Think of the worst boss you ever worked for, the abrasive, openly sexist one who treated everybody like dirt and thought he was a great motivator. Give him some camouflage undies, send him on a rescue mission in Manila and you’ve got “Sloane,” a repulsive “Rambo” knockoff that brought out feelings of sheer visceral hatred I didn’t know I still had in me.
It’s the title character that makes this movie so easy to hate. Sloane (Robert Resnik) is a prick, and not in the usual frustratingly endearing way. He’s a jerk to everybody, from the guy who hires him to find his kidnapped daughter Janice to the Filipinos, who he treats so coldly that I wondered if Sloane wasn’t a closet Aryan. Sloane’s only genuinely nice to one person in the whole movie, and then only because he wants to get her daughter into bed.
He smokes too much, drinks too much, laughs at his own bad jokes, dresses (and drives) like an idiot and does a football tackle to his girlfriend, all in a movie that’s barely 90 minutes long. Oh, and he also takes the money he’s supposed to use to save Janice and hires sex workers. Classy fella, that Sloane.
Hope you brought the rubber duckies.
So Sloane’s too stupid and horny to do his job, but luckily his friend Pete (Raul Aragon) and eventual love interest Cynthia (Debra Blee) help him zip it up and get down to business. Instead of using his allegedly huge network of contacts to help find Janice, Sloane opts for a strategy of showing a blurry picture of her car to random people at gas stations and pool halls. Sloane and company cross paths with the kidnapper’s henchmen, he wails on them multiple times, throwing them over railings and into windows, and then outlasts them in a car chase when they drive themselves into a retention pond, causing our witty hero to retort, “Hope you brought the rubber duckies!”
Meanwhile, the villainous businessman Chan-Se (I think he’s a businessman, anyway) gets tired of waiting around for his evil schemes to be foiled, so he lures the dimwitted Sloane to his hideout with assistance from Pete, whose traitorous nature is transparently obvious to anyone who passed third grade. Sloane is completely surprised by Pete’s heel turn, but he and Cynthia fight valiantly against Chan Se and manages to rescue Janice and some guy named Arthur, who has a beard and apparently can’t speak. (Now that I mention it, Arthur’s my favorite character in “Sloane.” They never really explain who he is or why he’s been kidnapped, but everyone in the movie knows him like a brother!) Still one more challenge awaits – they must escape through a cave inhabited by what the video box calls “a tribe of crazed Pygmy cannibals.” They accomplish this by walking through the cave at an even pace. So much for that threat, I guess!
Sloane gets shot during a firefight with pygmy cannibals – but hey, it’s Arthur!
And that sums “Sloane” up pretty well: the hero isn’t heroic, the sexy sidekick isn’t sexy, the action sequences have no action and the suspenseful parts aren’t suspenseful. Add in Sloane’s disturbing penchants for wearing short shorts and kicking people in the crotch, and you’ve got a disaster on your hands. As Cynthia herself says about their non-adventure, “This whole thing reads like fiction… no publisher would touch it.” Unfortunately for us, one did. “Sloane” is probably useful for bringing repressed rage and anger to the surface, but not much else. Avoid it.