by Greg Muskewitz
It's come to a day and age where reviewing something like "Joe Dirt" should be as simple as something along the lines of: It comes from Adam Sandler's Happy Madison productions, it stars David Spade --yes, it's that type of humor, so in others words, follow the drill accordingly.But then where's the challenge? "Joe Dirt" is the saga of Joe Dirt (Spade) --sometimes Joe Dirte for accented flair, who has been trying to find his parents that left him in a trash can at the Grand Canon decades ago. Some might call him indomitable and plucky, while I'd settle for blind and naive. Since the dereliction, he has made his way to Hollywood, California and lives between his rusty car and the janitor's closet at KXLA where he cleans. By chance, the mullet wearing, white-trash dweeb interests radio-talk show host Zander Kelly (Dennis Miller), more of a Howard Stern than a Jeff and Jer, into giving us the inside-story of his unappealing presence and provenance. All of his accounts, range from a degree of wildness: from his cecity to the love of gorgeous, tan country gal Brandy (Brittney Daniel), to the partnership with a fireworks-selling Indian, all the way to working for a Mafioso in the Witness Protection Program (Christopher Walken) and a run-in with Buffalo Bob in a side-story "Silence of the Lambs" decided to omit.
"Down and Dirt-y, just like you'd expect."
The interaction between Joe and Zander in the radio station, and Zander's scathing, mean-spirited comments are actually pretty funny, running along the lines you would expect from a haughty radio-show host. The scripting is more clever there than anywhere else in the movie, and its copacetic integration into the movie is quite surprising. The other highlight is with Walken, a very talented actor who always seems to choose the wrong comedies to unleash his funny side. (Remember "Blast from the Past?") However, he brightens up the some of "Joe Dirt" where you would least expect it.
Otherwise, everything else in "Joe Dirt" is the low-gear humor you would expect; everything from trash jokes to white-trash jokes to erections, dog's testicles frozen to the floor outside, incest gags, lots of turd gags (in the form of meteors or toxic A-bombs), etc., etc., etc. Everything you've come to expect from Adam Sandler, David Spade, Rob Schneider, or other SNL alumni.
Spade has proved he is quite talented on the TV show "Just Shoot Me," which when I have the time to watch, think he's hilarious as Finch. But that's strictly as a performer of someone else's material, and not his, like here. He doesn't even look as though the toil his Joe Dirt faces in this is any fun, and similar to his days on SNL, he looks like he's reading off of cue cards during the majority of the movie. Daniel, virtually an unknown, is an enjoyable method-like type. She's pretty and she has an appeal that smoothly fits her (senseless) character.
There's little I can do to deter any interest people of the aforementioned comedians/actors may have, and if this has their attention, it will most likely please them. And those who don't, will doubtfully find there way to watching this.
With Adam Beach, Jaime Pressly, Erik Per Sullivan, Kid Rock, Brian Thompson, and a cameo by Carson Daly via TRL, just like that in "Josie and the Pussycats."Final Verdict: D+.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1868&reviewer=172
originally posted: 04/14/01 10:33:08