A Film Review By Jason L. King
Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some violence and language.
Starring:Bruce Willis, Amanda Peet, Matthew Perry
Directed By:Howard Deutch
I’ve always had a soft spot for the mob. Don’t ask me why. Now don’t get the above statement wrong. Before you start to think I’m more out of whack than you already thought I was, let me point out that my love for mob stories travels back quite a way. Maybe I can attribute it to watching a lot of mob movies, reading a lot of detective fiction and loving the works of Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, who I have been told by a certain person do nothing but “Mafia films.” Or maybe it is because I work for a movie theater, and while it is not confirmed, I believe may have Mafia ties. (If you’ve ever wondered why employees at a movie theater tell you it’s only a quarter more for the large drink, I’ll let you in on a little secret; it’s for fear that they might be whacked.) But that’s off the subject.
A few years back when The Whole 9 Yards came out, I came to find out that I really enjoyed the film. It had everything that I wanted. It had mobsters, guns, Bruce Willis and some great Dry humor by Matthew Perry. But when they announced the release of a theatrical sequel, The Whole Ten Yards, I have to admit that I was afraid. I can blame my fear of bad sequels on last year, but mostly to the horrible Analyze That, the sequel to the boffo comedy Analyze This.
In The Whole Ten Yards, Things pick up right where they left off in the Whole 9 Yards. Jimmy the Tulip (Bruce Willis) and his new bride (Amanda Peet) are in hiding in Mexico, and Oz (Matthew Perry) is back in practice in his dentist office. All is well except for Jimmy’s strange love for housework as a replacement for his previous love of contract killing. But when Lazlo Gogalac, is released from jail, he plots revenge against Jimmy for killing his son. Without a clue of how to find Jimmy he knocks down the door of Oz’s house, kidnaps his wife and tries to get Oz to spill the beans on his own friend. Fearing for his own life Oz retreats to his old Pal, Jimmy the Tulip to bail him out this mess and get his wife back in one piece. The only problem is, the “new” Jimmy isn’t the same Jimmy that Oz knew before.
This film is yet another excuse to capitalize on the money the previous film had made. There really is no need for a sequel, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. The story is far weaker from the first film, and feels that as though it lost some of the “style” the first film had going for it. Many of the dry humors written for Perry seem very flat, and almost to dry at times, and only incite a few really good chuckles. The writers even return to a 108-year old Woman’s flatulence for a laugh, which is one of the lower points of the film. Matthew Perry and Bruce Willis manage to bring the film back to a watchable level, as their characters compliment each other perfectly.
While this film is an average comedy, it took me a while to figure out what left a sour taste in my mouth. By the end of the film, I had it figured out. I had seen this film before. It was called Analyze This. The same type of scenario was played out; they take an emotional mobster, stick him with a little guy who fears everything and has a dry sense of humor and make a film. The two films reek of similarity.
If the same type of film hadn’t been done before, The Whole 10 Yards could be a good lighthearted comedy. The problem is, it is sub-par to the original and doesn’t pack the laughs and doesn’t give us anything new to work with. While you aren’t going to walk away from this film feeling like your money was totally wasted, you aren’t going to feel entertained either. This film is a lot like drinking some really cheap alcohol. It doesn’t go down as good as the more expensive stuff, but it does get you drunk. The only question is wouldn’t you have more fun drinking (watching) the good stuff instead?