Ishtar (1987)

Ishtar (1987)

Directed by: Elaine May

Starring: Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, Isabelle Adjani

I’ve been curious about this movie ever since I heard it mentioned a couple times while watching MST3K, or when I heard Waterworld referred to as “Fishtar”, because they were both monetary failures. Remember, that’s what they mean when they call this (and others like it) some of the “worst movies of all time”; they’re not talking about the artistic merit or enjoyability of a film, they’re talking about movies that lost a lot of money.

Two terrible songwriters (Beatty and Hoffman) are failing in New York, so they decide to go to Morocco and try their hand there. They meet a girl dressed like a boy whom they both fall in love with, and also it turns out she’s the most wanted terrorist in the country because she leads a group of rebels out to depose the emir. They get involved in Charles Grodin’s pointless CIA plot to get a map they have that would start a full-out revolt in the country, and in the end, they’re still terrible songwriters.

The stuff with the bad songs is actually kind of funny, as is the first twenty minutes while they’re in New York. Once they get to Morocco and all the stupid spy shit starts happening, it just gets painful to watch. And you know what? The bad song thing is funny, but it also means that you’re listening to a ton of really bad songs, and that sucks. I mean, what kind of lunatic would specifically go out of their way to experience terrible media?


About Reid

Born in a dumpster, died in a fire. View all posts by Reid

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