B. Monkey (1998)

1319527101I’m a sucker for rebellious non-traditional older hot chicks. Star Asia Argento has appeal both as a heroine and as a tragic figure in this film, B. Monkey, a jewel thief who can get in anywhere, and she’s a fascinating character. She’s like a wildcat who domesticates herself because she declares that she doesn’t like the life of a criminal anymore, and she goes whole hog once she decides to go straight, but much like any situation, it’s hard to tame a wild animal. Argento manages to convey both the hardcore lust for life criminal, and the tragic vulnerable woman whose just anxious to find a way out of her previous life, and the story shows that no matter what, some people just can’t change themselves and their nature no matter how hard they try to. Asia presents the unbridled rage and laissez faire attitude needed for the character and she’s very believable… and did I mention hot?

But the movie progresses as Bea gets together with a very bookish teacher named Alan (Jared Harris) who has a very incredible attraction to Bea upon first glance as she ends up getting together with him for the wrong reasons. For safety, not love, and he finds it very difficult to keep her calm in a life she’s not really used to. And therein lies the problem. Here’s the good story with a good concept, with a chance for character development, characterization and meaningful ideas about life, but none of it is worked with. It’s a woman, a rebel, a criminal trying to reform and discovers she just can’t do that no matter how hard she tries… so why aren’t any of those themes present within the movie? Where’s the character development? Where’s the concept given to us? Ultimately during the course of the film, I just kept on asking myself what’s the point of this movie? What story is it trying to tell?

What’s it all alluding to in particular? What in the bloody hell was this trying to convey to its audience? What was it trying to say? What’s the point of it all? Why are we forced to sit through endlessly boring and droning sequences where B and Alan make love and why do the writers give us their completely forced and utterly unrealistic romance? What was the purpose in Alan’s difficult time getting aroused with B at the beginning of their relationship? Do they actually expect us to believe any normal heterosexual man would have a hard time getting aroused around her? They also give us very little background about B. Monkey and her exploits and what led her to decide she didn’t want to be a jewel thief any longer. Where does Alan get his energy if he’s a teacher by day and a DJ at a hospital by night?

And most of the situations during the story end up being just really un-involving and alienating towards its audience with a lot of scenes that often times are uninteresting with the blooming of B and Alan’s relationship, her attempts to reform against her own will and even the heist scenes are all really boring and bland. And the film is just full of unlikable characters from Rupert Everett who supplies a shrill thankless role whose purpose I was never clear on, to Jonathan Rhys Meyer who also equally does nothing and never plays well with his character, and then there’s B who happens to be the most unlikable of them all. She’s a despicable person and relentlessly ends up getting this poor guy in to trouble. She never presents any remote hint of a redeemable character trait and never really ends up giving the audience a reason to like her. The ending is unrealistic in its promise of a positive future for B, which I felt was very uncertain and naive. This is a terrible film, and often times very boring, droning, and unrealistic in its really shallow story void of creativity or intelligence and bears no real redeemable qualities, except for Asia Argento who is ridiculously hot.