Thanks to falsified dental records supplied by his former neighbor Nicholas Oz Oseransky, retired hitman Jimmy The Tulip Tudeski now spends his days compulsively cleaning his house and perfecting his culinary skills with his wife, Jill, a purported assassin who has yet to pull off a clean hit. Suddenly, an uninvited and unwelcome connection to their past unexpectedly shows up on Jimmy and Jill's doorstep: it's Oz, and he's begging them to help him rescue his wife from the Hungarian mob. To complicate matters even further, the men, who are out to get Oz, are led by Lazlo Gogolak, a childhood rival of Jimmy's and another notorious hitman. Oz, Jimmy and Jill will have to go the whole nine yards--and then some--to manage the mounting Mafioso mayhem. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The Whole Ten Yards is a comedy dead zone. You watch in complete disbelief as scenes appear on the screen and die. (* out of * * * *)
The Whole Ten Yards (2004) is a comedy dead zone. You watch in complete disbelief as scenes appear on the screen and die. Every moment in this movie, begs for a single laugh, and it's as if the actors- -some who were all so promising in the original film, The Whole Nine Yards (2000)- -were promised big paychecks if they were able to tag along with the film's script.
The Whole Ten Yards assumes that the viewer has some familiarity with the first movie. Bruce Willis returns as Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski, who's now living in obscurity with his wife, Jill (Amanda Peet). Both are having problems in their marriage due to (a) Jimmy's erectile dysfunction, (b) Jill's inability to fulfill her lifelong ambition to become a contract killer and (c) Jimmy's transformation into a male-like Martha Sterwart.
Meanwhile Nicholas "Oz" Oseransky's (Matthew Perry) finds that goons have kidnapped his wife, Cynthia (Natasha Henstridge), and that they are led by Lazlo Gogolak (Kevin Pollak), the father of the mob boss (also played by Pollak in the original), who was eliminated in the original film. Oz tracks down Jimmy and convinces his old pal to give up cooking and house cleaning and help him in a rescue attempt.
Warner Bros. has been unsuccessful in making mobster-comedy movie sequels. Analyze This (1999) was a funny film, but the idea to make a sequel was unnecessary. The sequel, Analyze That (2002), was an attempt to stretch an idea beyond its natural shelf life.
But you have to wonder why the filmmakers felt it was a good move to make a sequel to The Whole Nine Yards, or why Matthew Perry, who is playing Chandler (from "Friends") again, is unlikely to have a movie career, and why the film has been toned down to a PG-13 rating (the film cheats us of another view of Peet's breasts).
Screenwriter George Gallo, on the DVD commentary, evidently has no regrets. "I think this movie is very funny," he insists, "I wrote 80 pages of genius." Apparently the scathing reviews and paltry box office have done little to humble him, as he adds, "It's like a homicidal Three Stooges."
When Hollywood lackluster sequels are meant to be made, Howard Deutch is the man to call. He's responsible for Neil Simon's The Odd Couple II (1998) and Grumpier Old Men (1995). Deutch has also directed John Hughes-produced film such as The Great Outdoors (1988), Pretty in Pink (1986), and Some Kind of Wonderful (1987).
In The Whole Ten Yards, there is a scene that makes a reference to Hughes' Planes, Tranes & Automobiles (1987), but let's just say that it was more funnier when Steve Martin and John Candy did it.
But, if you don't laugh at that, there's Kevin Pollack (again) in one of the most singularly bad performances I have ever seen in a movie. It fails by calling attention to its awfulness. His accent, his voice, his clothes, his clownish makeup all conspire to create a character who brings the movie to a halt every time he appears on the screen.
There's also the propensity of a 107-year old woman able to pass gas. Surely by now, you must be rolling in the aisles? No? Then, I will mention that Bruce Willis' character is often unpleasant. He puts on an apron and a head cloth during the early scenes, as if such a disguise would do anything other than call attention to himself.
Deutch, on the DVD commentary, is quietly apologetic as he points out all the things he wished he'd changed. "I was always sorry we didn't cut this out, " he says of one scene, "I think the joke is over." And I should mention that some of the film's elements such as the film's violence (for example, a scene where a woman gets a slap to the face) don't blend well with the film's light "comedy." And if you're planning on seeing or watching The Whole Ten Yards someday, let me tell you, it's not worth seeing for a whole ten bucks on the big screen.
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