out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
|*Also starring: ||Irma P. Hall, Ryan Hurst, Stephen Root, George Wallace, J.K. Simmons, Freda Foh Shen, Tzi Ma, Walter K. Jordan, Jennifer Echols, Jason Weaver||
Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4
After one of the longest winning streaks in Hollywood, including four
out-of-the-park homeruns in his last four outings (THE GREEN MILE, CASTAWAY,
ROAD TO PERDITION and CATCH ME IF YOU CAN), Tom Hanks strikes out swinging in
THE LADYKILLERS. But, to be fair, it just isn't his fault, as he clearly does
everything that is asked of him. The problem lies on the other side of the
THE LADYKILLERS, a remake of the Alec Guinness classic crime comedy from 1955,
is by writers and directors Ethan and Joel Coen who have had as many misses (O
BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?) as hits (FARGO). They have Hanks badly channeling
more Peter Sellers than Alec Guinness. And, with his just-above-a-whisper,
over-the-top Southern accent, Hanks is frequently inaudible and indecipherable.
But, when you can hear his lines, don't be surprised if you want him to start
murmuring again. I don't I think I ever laughed during this movie. Still, if
you find mouth-to-mouth CPR on dead bulldogs and chronically loose bowels
funny, you might enjoy THE LADYKILLERS.
The plot has ersatz Professor G.H. Dorr, Ph. D. (Tom Hanks) renting a room in
the house of Marva Munson (Irma P. Hall). Nominally there to play church music
in her basement, the professor and his fruitcake band of crazy criminals are
planning on tunneling over to a casino vault nearby. The title comes from
their bumbling attempt to kill their landlady after she finds out about the
heist. The movie might as well have been called THE TIMEKILLERS given how much
time it wastes with lame attempts at humor.
Clever? Sometimes. Funny? No. Maybe next time the Coens can remake PSYCHO.
Oh, I forgot. That's been done. Whatever they do, let's just hope that they
don't con Hanks into taking a part. He is way too important a talent to be
THE LADYKILLERS runs 1:44. It is rated R for "language including sexual
references" and would be acceptable for teenagers.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes
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