Review by Dustin Putman
0 stars out of 4
It is gravely doubtful that there is a single person on the planet
who wished for a sequel to 2000's marginal mob comedy sleeper "The
Whole Nine Yards." Nevertheless, here it is, a long four years later
and its only reason for being to cash some paychecks. Witlessly directed
by Howard Deutch (who, during the '80s, was responsible for two great
John Hughes teen flicks, "Pretty in Pink" and "Some Kind of Wonderful"),
"The Whole Ten Yards" is deplorable filmmaking from its first frame
to the last, a laugh-free comedy overcome by an unintelligible plot
and needlessly unpleasant mean streak running straight through its
carcass. Worse yet, the film fails to offer up a single reason for its very existence.
For those a little foggy on the plot particulars of "The Whole Nine
Yards," it is understandable; The movie, although a veritable "Gandhi"
in comparison to this continuation, was a forgettable time-waster
whose only claim to notoriety was its offbeat pairing of Bruce Willis
(2000's "Unbreakable"), as an infamous contract killer looking to
settle down, and Matthew Perry (2002's "Serving Sara"), as a suburban
dentist horrified when Willis moves in next door to him. "The Whole
Ten Yards" isn't so much a harmless time-waster as it is a vicious
time-stealer, a worthless disgrace of a sequel whose plot forgoes
narrative cohesion in exchange for a flimsy excuse simply to reunite
the same cast of imbecilic characters.
Things are picked up a few years after the predecessor, with Jimmy
'The Tulip' Tudeski (Bruce Willis) and wife Jill (Amanda Peet) experiencing
marital woes at their new Mexico home. Jimmy, who has suffered from
a case of erectile dysfunction, has further disappointed Jill by hanging
up his gun in exchange for a spatula and a Martha Stewart-inspired
sensibility, while Jill has floundered working alone in th e contract
killing business. Meanwhile, back in California, dentist Oz Oseransky
(Matthew Perry) has barely settled down with new wife Cynthia (Natasha
Henstridge) when she is suddenly kidnapped from their home by Lazlo
(Kevin Pollak), a mob boss just released from prison and out to avenge
his son's death. Oz instantly seeks the help of Jimmy and Jill, and
the three of them set out to save Cynthia, while Jill hopes the mission
with reinvigorate her marriage to Jimmy.
Bruce Willis, further ruining his career after a successful brief
stint in two M. Night Shyamalan thrillers, "The Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable,"
humiliates himself by wearing an apron, bunny slippers, or nothing
at all in half his scenes. Furthermore, his Jimmy Tudeski is a plainly
despicable character who is cruel to wife Jill and irredeemable in
his careless actions. Matthew Perry fares just as ruinously as he
overacts and performs endless cheap pratfalls in nearly every scene.
It goes without saying that his role of Oz has become nothing more
than a paper-thin joke. That leaves Natasha Henstridge (2001's "Ghosts
of Mars"), as Cynthia, to basically sit around and, in one hateful,
out-of-place moment, get slapped, and the reliable Amanda Peet (2003's
"Identity"), as Jill, to grasp onto some remaining level of dignity.
The less said about Kevin Pollak's (2002's "Juwanna Mann") nails-on-a-blackboard
performance as Italian bad guy Lazlo, the better.
"The Whole Ten Yards" does not hold a single rewarding moment in its
painful 99-minute running time. A series of random slapstick moments
held together by an often incoherent and always amateurish ly developed
plot, it is one of the most embarrassingly unfunny comedies to crawl
down the pike in some time. The jokey writing, bereft of anything
even resembling cleverness, hits the ground with a thud upon impact.
And, if at all possible, the one-dimensional characters have regressed
into even bigger caricatures than they were in "The Whole Nine Yards."
The general equivalent of 2003's worst picture, "The In-Laws," "The
Whole Ten Yards" deserves nothing more than to be buried deep within
the rubble of trash it eeked out of.
Copyright © 2004 Dustin Putman