So you can’t call her babe. That’s where she draws the line. She responds violently to those who call her babe. But… what about boobs? Jugs? Mammary Madam? Chesty? How about Baby? It’s kind of like Babe, but not really. It’s a shame because the original comic book from Dark Horse called “Barb Wire” sounds like it could be a fun action film. A busty blond heroine addicted to adrenaline who fights crime from the heart of her night club could be a great film overall. Instead, the producers cast a popular model turned actress in the guise of Pamela Anderson, spend most of the film focusing on her enhanced bust to compensate for her sheer lack of acting ability, and basically just remake “Casablanca” and call it a day.
Shockingly this is the one of the few times before she completely remade herself that Pamela Anderson looks really good, and on-screen, the director makes sure to film her in lights that make her always sensual and never ugly. It’s just that it’s tough to be enticed by Anderson when she barely deliver a line of dialogue. Not to mention she spends most of the movie in the worst superhero outfit imaginable. If Halle Berry’s Catwoman outfit was god awful, Barb Wire is the precursor to it. How anyone could fight and run around in a bustier that barely keeps their bust in tact, as well as tight boots, is beyond me. Barb or Bar is the owner of the Hammer head where she spends most of her nights drinking, bathing in bubbles, and thinking back to her days in the war.
She’s also a very skilled bounty hunter on the side, which inevitably interferes with her business as a local celebrity, especially when authorities raid her club looking for a fugitive named Cora. When Cora shows up at her club with Barb’s ex lover Axel, Barb is forced to help them steal top secret lenses that avoid retinal scanning that can allow the pair to leave the country to Canada. All the while, Barb finds a new purpose, and re-visits her love with Axel. Though the plot is deliriously convoluted, “Barb Wire” is entirely focused on turning Anderson in to a bad ass while showing off her curves and goods. There’s a scene where she battles henchmen while in a bubble bath, and co-star Temuera Morrison (who should have his own starring roles by now) is lucky enough to roll around with her very briefly in the film.
The thing that drags down “Barb Wire” beyond the horribly unoriginal story, is that Barb Wire just isn’t interesting. Sure Anderson is kind of fun to look at, but that eventually fades when you realize Barb Wire herself has no depth or real flaws. She’s like a busty Snake Plissken in a post-apocalyptic world, who grunts most of her dialogue and never really displays any emotions or flaws. When the film has a chance to really play the silly premise and story for laughs, it fails to really offer any chuckles and takes its story much too seriously. There’s no way “Barb Wire” was ever going to be regarded as a stern adult science fiction film, especially with its lack of a unique narrative.
I hope we get a reboot someday of the actual “Barb Wire” with a less jiggly super heroine and a more interesting protagonist who can suck us in to her world. Almost seventeen years later, “Barb Wire” is still a lemon of a comic book movie with an uninteresting heroine, bad acting, and a bland humorless premise that dares to crib from a cinematic masterpiece. I wouldn’t say it’s the worst movie ever made, but it definitely could have been so much better. I wish I could say this is the last time Anderson tried to peg herself an action heroine, but if anyone ever saw “VIP,” you’d know she just didn’t know when to take a hint.