Not only is it Christmas, as evidenced by the radio playing yuletide tunes and Maria's Pomeranian now endowed with fuzzy antlers, but it's time for another birthday too! Dumas is wrapped up in conning a waifish model to pose for him in his bed while he paints her in cubist form. Suddenly Little Tyson calls him saying that he has a gun at his head and needs help quick. Turns out LT's plight is a Christmas birthday, but Jack being the awesome dude that he is, has a party for him complete with a cowboys and Indians theme. Unfortunately for Dumas II, Jack and LT have rigged the apartment with booby traps including an electrified door knob! Nothing says "funny" like "electrocution". Why am I telling you about this bit which has nothing to do with the rest of the episode? Because this is the best segment we are going to get. I can't believe we complained about "Cannonball" and "Black Magic".
Of course Thomas is an old friend and Jack knows for damn sure that Thomas isn't the violent type and he must uncover the truth, with or without the help of the cops. If you've seen any of these, you know it will be with the help of the cops in the end. Even though Jack has never been wrong before, Sam never seems to think he will ever be right again. Some friend.
First off Galli seems to want to re-invent Extralarge as some sort of grim angel of vengeance ala THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS (1987). After a decade of hambone Bond outings, this was a welcome change. It's not for Bud. Why embarrassing? Wait till you get to the scene where Dumas II brings in a pair of clothing designers to make Jack a new tux for the Governor's party. These guys are so flamboyant that they make Siegfried and Roy seem like icons of butch machismo.
The two fight scenes that we get, one versus truckers in a bar, the other versus mobsters in a warehouse, are shot almost entirely with medium and close-up shots. Granted, I'm not expecting some old HK-style fight scenes where everything is a master shot so the audience can marvel at the incredibly complex choreography, this is an Italian Bud Spencer TV movie we're talking about after all. However, the scene where Jack fights off a group of truckers, he does so with half a pool cue in each hand. We never actually see both sticks in one shot, but the fact that he has two seems to be implied by the editing. Even the scene where Jack throws Thomas' killer through a buffet line (yes, that made me wince) is shot an angle where you can't actually see the stunt, just the food flying off the table. That's two fouls in one! You know how much time and effort it takes to set up a buffet? Why take out your frustrations on the caterer? They're just trying to serve food man! Plus, they've changed the title from "Detective Extralarge" to "Extra Large". Why? Perhaps to appeal to English speaking audiences who don't want to have to deal with too many extra syllables. Non bene, non bene.
If I had never seen a Bud Spencer movie and someone told me to start here, I would never speak to them again. This series can only get better from here.
|Nice of the bad guys to print up their evil plan in a presentation binder.|