Starring Matt Dickie, Justin Gerardin, Harry Piaggio, Graham K. Furness, Tamara McLaughlin, James Topp, Scott Young
Directed by Nicolas Champeaux
As someone who has spent literally hundreds of hours playing Super Smash Bros. games, you can imagine my surprise when I heard Captain Falcon’s famous “show me your moves” line being used by the titular character in Lieutenant Jangles during a shootout scene. This is clearly a quote which will only be recognised by hardcore fans, so it’s clear that Lieutenant Jangles is a film which is trying to appeal to pop culture fanatics, and needless to say, it does a pretty good job. Where else are you gonna hear a bloodthirsty Australian cop quote Judge Dredd’s famous “I am the law” line?
But having said that, let me preface this review by saying that if you’re not into toilet humour or jokes about male genitalia, Lieutenant Jangles is probably not for you. This is a film which unashamedly tried to be as crass and vulgar as possible, and whether or not that will appeal to your sense of humour will probably answer the question of whether you’ll enjoy Lieutenant Jangles.
Matt Dickie stars as the titular Lieutenant Jangles, a cop who doesn’t exactly play by the rules. Jangles is not afraid to use unconventional methods in his war against crime, even going as far as to accidentally cause the deaths of innocent bystanders as he opens fire on anyone who might be a criminal. His latest case involves investigating a string of disappearances of muscular men, who are being kidnapped and experimented on by a mysterious criminal organization.
To add to the overall grind house aesthetic, all the actors dubbed their voices in post-production, with the deliberately cheesy dialogue and over the top delivery being both annoying and hilarious in equal measure. Although it didn’t help that one of the characters happens to have the most annoying laugh you’re ever likely to hear. And the filmmakers seemed to want to taunt the audience with this, because he laughs practically every time he was onscreen. After a while, you’ll have no choice but to laugh with him.
The action scenes were also as ridiculously entertaining as you’d expect, with bucketloads of CGI blood and exaggerated gore effects being splashed across the screen. Not to mention the stuntwork, which at times was deliberately meant to look unconvincing for comedic effect, with a mannequin clearly being thrown of a bridge in one scene in place of an actual person. It’s also worth noting that the soundtrack incorporates some classic synthwave tunes which added to the overall ‘80s aesthetic.
Lieutenant Jangles is not a film for everyone, but it still knows its audience and unashamedly tries to appeal to them instead of opting for a more mainstream approach. It may not have broad appeal, but those who are looking for a deliberately cheesy throwback to ‘80s action cinema will certainly have a great time with Lieutenant Jangles.
Lieutenant Jangles evokes 1980s action movie filmmaking techniques for deliberately comedic effect, and if that appeals to your sense of humour, you’ll probably be laughing all the way through.