Producers: Allan Kaufman, Arnold Rifkin, Elie Samaha, David
Written by: Mitchell Kapner, George Gallo
Cast: Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Kevin Pollak,
Three. That’s the number of times I laughed
in this movie—three. Running at approximately
an hour and a half, that’s about one laugh
every 30 minutes, or three consecutive “Good
Morning Miami”’s. Seriously, I think
I would have had more fun poking a dead body with
a stick than watching this piece of poor directorial
judgment. The sketchy story, slapstick comedy, and
stagnant character roles all made my feet itch to
walk straight out of the theater. I don’t
care if it was a free movie, I’m demanding
my time back.
Still want to hear about it? Okay, fine, your wasted
time. After his long-awaited release from prison,
crime kingpin Lazlo Gogolak (Pollak) seeks
revenge on the men who murdered his beloved son.
Who are these suicidal men, you ask? West coast
dentist Nicholas Oseransky (Perry) and hardboiled
hitman Jimmy Tudeski (Willis), of course.
Because Oseransky helped Tudeski fake his own death
in The Whole Nine Yards, poor ol’ “Oz”
must now deal with Gogolak on his own. But after
the Hungarian homeboy kidnaps his lovely wife Cynthia
(Henstridge)—who, if you don’t
remember, is also Jimmy’s ex-wife—Oz
has no choice but to ask Jimmy and his wife Jill
(Peet) for help. (Jill, by the way, is also
an assassin who at one point was hired to kill Oz
while posing as his dental hygienist, although they’re
best of friends now.) There’s also a subplot
buried in the movie somewhere that no one—including
the characters themselves—seems to understand,
so I’m just going to ignore it and hope it
The entirety of this movie relies on the humor
of violence, and while I totally endorse a cleverly
applied dose of violence, The Whole Ten Yards
takes it too far. It comes off like one big Warner
Brothers cartoon or an episode of The Three Stooges.
“Oh look, that person fell down the stairs—ooh
ooh, and that guy just got slapped upside the head!
Ha ha ha, it’s funny when people get hurt!”
Think I could add my aching migraine to the list
of painful antics? Then after the violence comes
the verbal comedy, which isn’t any less agonizing.
The hook in the last movie was the utter nonchalance
and normalcy with which both Jimmy and Jill treated
their murderous craft. Unfortunately, the producers
of this movie never heard the saying “lightning
never strikes twice” because in The Whole
Ten Yards that bolt strikes again and again
and again, bludgeoning the audience with its excruciating
repetitiveness. The situations aren’t funny,
the overexaggerated acting isn’t funny, the
characters themselves aren’t funny. Willis’
tough-guy-sobbing-loudly gig isn’t funny,
Peet’s I-just-want-to-shoot-somebody schtick
isn’t funny, Perry’s I’m-so-confused-and-anxious
persona isn’t funny, Pollak’s Hungarian-who-can’t-say-anything-correctly
act isn’t funny. Class, do you see a pattern
emerging here? Little Johnny, do you know? Why yes,
very good Johnny, it’s that nothing
is funny in this movie.
The only way I would ever recommend seeing this
movie is if there was a choice between The Whole
Ten Yards and, um… well… death.
I hate to come off as such a hardass, but that’s
nearly two hours of my life that I will Never. Get.
Back. I could have been eating or watching TV, or—as
I mentioned earlier—poking a dead body with
a stick. On the plus side, though, at least now
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights has a playmate.
Good for it.
— Emily Younger
Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.
Itís worth a full-price ticket.
Itís worth a matinee ticket.
Wait for video rental.
Check out the video from the library, if you must.
While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...