|Directed by:||Elaine May|
|Written by:||Elaine May|
|Cast:||Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, Isabelle Adjani, Charles Grodin|
When it comes to box-office disasters, Ishtar is one of the films that's always come to mind with film fans. Especially when you're talking about a great cast with two huge stars like Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman, a script by comedy legend Elaine May, who also directed. Many people wonder what happened with this $51 million comedy that only made $12.7 million total in its entire theatrical run. After seeing it, I can't disagree with what some people think. It's not the funniest movie in the world. But at least it tries to make you laugh.
Ishtar is the story of two failed songwriters, Lyle Rogers and Chuck Clarke (Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman), who travel to Morocco to do a singing gig. When they arrive in Morocco, Lyle and Chuck are stuck helping to overthrow the local government. Meanwhile, Charles Grodin plays a CIA agent who uses both Lyle and Chuck for his benefit. There's a hilarious scene in which Dustin Hoffman has to pretend to speak Arabic to a group of terrorists. I also liked the scenes which involved a blind camel. The movie starts out promising and I laughed here and there. But the subplot feels out of place and unnecessary. The main focus should have been about the songwriters instead of the whole story about their involvement with the corrupt Moroccan government and the CIA.
Ishtar is the kind of movie you watch when nothing else is on. It's not as bad as its reputation makes it out to be. It's more of a curiosity good enough to rent or see on TV or online, if only once.
IMDb review from 8/10/10