The Wrecking Crew (1968)

The movie famous for everyone not Dean Martin: Sharon Tate, Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Joe Lewis, Ed Parker, Nigel Green, Nancy Kwan and Tina Louise.  This was the 4th and is neither the best nor the worst because it’s the formulaic Matt Helm movie everyone expected.

Dean Martin looks a little tired in this one at times but he’s remarkably spry for a 52 year old.  I think the reason he’s so likeable is that his default face is usually all smiles.  He always seems to be having a good time and even when frustrated with Freya, it’s more of a comical disgruntlement about how she’s so bad, she might as well be working for them.  Still though, there’s an element of husband vs. wife that is a little off-putting 45 years later.  She complains about his driving, he makes faces about her piercing voice, etc.

I think some artists do that in the end.  They spend their lives and careers trying to tell a story and some times it ends up being the same story over an over but with different elements.  Matt Helm is the fantasy life of an ordinary guy who feels trapped in a marriage with a disagreeable woman who is still pretty, clumsy, and at times – charmingly endearing.  There is no sense of gender equality on the good or the bad side in these movies.  There is definitely a social element that dates it above and beyond a mere technical film-making aspect.

If this makes sense as a criticism: this was a movie and not a film?