Bonus Mileage (1996)

Posted on September 9, 2020 in 2 Oogies, Idiot Box Reviews, Series: Twisted Tales

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Bonus Mileage (1996)
Bonus Mileage (1996)

Main cast: Geoffrey Rush (Harry Chisholm), Shane Briant (Jay Condor), Kate Fischer (Melody Christian), Tottie Goldsmith (Vanessa Condor), and Bryan Brown (The Host)
Director: Christopher Robin Collins

Bonus Mileage feels very familiar. I’m pretty sure I haven’t watched this episode before, but I may have read or seen something with a similar plot.

We have an over-the-top boorish and rude Harry Chisholm that is lulled into switching bodies with a fellow passenger while on his usual bonus mileage-supported plane ride. Of course, life as Jay Condor is nowhere as cracked as it may seem at first, so will poor Harry get out of this mess?

Well, too bad I don’t care. Geoffrey Rush is, of course, a reliable actor even when he’s in some really awful movies, but here, Harry is too ridiculous to be taken seriously even as some kind of anti-hero. More confusingly, this episode seems to be at first gearing the character up for some rude awakening or moral redemption, but it instead allows Harry to get out of his proverbial jail free, not really learning anything in the process, by dragging an innocent bystander into his mess.

Sure, episodes in this kind of anthologies usually kill off or redeem the protagonist, and I suppose one can argue that this episode is, er, subverting expectations. However, this subversion doesn’t come after any kind of coherent character journey or plot development. Things just happen, and then Harry gets out of his problem without having to be held accountable for anything, the end. Really, what is that all about? Are we celebrating Harry now? If yes, then why have him be such a terrible cartoon character in the first place?

I don’t know, there is something about this episode that doesn’t feel well put-together; it’s like a jigsaw puzzle with several major pieces missing. For once, the cast actually ends up serving it far better than the story itself. Two oogies—and even then, I’m giving this episode this rating because I’m feeling generous and yes, I have a soft spot for Mr Rush.