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|Index||26 reviews in total|
I'll admit that I'm a huge Broken Lizard fan, I have seen all of their films and even have an appreciation for the relatively unfunny Club Dread. For me, this is just a fun-loving group of comedians that love to make their audience laugh, or at least try their damnedest. I had the pleasure of attending the Canadian premiere of the "Slammin' Salmon" in Montreal recently and the Broken Lizard troupe was there to meet and greet the fans and answer questions after the movie. They are true class acts and friendly guys. While I won't give away any specific jokes I will say that from a fan's perspective, this is their second funniest film, with Supertroopers of course being the cult favourite. So yes, it is an improvement on Beerfest; the Slammin' Salmon is just straight up funnier. As for regular movie-goers and comedy fans, I highly recommend this film. It was produced with a low budget during the writers' strike, so without a big studio production, it has the fast pacing of a stage show. The focus in this movie is on the JOKES... which is something refreshing to see in a comedy; less emphasis on character development and a complex plot, but more emphasis on keeping the audience consistently laughing. The humour is low brow at times, but is also clever and well-timed, there are many quick one-liners so pay sharp attention to this fast paced comedy, enjoy!
As indicated, this movie won't be for everyone; that said, few movies
are, particularly in the realm of comedy.
In any case, for those of us who enjoy Broken Lizard's other films, this movie is sure to impress. Indeed, it has all their hallmarks: amusing, witty, even absurd dialogue; hilarious ensemble scenes; wonderful character/cameo performances; and an incredibly funny blooper reel during the end credits.
And, as others have indicated, Michael Clark Duncan's performance is classic -- just awesome. And to be sure, the two female leads are both great, as well (and quite easy on the eye, it must be said ;).
At any rate, as the title of this review indicates, I have no doubt that some people will criticize this film; but for me, it's classic Broken Lizard, and I think that's a great thing! Peace.
I love Broken Lizard, and I always end up watching their films multiple times. It will be no different for Slammin' Salmon. The plot is obvious, but it's simply there to set-up some jokes. Heffernan takes a shot at directing and he's talented enough to serve the script. Unlike other Broken Lizard films, the characters have an absolutely equal share of screen-time, there's no obvious protagonist. Cobie Smulders and Michael Clarke Duncan add some extra comedic chops, and it's nice to see some of the supporting regulars around. If you're looking for a strong plot or painful belly laughs, I doubt you'll be satisfied. But, if you like gentler laughs and well strung together sketches. I have a feeling this will be a grower.
Ahhhh, the Broken Lizard guys. From Puddle Cruiser (their debut
feature) through to Super Troopers to Club Dread to Beerfest, they have
always made me chuckle and often laugh out loud. Yeah, I'm a fan so
it's no surprise that I enjoyed The Slammin' Salmon.
The plot is pretty simple: the boss (Michael Clarke Duncan) of The Slammin' Salmon tells the manager that the business needs to earn $20, 000 in one night, despite never having made that before. Ever. If the sum is not reached then the restaurant has to be handed over to some gangsters and the boss will have to take out his anger on the waiter who earned the least money.
Kevin Heffernan directs this time around and the cast features the whole gang as usual (Heffernan himself, Jay Chandrasekhar, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske), this time playing the restaurant staff, each one with their own quirk. They're joined by the lovely April Bowlby and Cobie Smulders (the latter being best known for her role in How I Met Your Mother), who both prove themselves good sports as they join in with the fun. As, it has to be said, does Michael Clarke Duncan. His scary boss character is also laughably dumb and Duncan is hilarious in the role. The fact that he used to be a big name in the boxing world also adds laughs as we watch a man hang on to the name and fame he used to have while running a restaurant that sometimes borders on the tacky.
A lot of the gags are pretty obvious, or flagged up well ahead of time, but that doesn't make them any less funny. Whether it's a cameo appearance by Morgan Fairchild, a hilarious running story strand featuring Sendhil Ramamurthy (from Heroes) or just waiting to see if Nuts (played by Chandrasekhar) will live up to his name, it's constantly very funny and another great outing for the Broken Lizard guys, in my book.
See this if you like: Super Troopers, Waiting, Beerfest.
I really want to like Broken Lizard's movies, Super Troopers is one of the best comedies I have ever seen, but none of their subsequent movies even comes close to matching it. In The Slammin' Salmon the waitstaff of a high end seafood restaurant compete against each other to win $10,000 for selling the most food in one night. The eccentric former heavyweight boxer turned restaurant owner (Michael Clark Duncan) is amusing throughout the movie, as are the waitstaff themselves, but only for the last 40 min or so of the film. The big problem with The Slammin' Salmon is that it takes too long to really get going. Its not until the waitstaff finally get fired up about the contest and start sabotaging each other the film becomes truly funny. It's not a bad movie, and it is pretty funny at times, but it really could have been so much better.
The latest effort by the comic troupe known as Broken Lizard, "The
Slammin' Salmon" is a fitfully amusing comedy set in an upscale seafood
restaurant in Miami owned and operated by a flamboyant ex-boxer known
as - what else? - The Slammin' Salmon (delightfully played by Michael
Clarke Duncan). To pay off a gambling debt, the boss sets up a
competition among his staff of waiters and waitresses to see who can
bring in the most money in a 24-hour period. Chaos and mayhem ensue.
As directed by Kevin Heffernan (who also appears, alongside his fellow Broken Lizard writers and actors, as one of the waiters), "The Slammin' Salmon" is not the most sophisticated or highbrow comedy you'll ever see, but its breezy style and high-energy performances go a long way towards making something uniquely unhinged and genuinely fun out of the material. Despite all the crazy antics, the movie never has to strain too hard to get its laughs, and even when the jokes clatter to the floor - as they are wont to do from time to time - the cast is always there to pick up the pieces and run with them.
A few well-known faces - Will Forte, Vivica A. Fox and Morgan Fairchild - also stop by to add to the laughs.
Broken Lizards movies have followed a familiar theme - a rag tag
ensemble of characters, each with their own strange habits and nuances
who work or live together, are thrust into oddball situations from
which hilarity ensues.
Although the plots follow a similarly simple theme, the movies that Broken Lizard produces are all extremely light-hearted and extremely funny. They don't take themselves or their craft seriously and this allows them to create oddball comedy at its finest. Their seemingly never-ending troupe of zany characters and quirky writing style are just what the doctor ordered when you are looking to just sit back, relax, and laugh. "No thinking required" should be the motto adopted by Broken Lizard to sum up their movies. Sometimes you just don't want to watch a political espionage thriller when you've just had a long, hard day on the job. Youw ant to go home, have dinner, grab a dozen ice-cold beers and watch a movie that won't bring you down - Broken Lizards movies do just that, and "The Slammin Salmon" is another winner from the comedy troupe. This time around the group finds themselves as waiters at the Miami restaurant of ex-heavyweight champ Cleon "Slammin" Salmon. Salmon needs to come up with $20K quick and enlists the help of his wait staff to bring in the cash. He sets up a contest, where the winning waiter/waitress wins $10K while the waiter/waitress that make the least amount of sales end up with a "broken-rib sandwich", courtesy of the Slammin Salmon himself. Needless to say, hilarity ensues as the wait staff begin stabbing each other in the back in an effort to be the one who comes out on top. The Slammin Salmon is a fine outing that should have gotten wide release.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Following up the excellent comedies 'Super Troopers,' 'Beerfest,' and
'Club Dread,' the comedy troupe of Broken Lizard finally returns after
a few years' hiatus with 'The Slammin' Salmon.' The story focuses on a
restaurant owned by boxing legend Cleon "Slammin'" Salmon (Michael
Clarke Duncan of 'The Green Mile' fame). When he loses an expensive bet
to the Yakuza, he forces his restaurant's manager Rich (Kevin
Heffernan) to make up the losses with a big night at the restaurant. To
do this, the staff (including all the usual Broken Lizard cast) is
bribed with vacations, money, and Norah Jones tickets. As expected,
chaos & hilarity ensue as the crazy crew of waiters and busboys screw
up just about everything possible throughout the night.
Before anyone gets into watching 'The Slammin' Salmon,' they should first visit the other Broken Lizard productions to know what they're getting into. 'The Slammin' Salmon,' while not as funny, creative, or perverse, as the troupe's previous films, does have its fair share of comedy. This comes from what seems to be some unusually standard writing from a group that usually creates very wacky situations in their other movies. Like another similar film 'Waiting ' (with Anna Faris and Ryan Reynolds), 'The Slammin' Salmon' hits most of the typical "restaurant" jokes, but never goes as deeply crazy and hilarious as 'Beerfest' or 'Super Troopers.' This was probably the biggest issue the film had. After waiting three years for another Broken Lizard release, I thought this would be just as perversely ridiculous as their past releases, but they seemed to have tamed themselves a bit. The performances made up for the "typical" writing and dialogue with some spot-on comedic performances. Jay Chandrasekhar as Nutz/Zongo was an absolute riot and took the film to a whole new level of funny. No one, however, matched the hilarity of Michael Clarke Duncan as the Slammin' Salmon himself. His over-the-top madness was absolutely the shining element of this film and alone makes it worth watching.
Overall, the film has quite a few laugh-out-loud moments but is consistently entertaining all the way through, with the final act coming out as the highlight of the film. Fans of the other restaurant comedy 'Waiting ' along with Broken Lizard's previous releases should certainly give it a watch.
Final Verdict: 7/10.
While people are going to INSTANTLY compare this to Super Troopers on
how it doesn't reach that standard (easily the funniest and most
quotable movie of their repertoire) and while it is slow in the
beginning, the movie easily has you laughing with the absurdness. Each
character is flushed out well enough for the movie's purposes, and each
gives you the right laughs at the right moments. Quotable, outlandish,
and insane. A mix of Waiting meets Glengarry Glenross
meets...well...Super Troopers. However, if this STILL hasn't won you
over, there is one sole reason to see this movie:
Michael F***in' Clarke Duncan.
HOLY hell did he have fun with this script. His character of the Champ has the BEST lines of the whole movie, and I almost wonder how much was scripted and how much is just him going off the chain. Best lines of the movie:
(while admiring his sister's triplets) "Look at the little babies! Hey, it's Uncle Cleon. Damn, they all look the same. What did you do, f**k a Xerox machine?"
(to Japanese translator) "How do you say 'motherf***er' in Spanish?"
and my personal favorite "You know what ten grand feels like in your pocket? It feels like a third c*ck."
Seriously, get some beers, grab some friends, and watch this movie. It's good times.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The plot of how Slammin Salmon, the owner of a fish restaurant,
challenges all of his wait staff to sell more food than what they have
ever sold in one night for an expensive prize, to come up with $20,000
he owes to the head of the Japanese Yakuzacould have produced a night
of high-octane comedy, full of witty conflicts between the wait staff
and each others, the customers, and their always angry boss. However,
the result is a weary time. So why is that ?!
Most of the scenes, if not all of them, pass by without any smiling. It's in the script, which couldn't be more empty. The thing isn't about having few comic ideas only, it's about lacking developing them appropriately too. For instance; April Bowlby has a burned face. OK. What did that do else freaking everybody throughout ?! Jay Chandrasekhar has a destructive alter ego. OK. What did he do else fantasizing about cats ?! Paul Soter plays 2 characters. OK. What did that lead to else the end's kiss trick ?! (And although the chief's character was amusing, but he didn't have much time as his totally unfunny brother !!).
The rest of the ideas were too silly, pretty tacky, not to mention freely disgusting. For instance; why did the chief's twin suddenly run from the boss at one moment ?!! What was the point of making that character intoxicated in the first place ?! (So his blue lips would make laughs ??). And speaking of freely disgusting refers to no other than the ring situation. Does eating something from someone's feces is comic ?! IT'S EMATIC FOR GOD'S SAKE !!
As if that isn't enough, the script resorts to fabricate stuff to make laughs; ask yourself from where did the bloody hair of April Bowlby come from ?!! Or how Jay Chandrasekhar gets nuts AFTER taking his medicines ?! And when it utterly fails to perfect a good situation or humorous one-liner, it gets to use cursing continuously or bare Chandrasekhar's butt. Simply, how untalented and pathetic !
Steve Lemme thought wrongly that his stiffness was coolness, giving so ridiculous performance. What's more painful than saying the stupid joke then laughing at it, pretending that it is funny, while the viewers are in great silence ?!!! The cameos played by people like Vivica A. Fox or Morgan Fairchild were completely wasted. Most probably these actors were near the studio, and the movie-makers invited them to show up in the movie despite not having any funny material, rather any material, for them to perform !
Still, the collective starring is a different element which we don't run into frequently in the cinematic comedies of nowadays. The end's twist, concerning the math's mistake, was unpredictable and for this movie's standards surprisingly smart. I liked April Bowlby. She was handed over a somewhat nice character which she did nicely. And she was lucky to star the sole inspired sequence in the whole movie; and I mean the ballet part. Nevertheless, no one was like Michael Clarke Duncan. I loved his mix of loud nervousness, ignorance and vanity. He was the only super comic character and actor around. However, this movie utilized him weakly (Were things like hitting a swordfish, or entering the restaurant on a horse considered funny ?!). It's sorrowful when you know that his screaming moment was the top of what this comedy could deliver !
For the Broken Lizard team, I have watched the horrid (Super Troopers) before. This time (The Slammin' Salmon) had more potential, but got lost with a cheap dealing that provided no comedy, which in my viewpoint makes it worse than (Super..). It was supposed to make laughs, though made grins instead. At one point, Duncan was asking "Why nobody is laughing?!" which accurately described me while watching. I hope that this question get to the Broken Lizard team of writers. Maybe they try to learn something about making comedy. Or maybe they learn something about themselves as good cursers, not good comedians !
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