Worth A Look: 2.63%
Pretty Bad: 26.32%
Total Crap: 42.11%
3 reviews, 20 user ratings
|Whole Ten Yards, The
by Chris Parry
'Vanity project' doesn't even begin to describe the excrement smeared across the silver screen by all and sundry in The Whole Ten Yards, a sequel every bit as awful and unintelligent and ill-considered as the title itself. To suggest that nobody involved gave a red rat's ass whether the film they were in was any good or not when they signed on would be entirely appropriate. To suggest that nobody involved in the film will want us to remember it in ten years time, or even one month's time, is undeniable. The Whole Ten Yards is a mess in every respect, from editing to writing, directing to casting, concept to trailer. And if you waste ten bucks on a ticket to it this weekend, please allow me to suggest that you instead light that ten bucks on fire, down a two liter bottle of Sprite, and then jump up and down on your bed until you're completely nauseous. The effect will be the same, but you'll at least save yourself ninety minutes or so.Dung heap. Flaccid. Laugh-free. Rearrange those words properly and you can work out exactly what I thought of this movie. And I'm damn sure that I'm not alone on that front.
"You honestly have NO idea how awful this movie is. NONE!"
Bruce Willis returns to the screen as Jimmy "The Tulip", a retired hitman the world thinks is dead. Jimmy's been hiding out in Mexico, raising chickens and slowly turning into a housefrau. This is pissing off his girlfriend, Jill (Amanda Peet), who loves the violence of the hitman lifestyle and is wildly attracted to unbridled manliness. Also bothering Jill is the fact that Jimmy is 'shooting blanks' in the bedroom, something that is keeping the couple childless...
None of which matters AT ALL in terms of the storyline. I point that out because the first fifteen minutes of the film concentrate on this for no good reason that I can see. Jimmy's crazy in act one, then he's not crazy anymore. Jimmy and Jill are unable to conceive, but I'll leave it to you to guess how that all turns out when the film is over. And as for Jill's boredom with home life, all it takes it Jimmy saying one mean thing and she practically throws her ankles behind her ears, so I'm not sure that's a storyline that couldn't have been axed completely.
Which leaves us with chickens. And Kevin Pollack playing an old Hungarian version of Jiminy Glick, complete with makeup that leaves his face unable to move for the entirety of the movie. If the idea of Kevin Pollack saying things like "that'll be a piece of pie" instead of "piece of cake" makes you believe you're going to get a single laugh out of this film... then you probably will.
So there's another person in this film; Matthew Perry. He returns as Oz the clumsy, frightened dentist, and proceeds to spend the next hour and a half walking into things and being scared. And being a dentist.
Matthew Perry is actually the highlight of this film, which is admittedly nine words that have never been spoken before in the history of mankind. As an actor, he sure bumps into things well. In fact, that's all he does here. The film should have been called The Whole Ten Stitches, because there isn't a scene where Perry's forehead doesn't get smacked. If Matt Perry can watch this film and not squirm in his seat, as he watches himself be beaten, shot at, thrown around the room, and repeatedly floored by doors, light fittings, potted plants, trees, I'll be damned. He's essentially Joe Pesci in Home Alone.
Bruce Willis, on the other hand, has gone from being Pesci in Goodfellas to being Pesci in Gone Fishin'.
The Whole Ten Yards should be shown in film school as a textbook display of how not to blow through thirty million dollars making a movie. Everything about this film stinks. And just because it's fun to pound an awful movie that deserves to be pounded, let's go through each of them.
THE EDITING: This film looks like it was edited by a twelve year old girl as part of a school science project. This may seem odd, being as it was cut together by Seth Flaum, the man who edited Juwanna Man and The Country Bears, but I tell you no lies - this movie is as clumsy and hard to follow as Matthew Perry's character. But it isn't all down to Mr Flaum...
THE CONTINUITY: Or lack of. The IMDB lists who Amanda Peet's driver was, but lists nobody in charge of continuity on this film, and judging by the number of times people had objects in different hands between shots, or were looking in different directions from cut to cut, I'm thinking the chair was empty. If anyone did work on continuity on the Whole Ten Yards, it would seem they were doing so as part of a prison release program that only allowed them on set between the hours of 9am and 2pm, and only on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Come on, people, try to think before you take the lens cap off.
THE WRITING: Holy crap on a stick, if the writing in this film were any worse, they'd have misspelled the title. I swear, there was one passage where Bruce Willis' character said the name of the person he was talking to THREE TIMES in two sentences! "You still have the sexiest voice in the world, Cynthia... But Cynthia, you can't talk to Oz about this, Cynthia." I mean, WHO TALKS LIKE THAT!? Did nobody read these lines out loud before they were put to film? Were they writing these scenes on the morning of each day's shoot?
THE STORYLINE: I honestly can't tell you how the storyline went. I was stumped by it entirely. Things change from scene to scene. Problems are solved with edits. When Jimmy's ex-wife Cynthia (Natasha Henstridge) decides to crack a safe, she looks at it in long shot, then we cut to a close up as she opens the safe door. That's it? That's how easy it is to crack a safe, you just spin the dial and open the door? Excuse me? Then there's the characters, who seem incapable of following a character trait for longer than three seconds. Oz freaks out at the drop of a hat, yet when he's being shot at, rather than duck and cover he RUNS INTO THE LINE OF FIRE to yell things at the killer. Then, when the shooter doesn't stop shooting (really badly, by the way, being as she seems to be about eight feet from her unprotected target), Oz sits on the ground and makes smart ass remarks. No more fear, no more panic, he's being shot at and he has time for comedy.
THE DIRECTION: All of the above is bad, but the buck stops at director Howard Deutch. You'd remember him from his work on Pretty in Pink, which was his first film, and also his best film. Since then he's helmed Tales from the Crypt, Melrose Place and Caroline in the City. My guess is he comes cheap, because he sure as hell doesn't come qualified, and the proof is in the pudding when it comes to this film. It's HORRIFIC filmmaking in every sense.
There's one scene where Cynthia locks an old Hungarian woman (who has bad gas) in a bathroom while she rifles through the safe. Then the bad guys are seen coming up the drive and Cynthia panics. The bad guys come in and Cynthia is sitting drinking tea with the old woman - who acts like nothing happened! Did she have a gun to her head? No. Did she have an ulterior motive? No. She just doesn't tell anyone that the woman got loose and locked her up. And she has gas.
The gas is an important point, because to think this movie has any entertainment value whatsoever, you have to think that passing gas and bumping into things are just hysterical.
See, here's the real problem with The Whole Ten Yards - nobody was asking for it to be made but Bruce Willis. His production company shot the film, he no doubt insisted on the studio providing the money to make the film (what's thirty million between friends?), and everyone who starred in the first one duly turned up, accepted their paychecks and appeared in the thing. Only, as happens nearly every time in vanity projects like this, nobody bothered to WRITE a film.
I'll bet Bruce Willis a hundred bucks that there were reshoots on this film, or at the very least, major portions of storyline that were dropped at the last minute. I'll also bet that if the film were finished in time, it would have been released in February, when all pieces of cinematic sludge are swept under the rug. And I'll also bet that Matthew Perry shows up on a late night show telling all the simpletons out there that the film is great fun and was great fun to make and we should all go see it.
And it's PG-13 this time - no frontal nudity! Bring the kids!
I didn't just hate this film, I despised it. It infuriated me, because it's like watching thirty million dollars put down a garbage disposal unit, while Bruce Willis operates the on-off switch and dances with a chicken.Lazy, morally corrupt filmmaking from people who seem to have no idea what a privilege it is to actually be allowed to make a movie. To sell it to us as entertainment is nothing short of fraud.
link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=9200&reviewer=1
originally posted: 04/09/04 06:00:21