Spice World (1997) — If you wanna be my lover, you’ve got to get with this flick

“It is time to hang your pants on the line of darkness. Whether they are clean or not.”

PoolMan’s rating: Just to get Justin’s undies in a knot

PoolMan’s review: Mutant Summit Alert! Spice World, along with The Doom Generation and Ernest Goes to School, was part of the 3-Pack of Less Than Top Notch Quality Movies we got from J’s local video store while I crashed at this place. I personally had hoped this would be a lot funnier than it was. As it was, I was confused, bewildered, and just generally bumfuzzled. I’ve always wanted to use the word “bumfuzzled” in a Mutant review, and this seemed the perfect place.

Now, it’s worth noting that there are good reasons I’m putting Spice World into the wonderful world of Mutant Reviewers. First, although the Spice Girls’ popularity has dwindled in the past couple of years, I can clearly remember throngs of teenage girls wetting their undies and screaming at tones suitable for pulverizing blocks of granite in the not-so-distant past, and all because of these five (now four) chicks. With the number of fans the Girls have (had?), it certainly classifies as cult, even if not in any intelligent way.

Second, it’ll irk Justin to no end, because even though I didn’t think this flick was all that hot, he HATED it, and I love to oppose him, just to get him all ruffled up. If I’d told him to his face that this movie was better than, say, Army of Darkness, he’d have thrown me through the nearest wall and urinated on my dead, twitching body. Thankfully, Army of Darkness is a much better movie.

So. What, exactly, is Spice World? It’s a place where five low-talent bimbos reign supreme. It’s where dresses made of approximately two square feet of fabric are the norm. It’s where Bob Hoskins may speak with a woman’s voice and no one thinks it’s weird. I confess that I drank a lot of beer watching this movie (the only time I’ve seen it, mind you), so if you’re looking for a concise, informed review, well, I don’t think you’ll find one anywhere.

There’s some hackneyed storyline, and to be honest, I forget what it is. I DO know it involved people running around tracking the Spice Girls through their tour and reporting back to The Chief, who is probably the best part of the movie. They actually wrangled Roger Moore (and lots more recognizable faces) into this flick, and got him to dress in Bond Villain clothing while spewing some of the funniest gobbledygook I’ve ever seen delivered with a straight face. I think he enjoyed himself. The rest of the plot basically revolves around getting to some important concert in time, and wearing smaller and smaller garments.

All said, not a minute of the movie made sense. It did have some very funny lines in it, but for the most part, it’s a super long Spice Girls video. But pair it with the brewskies and a husky Italian gentlemen who’s so aggravated he’s ready to burst, and you’ve got a fun evening on your hands.

Justin’s rating: Zig-a-zig-whattheheck

Justin’s review: Spice World was one of the films PoolMan chose to watch together at our Mutant Summit in 2000. It didn’t strike me as a fun activity to make fun of even then, and I curse his name today since I had to rent it to watch again, because I had blocked it out in my mind. For going through this Brit hell twice, I rest easy in the knowledge that he had to suffer through Doom Generation with little preparation. But even so, Spice World continues to haunt me knowing that there is a film this dumb, this idiotic, this in-your-face little bratty sister-type annoying in existence.

To sum it up, this movie is practically a video press kit featuring the now-defunct British pop group going around on tour. The ever-bouncy and clearly insane women wear increasingly tasteless outfits and live so spontaneously that their manager (Richard Grant) has to grow hideous sideburns just to keep up. Most of their famous songs get time in the movie, so you got the nice “I could be watching this on VH1, or better yet, changing the channel” feel to it all.

At the time this movie came out, the Spice Girls had already hit their peak and were beginning a decline that would end up in the yesterday’s joke bin of today. You either like (liked) them, or you don’t (didn’t), and those feelings will influence your opinion of the movie. I personally can’t stand them, although now we have Britney and Christina and the Pussycats, so has the world gotten better, I ask of you?

The most frustrating aspect of Spice World is that between wanting, REALLY WANTING, to slap these girls with a halibut, there are instances of humor and admirable weirdness that keep it from being a total wash. For instance, Meat Loaf drives the girls’ bus because who else would take on that task? Richard Grant’s transition announcements are suitably nutty, Roger Moore’s deranged Chief brought a few smiles to me face, and who can totally deny an English accent coming from a woman’s mouth?

So I guess what I’m saying is that if you’re looking for a movie to really hate in the presence of friends, but secretly enjoy (just a bit), only Spice World contains this mix of allure and hero worship that will have all of us regular joes (but not Buddha-like PoolMan, who has that rare ability to see the best in all things) ripping out hair in large, sweaty chunks.

Didja notice?

  • Tons o’ cameos! Bob Hoskins! Roger Moore! Elton John! Elvis Costello! Meat Loaf! George Wendt! The list goes on, and it’ll leave you shaking your head, wondering “how much money did they put IN this wreck?!”
  • The whole Spice phenomenon… what happened to that?
  • Cast and Spices jawing during the end credits, as if you’d watch that long
  • A sign on the bus reads “Maximum Capacity: 5 Girls”
  • The interior of the Spicebus is incredibly massive, and holds a runway, a swing, a fish tank, exercise equipment, full wardrobes, and various couches
  • The animal the Chief is holding keeps changing

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