Saturday, December 3, 2011

One Of The Best Arguments Against Making Sequels: The Whole Ten Yards

The Good: One or two laughs
The Bad: Just about everything, Characters, Plot, Use of cast
The Basics: If you liked The Whole Nine Yards, do not spoil your fond memories by sitting through this unbearably unfunny sequel.

When I first saw The Whole Nine Yards, (reviewed here!) I was pleasantly surprised. I found I enjoyed it and it made me laugh quite a bit. I was very surprised when it was announced that there was a sequel in the works and I was very curious about how they would successfully pull it off. The answer, as was revealed to me by watching the movie, was they could not. The Whole Ten Yards is a terrific failure, an idea almost as bad as making a sequel to "Magnolia" and only serves to sour the good memories I had about The Whole Nine Yards.

This dreadful sequel follows the dentist Oz, who has become increasingly paranoid after settling into his life with Cynthia, the ex-wife of Jimmy the now-retired hitman. Oz, however, now has reason to freak out as Cynthia is abducted by old enemies of Jimmy's. The gangster Lazlo has abducted Cynthia and Oz is forced to call on the domesticated Jimmy and his trigger happy, though terminally unlucky hitwoman wife Jill.

I wish I could say "hilarity" ensues, but it does not. This is a stupid movie. I want to end my review there. This movie is just plain bad.

First off, I am not a fan of slapstick. Simple convolutions of the body and spasms and falling down aren't funny to me. It's a joke that works once. In The Whole Ten Yards, Matthew Perry's Oz serves solely as a slapstick character and he fails entirely at being funny. That's not to say that Matthew Perry is not funny or that he is unable to do physical comedy, because he is and he can. The problem here in The Whole Ten Yards is that Perry is reduced to doing only physical comedy. He is given one schtick the whole movie and it plays old very quick.

Furthermore, the use of physical comedy is continually diluted through the use of Lazlo's two dimwit sons who also use extensive physical comedy. They fall easily into the role of idiot sidekicks and they add nothing to the mix. In fact, they distract from the overall plot and only serve to highlight how Kevin Pollak's Lazlo is just not funny at all. Pollak is a genius comedian and his talents are completely wasted as Lazlo, a one-trick pony character whose prosthetics are decent but lacks any charisma or actual character.

The Whole Nine Yards had a distinct advantage over The Whole Ten Yards in that it had a very rich and diverse cast. The absence of Michael Clarke Duncan (who played Frankie Figgs in the prior film) is felt and the last minute character that pops up is a ridiculous attempt to replace his presence and fails utterly.

In fact, the only two people who ought to be happy about The Whole Ten Yards are Natasha Henstridge and Amanda Peet. Henstridge ought to be happy because her part as Cynthia is more prominent in The Whole Ten Yards and there is more for her character to do. Unfortunately, Henstridge also delivers the line, near the beginning, that ruins any and every element of surprise about her abduction and the underlying elements of it. Nevertheless, she has more productive airtime and quite possibly the only character growth in the entire piece. If Amanda Peet is camera shy about nudity (something she does not seem to have a problem with given her role in The Whole Nine Yards), this sequel improves her position by not forcing her to bare all.

The truth is, The Whole Nine Yards had a spark and it was funny and different. The Whole Ten Yards attempts to recreate that spark, but instead reunites a stellar cast and then fails to do anything magical with them. A horrible script, nothing impressive in the way of performances and failure to grow the characters beyond where they were in The Whole Nine Yards (save a few cheap impotence and domestication jokes about Jimmy) gut this film.

For other works with the amazing Amanda Peet, be sure to visit my reviews of:
The X-Files: I Want To Believe
Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip


For other movie reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2007, 2004 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment