Cocaine and Blue Eyes (1983) / Thriller-Drama

MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably PG for some violence and mild language
Running Time: 100 min.

Cast: O.J. Simpson, Candy Clark, Eugene Roche, Cliff Gorman, Maureen Anderman, Cindy Pickett, Tracy Reed, Leonardo Cimino, Vanessa L. Clark, Keye Luke, Irena Ferris, John Spencer, Evan Kim, Stephen Tobolowski, Bumper Robinson
Director: E.W. Swackhamer
Screenplay: Kendelle J. Blair (based on the novel by Fred Zackel)
Review published March 6, 2005

Based on the novel by Fred Zackel, made for NBC by O.J.'s production house, Cocaine and Blue Eyes marks an attempt at a modern noir private investigator flick, complete with voice over narration, damsels in distress, and dialogue that wouldn't sound foreign if Humphrey Bogart had said them 50 years before.  It would be a pilot for a potential television series, but never became one.  Anyone that has attempted to watch it will probably understand why. 

O.J. Simpson (Detour to Terror, Capricorn One) plays San Francisco private investigator Michael Brennen, a no-nonsense detective on a case to find the missing girlfriend for a newly deceased client.  The more he digs, the more trouble seems to follow him, especially when he discovers cocaine is being smuggled in by an elaborate and highly influential ring of accomplices. 

Starting with O.J.'s rather stiff delivery of lines of narration clearly meant for someone who is not O.J., Cocaine and Blue Eyes is a very awkwardly developed attempt to recapture the spirit of the detective films of the 1930s and 40s.  With an already bad casting decision in the lead role, the producers of this film also make the mistake of setting the events in the modern day.  With such an old-fashioned style of writing, it actually becomes laughable just how out of place this story is.  Worse still, the movie is dreadfully boring.  It's a generic retread of detective stories that had been all but completely cycled out of existence, lacking anything to distinguish it except for some racial remarks thrown Simpson's way.

Let's put it all on the table, shall we?  O.J. is a terrible fit to play a hard-boiled private dick. And if he doesn't fit  the movie's sh*t, to mangle a line from Johnny Cochran.  By being front and center in every scene, he cripples any chance that the movie would ever find a groove. Of course, it doesn't help that the direction is lifeless, the screenwriting drab, and the supporting cast forced to play every character as a complete stereotype.  For a film with so much of "The Juice" in it, it's ironic how quickly it loses all its juice once the story gets going.

  Qwipster's rating:

2005 Vince Leo