Medusa Johnson: Clever but dumb.
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
What can I say about Bill Cosby that hasn’t already been said? The man was a comedic legend with his stand-up and on the silver screen with The Cosby Show, which was the number one TV show for a decade. And he turned out to be a rapist. There’s no other way of putting it (outside of maybe legal terms). Nevertheless while he was great on television his movies (with the exceptions of Uptown Saturday Night and Let’s Do it again which were okay) were downright horrible. And among them came this movie, which won worst picture in 1987.
The story involved retired CIA Agent Leonard Parker who now owns a restaurant in San Francisco. However when an evil vegetarian named Medusa Foster threatens to take over the world by brainwashing animals to kill people a reluctant Leonard must return to action while coping with the problems of his home life.
Despite being the only movie of its kind it is classified as part 6 with the movie claiming that the other five installments were locked away for world security reasons. Honestly based on what this movie has that one can only imagine the absurdity of any of the other movies. Cosby not only starred in this movie but also worked as a producer and came up with the story. The premise and ideas utilized in this movie are downright bizarre and not the good kind. It may have had potential had the film completely embraced its own ridiculousness but in going for a spy comedy angle it just comes off as just confusing in every attempt it tries to be comedic all throughout the movie and there are only so many different ways to say “that’s not funny.” Even absurdity has to have some kind of sense to balance it out but little to no gag has a method to the madness.
There’s also the matter of the pacing and despite the movie only being a mere 85 minutes long it feels much longer with multiple attempts at padding out conflict and the failed attempts at comedy.
The movie’s direction is also considerably bad. The special effects are incredibly shoddy. There are multiple scenes where you can spot the laziness put into an action scene and it really shows just how much care was put into the movie. Even for the time period they look incredibly outdated.
Cosby’s performance shows no energy whatsoever and the material in no way fit what was his brand of comedy at the time which is completely odd considering he wrote it. As a result nothing he brings fits in with what the movie is trying to provide. Tom Courtenay as butler Frayn and Gloria Foster as the villain are absolutely hamming it up in their performances and they were far too good for this movie. Aside from that the supporting actors really aren’t given much to do and their performances fall flat.
Leonard Part 6 is just overall a bizarre movie in every way. The movie just bombards you with a bad joke and it along with the story just leaves an empty void where there should be laughter or any kind of feeling. This goes without saying but I recommend you stay away from this movie at all costs. It’s not even something that can be recommended as a charming kind of bad. Bill Cosby is bad for creating this movie, for starring in it, and for all the bad things he did against women. And with that I once again encourage you to stay away from this movie.