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When the very moralistic college ethics instructor (Aykroyd) finds himself living next door to an accused German death camp commander (Lemmon), he takes it upon himself to rid the world of this man. And even though he manages to kill him, he does it so cleanly that no one accuses him and it isn't until he guiltily marries the German's daughter (Tomlin) that he discovers the truth about the man... Written by
BOB STEBBINS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Often funny, with enthusiastic performances, but overall bland comedy
I got quite a lot of chuckles out of this movie. But does that make it a really good flick? Not necessarily. It's better than most people say it is (well, the few people who've seen it). Hell, I figured "Jack Lemmon's in the cast. How bad can this movie be?" Dan Aykroyd's career definitely isn't as successful as it was in the seventies--his SNL days. I still think he's very talented, but like Chevy Chase he's starting to fall into that ditch with other has-been SNL alumni of the seventies. Lily Tomlin is another veteran comic, but let's face it--what was the last big movie she was in? I love Dan and Lily, but they're two people who wouldn't surprise me if they were to do a bad movie, despite their talents.
But actually, this isn't a bad movie at all. People may criticize the subject matter involving Nazi Genocide, but I'm flexible when it comes to comedy. I have a pretty dark sense of humor myself, and I don't mind dark humor at all and believe that almost anything can be made funny if handled in the right manner. "All in the Family" is one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, and the show constantly dealt with the subject of racism.
There are a good deal of funny moments, though worthy of chuckles and not laughs. But the movie just lacks a certain energy. I can't point out exactly what could've been done better, but the film just has a bland feeling to it. It needed more bite.
The acting is great, though. Aykroyd gives an enthusiastic performance. Lemmon performs the same way he would in any of his Oscar-winning films. And Tomlin is impressive as well, in a role that requires her to be somewhat dramatic and not the goofball she usually plays. So basically, what we have is a first-rate cast in a second-rate movie.
As I said, not a bad movie--just needed more bite.
My score: 6 (out of 10)
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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