The Good: None.
The Bad: NOT FUNNY! Plot, Character, Acting (or lack thereof)
The Basics: With a complete lack of humor, poorly defined characters and writing that is obsessed with passing gas and bowel movements, Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector fails. Completely.
In the past, I've tried to open my mind up to the whole redneck humor thing. I sat through one of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour shows, I watched Jeff Foxworthy: Totally Committed (reviewed here!) and enjoyed the jokes about looking for things, and I even watched a Ron White comedy special (which I actually enjoyed, especially his surprisingly sensible concept of everyone being partially gay, which was very funny). So, in short, I've worked to overcome any preconceived notions I have about any form of comedy and at the end of the day, I don't care where my comedy comes from, I just want it to be funny. Last night, I sat down to Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector and it did not even manage to be funny.
The title says it all for this 89 minute crapfest. Seriously.
Larry, a public health inspector in Orlando, is going about his day to day operations of citing restaurants that have code violations when his boss becomes angered by this (yeah, I don't get that either). His boss, Bart, teams Larry up with Amy Butlin (who Larry thinks is a small man, for some reason) and the two head out to do their jobs. As Larry and Butlin eat their way around town, Larry soon finds himself sick and rats and rat turds seem to be the cause. With a big citywide cook-off coming up, Larry and Butlin must find out who is sabotaging local restaurants and stop them before someone gets truly hurt.
There's stupid and there's Stupid. This is just plain STUPID! I'm a professional writer, I work with words for a living and the most I can say about this movie is that it is purely stupid, dumb, a waste of time and an argument against the talents involved.
And there are some decent performers in this piece! After spending yesterday touting the acting prowess of Tom Wilson in the Back To The Future Trilogy (reviewed here!), I see him in this garbage and he's doing nothing. None of his talents are brought to bear. He is stuck in a role where he is not given any funny lines, any moments of distinction, nothing. Of course, he's not alone. None of the lines are funny. Much of the movie centers around fart jokes and jokes involving bowel movements.
It's not funny!
Moreover, other truly worthwhile performers are stuck in the hell that is this movie. Joe Pantoliano from Bound (reviewed here!), Tony Hale who was comic genius in Arrested Development, and Joanna Cassidy, who earned my respect as Margaret Chenowith on Six Feet Under (reviewed here!) all appear in this movie, mortgaging their many talents and allowing themselves to be relegated to moments where they appear, act as a punchline and are discarded. Sometimes, I see a movie and I look at the cast and think "If these people in it, it can't be all that bad!" I was completely wrong with this movie. I swear, director Trent Cooper must have the most incriminating photos of Wilson, Pantoliano, Hale and Cassidy to have gotten them to consent to being in this absolute piece of crap.
Have I mentioned it's not funny? I sat down in a good mood, ready to laugh. I did not laugh ONCE. I didn't even smile once!
But before I retire this review (because, honestly, there is so little going for this movie with it's fart jokes coming at a rate of 1 every minute and a half, that there is simply not enough substance in the film to write about), I would like to say that this is simply a big, self-referential waste of celluloid. Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector is an advertisement for "Larry The Cable Guy." This movie is selling a product and that is Larry The Cable Guy. Throughout the movie, there are as many possible references to Larry as could be conceivably be stuck in. Larry drives the Larrymobile, Larry is yelled at constantly, Larry talks about Larry.
Larry is particularly annoying because Larry cannot act. The script for Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector is a series of one-liners sewn together poorly by writers Jonathan Bernstein and James Greer. So more than establishing a character, Larry mumbles his way through remarks about going to the bathroom, euphemisms for "breasts," and status of handicapped coworkers. It's insulting, stupid and (say it with me now) it's NOT FUNNY!
Larry mumbles most of his lines and honestly, it's hard to care what he's saying anyway because the plot about the cook-off, the rats and him even being a health inspector is just extraneous, added on to give a context to what is essentially a standup routine that is spread out around a city with Larry walking around with a straightman.
That's it. This movie is utterly unredeemable. I'm going to go wash myself, that's how foul even watching this movie made me feel.
For other works with Tony Hale, visit my reviews of:
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
Stranger Than Fiction
For other film reviews, be sure to check out my Movie Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2012, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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