Hey, you guys! Remember when Dennis Rodman was a sensational basketball player, one of the elite defensive ballplayers in the NBA? Remember when he was part of that magical mid-90s Bulls team with MJ and Scottie Pippen? Remember the 5 NBA titles he won? You don’t?! You remember his tattoos, his crazy hairstyles, his penchant for wearing women’s clothing, his failed marriage to Carmen Electra and his wrestling career?! Gosh, I hate people like you!
Yes, my friends; it’s a sad state of affairs for us sports nerds, but sometimes an athlete moves beyond the realm of balls and enters the world of “celebrity”, usually with disastrous results. In the late 90s, our boy Dennis had fallen out of love with men’s netball. The glory days over, Rodman instead decided to try his hand at TV and films, an experiment which was always going to end badly. Thankfully he gave up the film career in 2007, but before his time was up he managed to star in five movies, one of which was the appallingly titled ‘Simon Sez’ (IMDb rating of 2.3/10) in 1999.
The film opens with a foreign man travelling in a car which is being surrounded and attacked by youths on motorbikes. No explanation is given as to why exactly this is, but the constant buzzing of the bikes is a bit annoying. The foreign man is a colonel and he has rendezvoused with a thoroughly camp man down by the edge of a harbour. They talk, and its dramatic news – the colonel has changed his mind and “the weapon” is not for sale! He gets a kicking from the motorbike brigade before our boy Rodman rides to his rescue and tells him that this is crazy because they’ve only just met but here’s his number, call him yeah?
A game of boules down on the beach tells us that Rodman’s character – Simon – now lives in the beautiful south of France. Simon bumps into an old friend who drags him along to another rendezvous…where they have guns pulled on them! The mysterious, camp Frenchman wants a briefcase handed over, but Simon manages to bash the two gun-wielding assailants and run to safety with his pal, Nick. What on Earth is going on here? Before we can find out, Simon and Nick are again attacked, this time by a blonde woman! Simon puts up a good fight, but Nick is the stereotypical bumbling cop, a cliché so worn out I’m tired just writing about it. Predictably enough the blonde – who’s quite fit – kicks the shit out of Nick, but Simon chases her down, ties her up and saves the damn briefcase from being taken. Back at Nick’s place, Simon reveals that the briefcase does not contain $2m, as Nick thought, but two bricks and a CD. Well, I’m thoroughly confused.
Simon’s centre of operations is a secret room in a church, where he’s joined by two men – one of whom is obese – wearing monk’s outfits. Don’t ask me why, I’ve no idea. The two monks pretend to be God and ask Nick to jump and dance underneath a crucifix, which seems pretty blasphemous to me. This is taking place 23 minutes in, by the way, and I like to think that this is the exact moment that Kermode, Ebert et al thought “fuck this” and walked out of the cinema.
I’m dangerously close to my word count already, so let’s cut to the chase – in the briefcase was a CD containing some classified information. It is encrypted, so the two monks need to work to unlock the lovely secrets that lie within. Meanwhile, the camp French man – who wants the CD – has taken the daughter of Nick’s boss hostage, and Simon & Nick are going to go and rescue her. No wonder they want to find her, by the way, as she’s only played by the beautiful Natalia Cigliuti! Still with me? Good, although quite who the colonel was back at the start of the film is anyone’s guess.
Ah, that’s what the colonel is there for! The CD contains information about how to launch a rocket that blows things up, a rocket which the camp guy has half-inched from the colonel. Oh, this plot is just too convoluted for a mindless action film like this, I’ve no idea what the hell is going on. Switching brains off, over the remaining 40 minutes we’re treated to car chases, explosions, awful dialogue and shootouts. The fit blonde teams up with Simon – as does the bitter boyfriend – and together they hunt down the camp man’s lair and manage to blow it/him up before he destroyed The Eiffel Tower or something. The boy and girl then get married, the former seemingly not bothered about his father being a mad villain or his violent death.
And there we have it – finished. The film is remarkably forgettable, but some of us will always have the basketball memories, Dennis, and we can only thank you for those. You mad bastard.