Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD

Director: Rod Taylor (1988)
Starring: David Hasselhoff, Lisa Rinna, Sandra Hess
Find it: IMDB

A panel from Mark Millar's The Ultimates, largely credited with being inspiration for much of the modern Marvel movement. Here, Doctor Hank Pym (genius, occasional wife beater and frequent Ant Man) asks Nick Fury, director of shady government agency SHIELD, who he thinks could play him in a movie:

Well, I think he might actually be busy, Nick. What about, um, David Hasselhoff instead? Eighties era David Hasselhoff plays Nick Fury, crack agent of SHIELD, rudely pulled out of brooding retirement in order to bring down the sinister HYDRA organisation. More casual Marvel fans may be surprised to see a white David Hasselhoff Fury, but this television movie doesn't actually differ all that much from the Cinematic Universe as we know it today. Arnim Zola, HYDRA and Life Model Decoys... secret agents hanging around in leather on a swanky great helicarrier (two of whom could be named Maria Hill and Agent Coulson without the film missing a beat)... Nick Fury is surprisingly faithful to both the comics and the Marvel films of today.

And, judging by his eyepatch and designer stubble, David Hasselhoff isn't as bad a pick for Fury as one might imagine. Granted, he does spoil the effect the moment he opens his mouth, but he certainly looks the part. Let's face it, we were never going to get Clint Eastwood (my own personal dream Fury). Chewing on a cigar throughout and clad in a winning wardrobe of leather, denim and vest, I can see this Nick Fury sharing a few beers with Dolph Lungren's Punisher before heading back to the warzone to slap HYDRA around some more.

The script is ridiculous, the action shoddy and the acting awful. Nevertheless, Agent of SHIELD is a lot of fun - a charming throwback to a time when comic book adaptations were less respectable and a little rougher around the edges. Stan Lee may have enjoyed the Hoff's performance ("the ultimate Nick Fury!") but Samuel L. should lose no sleep over this film's re-release - Hasselhoff is to Nick Fury as Val Kilmer was Batman. Not entirely awful, but wrong, all the same.

Say what you will about David Hasselhoff's Nick Fury, at least it's more watchable than Agents of SHIELD.

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