- Movie: Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Directors: Rod Hardy
- Starring: David Hasselhoff, Lisa Rinna, Sandra Hess, Neil Roberts, Ron Canada
- Rotten Tomatoes rating: none
A Little Context
Marvel has come so far… Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a TV movie that was broadcast on Fox in 1998. At this point Marvel had just started what would become the current comic book movie boom they are largely responsible for. While some may say that for Marvel it began with X-Men in 2000, I would argue that the first movie demonstrating that a Marvel superhero can actually be done well was Blade–a movie released only a few months after Nick Fury, and written by the same guy, David S. Goyer. When you see both movies, however, it is shocking how different they are. Nick Fury feels 10 years older than it is, while Blade seems like it could have been released 5 years ago. The obvious difference of TV movie versus movie movie is a big factor, but I think this mainly shows how inconsistent Goyer is as a writer. Nick Fury isn’t good, and it certainly didn’t boost demand for more Nick Fury stuff. I think the current comic book movie landscape would have been very different today if Blade also hadn’t done well.
Take a look at this way-too-long trailer:
As you’ve probably gathered, David Hasselhoff plays Nick Fury. The movie opens on a cryogenics chamber within Trinity Base. Soldier Number One starts to defrost what appears to be an old man. Thanks to Soldier Number Two and his exposition, we learn that this man is actually infamous Nazi and Hydra leader Baron von Strucker. Soldier Number One shoots Number Two and lowers the “defense grid” of Trinity Base and releases some kind of toxic gas into the base. Hydra shows up and they extract von Strucker. Solder Number Two survives the bullet and the gas and makes one last effort to stop Hydra but gets shot a little more in the process. As he’s dying he comes face to face with von Strucker’s daughter and main movie villain Andrea von Strucker (AKA Viper) and says–to her for some reason–“Nick take care of her.” Not “Nick will hunt you down” or “Nick will avenge me” or something else threatening and cool, but instead he says “Nick take care of her.” I don’t know.
Meanwhile, Nick Fury has been “put out to pasture,” which means that for several years he has been living in the Yukon in what appears to be an old mine. He likes being alone. Enter S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine played by Lisa Rinna and Alexander Goodwin Pierce played by Neil Roberts (this is Robert Redford’s role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier interestingly enough). They’ve come to bring Nick back in as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s director. As you probably guessed, he’s not interested at first. Once he learns that Hydra is back and Baron von Strucker’s body was stolen, he accepts the offer. Let the fun begin.
It is first important to keep in mind that this is a movie written for TV. While I can’t really seem to find any indication that this was actually a pilot for a TV show, I imagine it would have to be. You’ll see why when you get to the end. Or the lack of one. The actual climax is so dull that it seems like it would be part of the rising action before the climax. And the final scene seems like it would be the scene before the actual climax. But nope. If you watch this movie without paying attention to the run time, you will be surprised by the credits. On the plus side, that kind of indicates that the movie doesn’t really feel long. Because it was written for TV, there is a very fast paced feel as every little between-the-commercial block needed to be interesting enough to keep you from changing the channel. Mission accomplished I suppose.
As you can probably imagine, the best part about Nick Fury is David Hasselhoff. It really seems like he loves this part. I imagine that’s why he overacts the hell out of this. Really putting as much emphasis as he can on his gruffness. You’ll see some very intense “what the hell are you talking about?” or “get a load of this guy” facial expressions. And get ready for a lot of cigar-in-mouth-but-i’m-still-going-to-talk-aggressively conversations. Unfortunately though the character quickly wears thin as the movie progresses due to his one-note personality. He’s the “surly and gruff but effective” hero. It was the 90s so I get it, but it’s not terribly fun to watch here. He’s not humble enough to you feel for, and he can’t be badass enough for you to really cheer any violence. Instead you just kind of have this dull middle ground.
The supporting case is basically just there. Lisa Rinna plays Lisa Rinna with a leather jumpsuit. Neil Roberts is fairly entertaining as the awkward British guy. The villains aren’t as memorable as they should be. Sanda Hess as Andrea von Strucker really gives it a go, but the stakes aren’t really established enough for her to be compelling or threatening. Her character building is basically just “this is the villain.” Also…the accents are incredible. Things are either shot outside or on some underground industrial-looking set. The effects are all around hilarious. Overall everything just feels cheesy.
But Can I Drink To It?
Definitely. Compared to a lot of other shitty movies, Nick Fury is actually entertaining, despite the fact that interest will start to wain by the end.
Rules (to get you started)
1. Nick Fury disapproves of something, either verbally or through facial expressions – DRINK for 3 seconds!
2. Nick Fury inserts or removes a cigar from his mouth – DRINK for 5 seconds!
3. “Let us rock! And let us roooollll!” – finish your DRINK!
4. Exterior of crappy looking S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier and jets – DRINK for as long as they’re onscreen!
I watched Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D on YouTube for free. Or, if you’re a hardcore collector and have a lot of disposable income, you can buy the DVD on Amazon for $115. There is no 4K remastered blu ray unfortunately.
Post by: Tyler P.
Tyler Phillippi is a former improviser and musician. Now, he mainly focuses on getting through his Netflix queue. Contact him at email@example.com