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Culture Reviews
The Whole 10 Yards / By H. Deutch /
Tchaikovsky Cultural Center 
The Longest Yard
By Ryan Macalino
Once in a while, a very special film comes along, a film with such power and scope that it is enough to change your mind about a great many things… Such a movie is very rare, and when it arrives, it is truly an event. This movie is Fahrenheit 9/11.

On the other hand, we have another movie, a movie that could care less about impact, message, presentation or performance…

In the latest money-making initiative from people of Warner Bros. (yes, the same Hollywood masterminds who rushed to bring you the Matrix sequels), we have the The Whole Ten Yards – a completely unnecessary sequel to a completely unnecessary movie. Sure, its predecessor, The Whole Nine Yards was utterly forgettable, but at least it had a nude scene to placate bored stoners and frat boys. 10 Yards has nothing but (less of) the same empty, doubtful laughs.

The movie essentially picks up from where the other one left off. Jimmy the Tulip (Bruce Willis) and his wife Jill (Amanda Peet) are now living large in Mexico, rich off their spoils from the first movie. While Jill is very slowly realizing her dream to be a professional hit man, Jimmy has retired from the hit man game, instead devoting his life to becoming a househusband. Oz (Matthew Perry) is now a successful dentist in LA, married to Cynthia (Natasha Henstridge), once Jimmy’s wife and accomplice. Upon release from prison, Hungarian mob boss Lazlo Gogolak (Kevin Pollack) puts into motion his plan to finally kill Jimmy, and thus avenge the death of his son, whom Jimmy ‘offed’ in the previous movie. Hilarity ensues? No, not really.

The main problem with this movie is that it’s a horrible script with a ridiculous premise, featuring a group of Hollywood has-beens. Well, in all actuality, Bruce Willis is the singular has-been. Twice in fact, having found movie success as the working man action star in the 90’s, and then with a second wind as M. Night Shyamalan’s bankable name in “Sixth Sense” and “Unbreakable”.

As for the other people, well, they’re more like ‘never-beens’. Amanda Peet’s claim to fame was a breast-baring moment in the previous movie, while Natasha Henstridge’s claim to fame was a breast-baring moment in another movie. Kevin Pollack is Kevin Pollack. As for Matthew Perry, he has yet to find success outside of his typecast “Friends” character.

I must admit though that I actually enjoyed Perry’s performance. Out of all the cast, he’s the only one that really rises above the asinine script. He’s really just playing an over-caffeinated Chandler with a dose of physical comedy. Sure, this “Friends” role is the only role he knows how to play, but he plays it really well. His facial reactions and comedic delivery really drive the few laughs in the movie.

Aside from this, the movie manages giggles that are few and far between. Really the only other attempts are as follows: a 100+ year old grandmother who suffers from uncontrollable gas, and a very ugly, very stupid gangster doing what you’d expect him to do. There are also a few stupid Bruce Willis gags: a scene of him in a wig and apron, one showing his very pale buttocks, and another using his shiny bald head as a bowling ball for a stack of shooter glasses. Yup, this is the same guy who in one movie died drilling holes in a cataclysmic asteroid and in another movie discovered that he was a contemporary superhero. How’s that for breaking type, eh?

The filmmakers tried to adopt a sort of spontaneous, anything-goes style to the movie, but it results in mind-numbing storytelling and laughs that are too contrived. My view is that in a few years from now, everyone that was involved in this movie would rather pretend that it didn’t exist. You get the feeling that the actors were somewhat intoxicated in delivering their lines, as if to lessen the misfortune of being in such a mess of a movie. I was jealous, wishing I were just as intoxicated as they were when I watched it.

27.09.04
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