|Page 4 of 10:||         |
|Index||94 reviews in total|
THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO LITTLE
Well... this is not as good as I was hoping it was going to be, but I still enjoyed it.
This comedy stars the legendary Bill Murray, which is the reason I watched it.
The movie is about an American who comes to the UK to visit his brother, but he comes on a bad day so his brother pays for him to act in a reality show that night playing out some kind of adventure. The problem is, he goes on the wrong adventure, and the things that are happening to him are all real, but he doesn't realise it.
There are some funny bits in it... I love the scene where Bill gets mugged but he thinks it is all part of the act and plays along. There were not too many laugh out loud moments, but the film was still very amusing.
The casting was good, but the acting was questionable. But this is a spoof, so we can't expect any fantastic acting. It was what was expected really.
The film stars Bill Murray as mentioned before, Peter Gallagher, Joanne Whalley & Mr. Victor Meldrew himself... Richard Wilson. I know what you are thinking... "I don't believe it!"
The movie was well written and flows along nicely.
I will give this film 6 out of 10.
Not as funny as it could have been, but still a good film.
For more of my reviews, please like my Facebook page:
The Man Who Knew Too Little is an alright movie with a surprisingly
clever story line and a great performance from Bill Murray,but a lot of
the humor is very hit and miss,and probably misses more commonly than
it hits,although I will admit when it does hit it is very funny.I was
very confused watching this movie who the target audience was,because a
lot of the humor was very childish,but what happens in the movie and a
lot of scenes aren't very suitable for children,its probably meant for
the family,but I would advise any overprotective parent to view this
movie before viewing it with their children.
Wallace Ritchie (Bill Murray) gets involved with spy's who are assassinating a private event,but Wallace thinks it is all a theater act and must stay in character.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Peter Gallagher is an ambitious businessman in London, trying to put
together a big international deal to market his product. He invites his
goofy brother, Murray, over as a guest and tells him he'll be taking
part in "The Theater of Life," which will consist of a series of
auditions and improvised incidents that may lead to a part in a play.
Something like that. It's like Michael Douglas' "The Game" turned
This is a fantasy, built around a single joke -- Murray's belief that it's all part of a game. He continues to believe it throughout the movie, even to the end. The first inopportune occurrences are minor ones. Two British thugs attempt to rob him at knife point. Murray responds by chuckling and complimenting them on their ability to really get into the role.
Then he's swept up coincidentally into a plot by British and Russian agents who long for the good old days of the Cold War, when all the spies were busy and the phones rang all the time. They plan to assassinate the Russian and British leaders who are about to sign a Friendship Pact. Murray is misidentified as a secret agent assigned to stop them. The contretemps pile up, one upon the other, and Murray blindly stumbles through it all. If a pistol appears, he's likely to say something like, "Uh-oh, a sign of realism, eh? Very impressive. No, really."
The caricature of reality resembles that of Peter Sellers' "Being There," the story of an almost infinitely stupid ex-gardener who only knows what he's seen on television but is taken to be a Deep Thinker and winds up being considered for nomination for the President of the United States.
"Being There" had its silly moments but was funnier because the lines were better and because it carried a certain sting with it. How stupid can you be before you are recognized as less than presidential material? Here, the jokes involve much more slapstick and the misguided premise itself is sort of worn out by the end. Murray winds up at a big party, dressed as a Russian dancer, jiggling a live bomb. The writers kept forging ahead although the story was going nowhere. Not that it doesn't have its share of laughs.
I'm not sure the writers realized it but they've introduced a kind of psychological approach to therapy based on the "life as theater" model. There's no place to get into role playing. Anyone interested should Google Milton Erikson. I'll give an example of how taken-for-granted the scrips that we live are. It's a real example. A Los Angeles police officer pulled over a driver for a minor violation. The driver was African-American and it was a black neighborhood. As the cop examined the driver's credentials and busied himself with writing a ticket, a crowd gathered, slowly growing angrier at yet more police harassment of blacks. Soon the lone cop was surrounded by a muttering mob and the threat of violence hung in the air. The script at this point called for the cop to unclip his revolver and order the crowd to disperse. Instead, he turned and waved a copy of the traffic ticket above his head, shouting, "You have just witnessed an exercise of law enforcement in the city of Los Angeles!" While the crowd puzzled over this announcement ("What did he say?"), the officer got into his car and drove quietly away.
Neither Murray nor anyone else knew quite was they were tapping into when they casually threw around terms like "Living Theater" and "Life as Theater." It really IS, in many ways. For more of THAT, read Kenneth Burke or Erving Goffman.
The Man Who Knew Too Little is a movie based on a book by Robert
Farrar, and it's one of those timeless comedies with phenomenal script
and even better acting. I must say that Bill Murray was hilarious in
this one, and this is one of his best comedic roles. The script is very
original and unique, giving the director and actors enough material to
create a comedy that has several layers and can be viewed as classical
slapstick but also an intelligent comedy. Combining a serious spy plot
with a hapless and accident-prone "secret agent" is something that now
is quite popular, but back in 1997 was a genre less explored. Toying
with the cold war, and stereotypes common for James Bond movies Farrar
creates even more comedy, and a perfect example is Boris The Butcher,
played masterfully by Alfred Mollina.
Wallace Ritchie is a manager at a Blockbuster video store in America, and he has come to England to visit his businessman brother James. But this is a wrong time for a visit since James is expecting an important business partner at his house so he offers Ritchie a ticket to "Theater Of Life" a new kind of show where a viewer participates along with the actors in a show. All too happy, Ritchie accepts the offer, not knowing that soon he will be involved in a spy war of immense proportions. Thinking that this is still a show and that everything is supposed to happen like that Ritchie plays along, as he tries to save the world in his world and in real world...
Check out my review site Rabbit-Reviews for movies that are worth watching, Rabbit out...
Maybe this was not one of the best movies, or best loved movies(I noticed it lost quite a bit at the box office), but I laughed almost all the way through this. Laughing, I found out early on is somewhat prohibitive in movie theaters, and of course the person next to you wants to hear what's going on. A lot is going on in this comedy, and I happened to like Joanna Whaley a lot in her French Maid. But, if you did not think the flick was all that hot itself, or anyone, an idea might be to watch the movie again and try to notice only Bill Murray. Think about it, he is acting in a movie where he assumes that he is in a contrived situation. The SNL actor is so completely believable, and his character and everybody else's character is supported by a pretty involved script. The whole comedy is worthwhile if you can watch in an unprotracted manner. I have a habit of seeing some highly acclaimed movies in parts. Yet I watched this all the way through without a break. The plot is not anything new by itself, that is the the plot the criminals have in the heart of London. But then the idea of this sort of thick but spontaneous movie rental employee being involved in there makes the picture unique.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a quirky film that can't help being a "small" film, with star
Bill Murray halfway between the more dignified actorly stage of his
later career and the goofy mannerisms of his early prime. The plot is
fun, but highly contrived -- Murray plays an American tourist in London
whose brother (Peter Gallagher) tries to get him out of his hair by
booking him into a "live theater" experience. Murray's character,
Wally, is mistaken for a real hit man and finds himself caught up in an
international conspiracy to bring the cold war back.
There are a lot of good solid laughs coming from the situational comedy of Murray's predicament -- he never realizes at any point that it's not all a game, so he constantly puts himself in danger. Along the way he picks up the mistress of a government official (Joanne Whalley) and falls for her. Whalley unfortunately can't carry the kind of emotional weight they've put on her. Gallagher and Alfred Molina grab most of the unexpected laughs. The climax is a bit predictable and under-whelming.
I found myself enjoying this one more when I first saw it in the late 90s. Perhaps the premise of the cold war situation is even more stale now than it was in 1998. Basically though I think this is a fun, light movie that works well for one viewing but can't really be cherished the way Murray's best comedies can. The direction by Amiel is uninspired and uninvolving (the only other film I've seen by Amiel is the disappointing heist film "Entrapment"). You have to wonder if the whole thing was just a frozen funds tax write-off for the company that produced it. There are enough laughs in the first part, especially a funny car chase and miscommunication between the two brothers. However the film doesn't fully pay off the viewer's investment.
The Man Who Knew Too Little has everything possible, not least Bill
Murray. If you're a fan of Bill Murray this is the best! If you are a
fan of British humour especially 1940s through 1960s, you'll love this
one. If not you'll want to watch them after this seeing this one. The
Man Who Knew Too Little rides the rail between spoofing and actually
being part of that genre. A good movie is even better the second and
third time, and this one does not fail that test. Bill and Joanne are
great, the bonus is everyone else, especially watch for Alfred Molina
If you do like the feel of this movie and aren't familiar with the genre then you'll want to watch those old English drama-comedies like The Lavender Hill Mob, 1951,(the same director wrote and directed A Fish Called Wanda.) The Ladykillers, (that's the 1955 version. (Sorry Tom Hanks!)) and the Man In The White Suit were both directed by Alexander Mackendrick, same classic feel. In fact you'll find a gold mine in all those Alec Guinness films! Peter Sellers' Pink Panther series doesn't hurt as well, it fits quite nicely.
For those who like their whiskey and movies humoured over peat then Whiskey Galore A.K.A.Tight Little Island is an early gem.
This movie is one that I am very glad not to have missed. It is one
that you have to pay attention to, but the more you watch it, the
funnier it gets!
It has the kind of humor that you don't expect. You think that Bill Murray is going to act one way, but he doesn't; he does something completely hilarious.
If you didn't get it the first time, you have to watch it again, because it has so much that has to be seen more than once for it to be truly funny.
If you haven't seen it, you should sit and watch it, but you have to pay close attention to get all of the jokes. You have to listen closely to the words, and think about what you would do in that situation.
It's disappointing that so few people have seen this movie. This the
perfect vehicle for Murray's many talents. There are more than enough
laugh out loud moments, making this a great movie to watch with friends
who's attention span is more than 3 seconds. This is definitely one
that can be viewed over and over.
*** semi-spoiler alert *** The only part I didn't think was perfect was the very ending with the two agents. I thought it was a bit over the top with them crawling around on all fours acting like a cat and dog. A bit much. Other than that, this movie is a comedy classic, and everyone who loves this film should get as many people as they can to watch this immediately.
Bill Murray plays goof-ball Wallace Ritchie in London to visit his
brother Jimmy (Peter Gallagher) for his own - read: Wallace's -
birthday. Since Jimmy is having guests over, he knows that he needs to
keep Wallace out of the way. The only problem is, Wallace accidentally
gets mixed up in an espionage ring, leading to some embarrassing
situations for everyone - mainly because Wallace believes the whole
time that it's a play.
As with most of Bill Murray's movies, the plot isn't totally important - it's an excuse for Bill Murray to act crazy. And he does just that in "The Man Who Knew Too Little". Joanne Whalley co-stars as secret agent Lorelei.
|Page 4 of 10:||         |
|Plot summary||Ratings||Newsgroup reviews|
|External reviews||Parents Guide||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|