A couple months ago I stumbled across an article on Cracked entitled, “Is Charlie Sheen Invincible?” It discusses his apparent ability to avoid any repercussions for his train-wreck behavior, whatsoever. By most measures, Charlie Sheen is a success. His “hit” (not my word) television show Two and a Half Men has been nominated to win an Emmy for “Outstanding Comedy Series” multiple times by the discerning Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, who apparently applaud the devaluation and demonisation of women.
For the most part, as far as I’m concerned, Charlie Sheen is a twitchy washed-up film actor who landed a plum role on a prime time TV show, a critical darling of the middle-aged, bowling-shirt-wearing, bachelor set. But after reading this Cracked article about Sheen’s penchant for violence, drug addiction and whoring, plus Sheen’s very public bullshit political statements , I indulged some misguided curiosity and rented No Code of Conduct (1998). So, dear readers, a review of No Code of Conduct. I can only show you the door, you have to walk through it.
It bears mentioning that Bret Michaels makes an appearance in the first 10 minutes of film. He gets stabbed in the neck directly after his first line (“Fuck you, bitch.”), but he is still a prominent figure, gurgling to his death in his ever-present bandanna underneath a white cowboy hat and wearing a paisley shirt. Bret lives on in the film, not for his eminent acting ability, but for the fact that he wrote, directed, produced, and (I guess) acted in this film.
Charlie Sheen is credited for creating the screenplay alongside Bret, so you can just guess how badass this movie is gonna be. Let the leather jackets, long hair, and obstinate male personalities fly! There is no doubt that the GNP of Cuba was funded solely by Bret and Charlie during the writing of this movie.
Now, we’ve got to get the drug trafficking in right away, verdad? One would assume that Charlie and Bret would be able to accurately outline how a drug deal goes down. At the very least, they should know the weight to price ratio of some China White. You might say no, they wouldn’t know that, because they were rock/movie stars and usually had their assistants go pick their drugs up for them, and their assistants were only paid with the privilege of watching great thespians perform their craft, in addition to free food all day from the craft services table, so they had to recoup expenses somewhere.
So in reality, Charlie and Bret think that drugs cost millions of dollars for a couple ounces, and that uncut pure shit kind of tastes like baby laxative. So whatever, you always have to be right.
And you are right, because there is much confusion in the opening scene about one balloon of heroin costing the dealer 10 million dollars. Promptly after this fact is established, a druggie peon decides to test the product, tears open a balloon and cooks up half of it. In the process he scatters about a teaspoon of it on the ground, wasting, according to my calculations, about $10,000.00 worth of product. After this dramatic enactment of someone cooking up, nobody shoots up the product and the Mexican mule is shot for not coughing up the last of the (10 million dollar) balloons.
Now that the “main plot line” is established, let’s get to the Sheen. Charlie is basically sucking at life. He is a cop married to his job which is negatively affecting his home life with his wife and daughter. Unfortunately, Charlie sucks at his job and so instead of working in Vice with the other cool cop kids, he has been relegated to working the evidence locker.
This position consists of him practicing busts in a shoothouse with his ex-partner DeLucca in which he fails miserably and then sulking at his desk and playing with Hot Wheels cars. Luckily for him, his dad Bill Peterson (real-life dad Martin Sheen), is also a vice-unit detective on the police force and keeps his son employed (Oh hi, art. Have you met life?).
After his unsuccessful trial run fails, Charlie and the other cops that were watching the practice get lectured by Marty: “Friends, I cannot emphasize this enough. You are not Starsky and Hutch. You are not Crockett and Tubbs. You’re not training for a TV series here, alright? The things you see dramatized on television series’ have nothing whatsoever to do with real law enforcement, with the possible exception of NYPD Blue.”
Unfortunately, the whole movie can’t be all meta references.
Make no mistake, Charlie knows the ins and outs of the law. You can’t get arrested that many times and not at least have a passable understanding of the judicial system.
Anyway, despite Charlie being demoted from hotshot cop on the street to paper pusher, when a coworker goes off the deep end because the state took sole custody of his children (no thanks, Bret, your audience doesn’t need a reason for this event) Charlie is chosen to be the best man for the job of talking suicidal guy off the ledge.
Or, out of the shower, as it were. The community police shower, where suicidal guy holed up with a gun to kill himself. Charlie swaggers in wearing his black leather jacket and brandishes his pistol upon entry. The other guy, holding the pistol barrel to his mouth – hey, wait a minute, didn’t I see this somewhere else before –
After successfully talking a fellow policeman out of killing himself without reporting this obviously mentally unstable man with a CCW to any of his superiors, Charlie leads the guy out of the shower, suggesting they go get a drink together. Since the logic train has left the building, one is disposed to infer that Charlie did indeed go out drinking with his buddy because he arrives home to his daughter’s birthday party after the festivities have ended.
After Charlie makes nice with his daughter, his wife is all like “I want a divorce.” Apparently, Mrs. Movie Sheen is unaware of how Charlie deals with his real-life marital problems.
Later, the bad guys are still trying to wrap up this multi-billion dollar drug deal by driving around town in a full-size van. I guess they chose a decrepit van to transport the stuff because it is basically the fastest vehicle on the market and the most reliable. When you drive a full-size van at top speed (some models even make it up to 70 mph!) around corners you can be sure you are in the most stable vehicle possible. Toppling over is not a problem for a 15-person van.
But what do I know about what drug dealers drive? Or how they are supposed to look? According to Charlie and Bret, a drug transport team complies with federal anti-discrimination laws and is usually comprised of one person from each major race – an Asian woman, a black man, a latino (looking) dude and the albino version of Dennis Rodman.
This movie has not aged well in terms of clothing, vehicle transportation, and street price of drugs. This movie is kind of slapdash macho fantasy, actually! You should be so lucky as to only see Charlie on prime time TV at 4, 6, and 8 p.m.
Which, collectively speaking, garners him about a bazillion dollars. This is because Charlie’s newly posted payment per episode of Two and a Half Men is now 1.8 million per episode. Whose laugh track is laughing now?
What is also laughable is the car chase towards the end of this film. For a good 15 minutes, the van with a gas leak plugged with a wad of gum outruns Charlie’s Mustang. Not even MacGyver could pull this bit of ridiculousness off.
So, it comes to light that the evil druglord who is importing all these drugs into America is also building a series of drug rehabilitation centers. Oh, if only Bret Michaels and Charlie Sheen had time machines. Anyway, the uber-sophisticated concept behind the druglord’s plan is that if he imports billions of dollars’ worth of heroin into Arizona, he’ll get the community hooked on it and then they’ll need to check into his rehab centers. Bada-bing, bada boom.
Heroin is an interesting drug of choice used to usher the masses into the drug centers, as it is so well-known for the propensity of its users to live long lives. Lives long enough to get hooked, care about getting clean, and then cough up enough money to pay for the help they need to get clean. Mind like a steel trap, that one.
Moving along, Charlie gets hold of the drug-runners’ van and has Pappy, the facilities manager at the police station search it for drugs. Sniffing out drugs is a new required course in janitor school, in case you didn’t know. In any event, he can’t find any. So, evidence locker cop Charlie checks it “one last time” and discovers the van is equipped with two gas tanks. One is empty, one full of something. They hypothesize it is full of drugs and so Pappy goes at it with a blowtorch to cut open a hole. The blowtorch was a very appropriate tool to use, just in case the gas tank happened to be full of gas.
Unfortunately for us it wasn’t, and Charlie discovers tens-of-billions-of-thousands of dollars’ worth of heroin in its tank. The audience is asked to really suspend its belief in this scene as Charlie doesn’t attempt to stuff the lot of it up his nose.
While this mind-blowing detective work takes place, the bad guys are kidnapping Charlie’s wife. The kid is at his house too, but they choose to leave her alone and instead take his wife, the one petitioning for a divorce. She is blindfolded using a camouflage bandanna, courtesy of Bret Michaels’ hair. Side note: his real hair is evident underneath the cowboy hat in this movie. It looks exactly like his weave (er, hair) now.
The bad guys are holding his wife hostage until the heroin is returned to them. A shoot-out ensues on the grounds of the rehab center building site wherein Charlie successfully shoots multiple disposable drug runners. No mention of the fact that in his training session the previous day, wherein he shot 8 rounds and hit none of the target dummies. Now, however, Charlie can kill someone with one shot at a length of probably half a football field.
Everything ends well for ol’Charlie, akin to real life. In the final shot he drives off in his shiny Mustang with the film crew and microphone boom reflected in its beautiful wax job. That’s Charlieeeeee for ya.
Written by Kelli