‘Locked Up’ explores limits of dumb dude routine
April 25, 2012 12:55 PM
Is tonight’s “celebrity” edition of “Locked Up Abroad” (10 p.m. on National Geographic) a cautionary tale? Or a comedy? It’s hard to turn a series all but based on “Midnight Express” into a sitcom. But it’s not impossible.
Tonight’s tale is narrated and re-enacted by its subject, actor Erik Aude, best known for his supporting role in “Dude, Where’s My Car?”
This “Locked Up” arrives at a grim Pakistani prison, where Aude is beaten and brutalized. His path to prison is like something out of a stoner comedy called “Dude, Where’s My Common Sense?”
According to Aude, he was on the brink of post-“Dude” stardom when an acquaintance asked him to fly to Pakistan on his behalf and bring back some “leather goods.” Sure, dude, why not? What could go wrong?
Aude’s gullibility would be off the charts at any given time, but his friend asked him to fly to Pakistan in the teeth of post-9/11 tensions. American forces had just invaded Afghanistan, and extremists had recently executed journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan. Any “tourist” with half a brain would avoid the region. But Aude didn’t seem to have that problem.
Armed with a blind ignorance and gung-ho spirit befitting a slapstick comedy fall guy, Aude also goes jogging in the heart of a Pakistani city teeming with anti-American hatred. And then he proceeds to hit on veiled women, because, he explains, he could still see their eyes. And they were hot!
After this absurd setup, the rest of “Locked Up” is a bit of an anticlimax. After police inform Aude that he is carrying opium and not leather goods, we settle down to the usual grim tale of arrest, incarceration, torture and painful extraction that allows him to live to relate his incredible and completely avoidable tale of misfortune.
“Dude, Where’s My Common Sense?”
by May 2, 2012 13 Commentson