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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

The Damned Contract

Bedazzled on IMDb

Plot Overview

rotating earthThe prologue slowly zeroes in on the Devil's target soul, starting with Earth's 6.2 billion people, narrowing it down to San Francisco as a fruitful city, and then tagging likelies in a crowd, viz a white man labeled  ex-hippie  and a black man labeled  ex-yuppie , to focus on a dweeb Elliot Richards (Brendan Fraser) of “extremely limited personal and professional skills” who does tele­phone tech support, sans any true friends at his company and lacking the courage to engage in conver­sation his co-worker of four years Alison Gardner (Frances O'Connor) whom he moons over. harlot One night he quickly strikes out with her at a bar but is met by the devil (Elizabeth Hurley) in the guise of a femme fatale who offers him seven wishes in exchange for his sorry soul. He signs the contract. Oh, my.

filesLincoln's faceHe starts selfishly going through his wishes all featuring relation­ships with the lovely Alison but each with a down­side causing him to bail. Eventually, he changes his approach wanting to “do some­thing great for man­kind,” to which end he wishes to be president. He is turned into the great emancipator Abraham Lincoln on April 14th, 1865 at Ford's Theatre—the night of his assass­ination—where the play “Our American Cousin” is about to begin … but it won't be completed. This avatar brings the plot into the real world as Lincoln was a historical figure. Hail to the chief.

Elliot has words with the devil back in her Oakland office that features on the wall a famous painting of the serpent in a tree having offered an apple to a nude couple, a religious event. He gets a priest (Brian Doyle-Murray) involved who in turn gets the law involved. Elliot does some serious reflection in jail:

Last night when I was lying in jail, I was talking to this guy and I realized that wishing just doesn't work. All my life I wished to be better looking, to be richer, to be suc­cess­ful, talented, what­ever, and I always thought that wouldn't it be great if some­one could just wave a magic wand and make that happen. Well, I realized that it doesn't work by magic. It isn't really that important how far we go in life any­way, it's how we get there that really matters.

tea timeThe devil starts plying her trade with other characters now. One is a pretty girl named Nicole who refuses to let others call her “Nicky” as that eventually leads to “Nick” and then “Ni” and finally “Nn.” What kind of name is Nn? The devil distracts Elliot's black former cell­mate (Gabriel Casseus) with a couple walking by, so she can rearrange the chess pieces of a game they are playing out­side. I suppose there's a hint that calling a Negro “the N word” is not the wave of a magic wand that will elevate his status. In olden days (Acts 13:1) “there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as … Simeon that was called Niger.” Niger is Latin for black and is the root word for nigger & Negro. If Simeon was a respected prophet or teacher with that appellation, then other blacks can wear it, too, with respect if they act respectably. Indeed their progenitor, Noah's grandson was named Cush being Hebrew for black. It was the same biblical incident that blessed his white ex-hippie cousins with enhanced opportunities and that curtailed those of his brother ex-yuppies. I go over it in another review. The magic wand of the Emancipation Proclamation had not addressed the root cause.

Ideology

It was once thought that we only used a small fraction of our marvelous brains, but that was revised upward when it was discovered an enormous amount of gray matter was dedicated to visual processing. That's why we're better than computers at facial recognition. King Solomon remarked on hunter/explorer man never­the­less finding it difficult to track some motions on land, sea and air, which difficulty is in turn exceeded by trying to under­stand male-female relations. (Prov. 30:18-19) “There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.” An eagle drops suddenly on a prey we cannot see, a serpent slithers crazily over a stone, and a ship is tossed by multiple converging forces. As for figuring out men and women, good luck.

In “Bedazzled” Elliot as a Colombian drug lord tries to escape “trouble at the factory” by hanging onto the runner of a helicopter in flight. Will he make it to safety or drop like a stone? Good question.

In the bar the devil runs the pool table with a single [special effects] shot. The balls bounce and bump, collide and drop, and one uses English to circle another from behind and sink it. Impossible to follow the action.

At one point Elliot aborts his wish and finds himself transported to a public fountain (“Elliot, get out of there, you silly boy.”) When he criticizes the devil's navigation, she turns on a fountain of tears that he finds hard to resist. Huh?

If all of that leaves the audience bedazzled, that's nothing compared to how Elliot's hope­less pursuit of Alison turns out. Not predictable but consistent with some internal logic.

Production Values

” (2000) was a remake of the 1967 original “Bedazzled.” This one was co-written and directed by the late Harold Ramis. It stars Brendan Fraser, Elizabeth Hurley and Frances O'Connor. It also features Miriam Shor, Orlando Jones, Paul Adelstein, Toby Huss, and Gabriel Casseus, these playing in multiple scenarios. The leads played by Fraser and Hurley had great chemistry together and the supporting cast did their best to make it all work.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for sex-related humor, language and some drug content. It treads where other fables have gone before but still manages to entertain.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

I found this movie funny throughout and educational rather than seductive. The main character matures while the devil is always up to her old tricks. This is a fun one and its lessons as expected.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good for Groups. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three and a half stars out of five.