arch his eyebrows about.
Kinda Heyyy what's this, they blew up my dinner!
I get the feeling that Bruce A. Evans had been watching a lot of Peckinpah and Argento before making KUFFS, as he demonstrates a heartfelt devotion to breathtaking, super-slomo action photography. One scene in particular follows the trajectory of an actual bullet, shot at a frame rate much higher than your average Hollywood slo-mo. I wouldn't be surprised if they'd used a special high-speed camera designed for scientific use, because the film stock doesn't even quite match the rest of the film.
The result is an incredibly elegant sequence which admittedly feels a touch out of place in a film that also contains the following frame:
In any event, after 100 minutes of crass Slater irreverence, misogyny, and all-out misanthropy; the movie abruptly ends on a possibly sincere pro-women message picture note with Slater saying: 'Women. If it weren't for them, there'd be no civilization.'
Whaaaaaaat?! Congratulations and bravo, Mr. Kuffs. Here's four and a half stars. Wait, don't squint your eyes, lower your sunglasses, and arch your eyebrows all shocked-like . You can't possibly be surprised. Wait, are you laughing?! Eh, you got me again, ya likable smart aleck!