Thursday, July 14, 2011

Synopsis of Michael Jackson's Moonwalker: Part 3

If you missed it, make sure you read Part One and Two of my synopsis first
We finally reach the biggest short film of the movie, Smooth Criminal”. It’s a comparatively long story about MJ and some random orphan kids he plays with (yeaaaaaahhhh, um, no comment) stumbling upon the futuristic hideout of a drug lord played by Joe Pesci. That’s right, they got Joe Pesci to play a cheesy drug lord named Frankie “Mr. Big” LiDeo, which he doesn’t want you to forget since he takes the time to spell out his last name (“My name is gonna be in the history books! They better spell my name right. L-I-D-E-O. So simple! Frankie LiDeo! Very easy!”). This entire section is less psychedelic and nonsensical as it is just a bad movie from the 80’s. Still, there’s a plethora of WTF moments in this, because this is Moonwalker, which I’ve realized at this point is the ultimate coked-up brainchild of Michael Jackson. Let’s see, weird moments. Well, there’s the fact that MJ and the kids seem more terrified and disgusted of spider webs in a cave then actual drug dealing. There’s Mr. Big’s weird characterization; he’s obsessed with spiders and peanuts (???). His master plan is to get more customers by pushing drugs onto kids to get them hooked early, which makes sense, a solid drug dealer plan. But he comes about it the way an evil scientist bent on world domination would; he wants to rule the world with his drug-dealing-to-kids plan (which he calls “Bugs and Drugs” because…. He likes spiders?) and with his army of stormtroopers with laser beams. MJ, you do know that most drug dealers aren’t villains from a Robocop movie right? MJ and the kids get noticed snooping because the little girl screams at a spider and we cut to MJ dressed like a 1920’s era mobster outfit running around the city from Mr.Big’s henchmen. During the chase MJ TURNS INTO A FUCKING FLYING CAR, which looks less like a futuristic car then like a crappy Pinewood Derby car built by a lazy 2nd grader who just sandpapered a block of wood and spray painted it silver. Eventually he turns back into normal (? And define normal.) and enters a bar which kicks off an elaborate, 9 min long Smooth Criminal music video. The dancing and music is great of course, this is both one of the best Michael Jackson songs and music video, rivaling even Thriller. But the fact that this is framed by such a crazy shitty movie lessens the awesome significantly. For example, he ends the scene Scarface style, shooting up the bar with a machine gun. That is all. Afterwards, he has to rescue the girl from Mr. Big and his army, and does so by, wait for it, transforming into a robotic Michael Jackson that then transforms into a spaceship, destroying Mr. Big, his huge laser gun, and his drug cartel but launching volleys of missiles.It’s a bittersweet conclusion for the street urchins though, since the spaceship Jackson inexplicitly flew off into space at the end of the fight. But he inexplicitly returns moments later as a human so all is good and the forced drama is over with. Wow, what a terrible attempt at tension and emotion. I thought you gave up on making this a normal movie within the 5 minute mark MJ, don’t try to make it one now. He lets the kids come backstage to his next concert as a reward for getting emotionally manipulated by him (which I bet happened in real life a lot too). The song is a cover of “Come Together”, which honestly sucks pretty bad. We then hit the credits, which consist of Ladysmith Black Mambazo singing an original song for the movie. Why? Who the fuck really knows at this point.

So there we have it. It makes perfect sense really if you look at it as a brainchild of an overstressed, probably over medicated, definitely a little nuts pop star at the height of his fame. Still, I’m a little shaken up, and not just because I just watched the fever dreams of a madman for 93 min. You really get a glimpse into MJ’s psychology through the movie, and it shows me that he was vain, had nothing but contempt for his fans, really liked orphan kids, and had no concept of a coherent story. I’m going to go drink some drain cleaner now and hopefully erase the memory of this movie so I don’t cringe every time I moonwalk at a dance party. Hoped you liked my synopsis, thanks for reading!


  1. I think this should serve as a warning for boundaries and speaking truth to power. Or maybe how certain things just don't hold up under the crushing rush of history. MJ had a ton of things going for him back in the day, touched off a whole new movement and now every pop person that comes after will have his dance-loafers and spats to fill. however, our kids kids may look back on him and say "what's the big deal?"

    Sort of like when we first watched "Citizen Kane." It doesn't feel like a old movie, save for the black and white. The big deal is the camera work, the pans, the crane work was a technological breakthrough in it's day. It's a hell of a good movie, don't get me wrong, but we overlooked what originally made the movie great because it has seeped into movie-making and made the new standard.

    Like "2001: a Space Odyssey" and it's special effects. It made all that has come before look like campy, low-budget shit mostly because it was and mostly because the producers and Kubrick took their time and really thought out each shot.

    anyway... unrestrained creativity produces a Jackson Pollack mess.. looks like that is what Moonwalker is. I can picture all of Jackson's posse saying "oh yeah boss, that's awesome!" no questioning, no nay-saying... no truth telling.

    "Kings seldom like the truth." -George R.R. Martin.

  2. oh and BTW, great synopsis. loved the posts!

  3. Yeah, cause who's gonna tell the King of Pop at the height of his popularity that he should hire a scriptwriter and trust them? You'd probably get dropped down a trap door into a moat of alligators