Film Review: Gridlock (dir by Sandor Stern)


Jake Gorsky is a tough New York cop who flies a helicopter and who gets results …. HIS WAY! He’s also played by David Hasselhoff and, as a result, you never look at him and really buy the idea that he’s a tough New York cop who gets results …. HIS WAY! Instead, you just assume that he’s the Hoff, cheerfully making his way through yet another silly made-for-TV movie.

In Gridlock, criminals have blown up all of the bridges leading out of Manhattan! The entire borough is gridlocked! Why would they do this? Are they hoping to make a quasi-philosophical statement, like Bane in The Dark Knight Rises? No, of course not. (That, to be honest, didn’t even make sense when Bane did it.) Instead, it’s all a part of a plot to rob the Federal Reserve. How are they going to escape if they’ve blown up all the bridges out of town? That question is never really answered, or if it was, I was too blinded by the Hoffness of it all to notice. I assume that Mr. One (Miguel Ferandes) and Mr. Two (Gotz Otto) have a plan. I assume that there’s also a reason why almost all of the bad guys are bald. For that matter, many members of the police are bald as well. You know who isn’t bald? The Hoff.

Anyway, it turns out that the Hoff’s girlfriend, Michelle (Kathy Ireland), works in the Federal Reserve. She gives tours to tourists who presumably flock to New York to see “where they keep all the money.” Michelle is trapped in the building while the robbery is taking place. It’s up to the Hoff to sneak into the building, rescue Michelle, and prevent the robbery. This leads to a scene where the Hoff uses two bags of nickels to take out some henchmen. Woo hoo!

Of course, while watching this film, you have to wonder how the crooks possibly thought they could get away with robbing the Federal Reserve. I mean, let’s just ignore the fact that they blew up all the bridges out of town. How are you going to launder that much money? We’ve all seen Breaking Bad. We all know Walter White ended up with a pile of money that he essentially could never touch. It’s hard not to feel that it would have been smarter for these crooks to just rob an ordinary bank. It also seems like there should have been a simpler way to commit their crimes than to blow up every bridge in Manhattan. How can these criminals be so smart and so dumb at the same time?

That said, you’re not really watching a film like this for the criminals or even the plot. You’re watching it because it features David Hasselhoff doing his thing. I wouldn’t exactly describe David Hasselhoff as being an actor with a particularly wide range but, when it comes to projecting an odd combination of earnest sincerity and mocking self-awareness, it’s hard to think of anyone who does it better. Much like William Shatner, the Hoff always leaves you wondering whether or not he’s actually in on the joke. Did David Hasselhoff realize he was appearing in a silly Die Hard rip-off (“Die Hard in an office building …. wait a minute, that’s just Die Hard!”) or did he earnestly call his agent and say, “Baywatch isn’t challenging anymore. I want to play a copy who doesn’t always follow the rules!” One gets the feeling that both possibilities are true.

Anyway, Gridlock is a made-for-TV movie from the 90s, which means no blood and no cursing. A lot of guns are fired but hardly anyone gets shot. I’ll give it a 6 out of 10, just for the Hasselhoff of it all.

3 responses to “Film Review: Gridlock (dir by Sandor Stern)

  1. This is D-Movie awesomeness with the ‘Hoffster, matched only by Anna Nicole Smith in Skyscraper (’96) as a helicopter action hero goin’ “John McClane” on everyone’s you-know-what.

    Liked by 1 person

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