The Whole Ten Yards (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner16/06/2004

One out of Five stars
Running time: 95 mins

Utterly pointless sequel that fails to generate even a single laugh, although it does offer the sight of Bruce Willis smashing through a stack of glasses with his head.

If ever there was a film that didn’t need a sequel, it was 2000’s The Whole Nine Yards. Chiefly memorable for then newcomer Amanda Peet’s turn as a topless wannabe assassin, it was otherwise unremarkable in every way, although, that said, it is still Matthew ‘I used to be Chandler on Friends’ Perry’s best big screen film to date. The sequel, however, is embarrassingly bad and the blame must be shouldered by, well, everyone involved.

Terribly Contrived Plot

The plot, such as it is, involves gangster Lazlo Gogolak (Kevin Pollak) getting out of jail and seeking revenge on Jimmy ‘The Tulip’ Tudeski (Bruce Willis) for offing his son at the end of the first movie. Since Jimmy is in hiding in Mexico with his wife Jill (Amanda Peet), Lazlo figures that Jimmy’s ex-neighbour and friend “Oz” Ozeransky (Matthew Perry) will be able to lead him to Jimmy, particularly as Oz is married to Jimmy’s ex-wife Cynthia (Natasha Henstridge). So Lazlo kidnaps Cynthia and “hilarity” ensues.

Except, of course, it doesn’t. At least, not unless your idea of hilarity involves a) Bruce Willis in an apron, b) Matthew Perry falling over approximately once every seven minutes or c) a scene in which Perry and Willis wake up naked in bed together and Perry wonders why his arse hurts. (Actually, that last bit is mildly amusing, if only because they leave that particular question unresolved). The film even has a bit with an old lady farting, a gag so side-splittingly hilarious it’s repeated at least twice.

The script is extremely poor and doesn’t bother trying to excuse its inconsistencies, serving mainly as an excuse for Willis to crack wise or for Perry to bump into something. It’s also meant to have a twist of sorts, but they throw part of it away in an early scene, meaning that the blatantly obvious finale is robbed of any suspense it otherwise might have had.

Nothing Impressive From The Leads

Willis and Perry are fine, but – the did they/didn’t they scene aside – there’s nothing new from either of them here and Perry is embarrassingly reliant on his repertoire of pratfalls. They are also outshined by a couple of supporting performances, particularly Frank Collison as Lazlo’s dim-witted son Strabo, but also Kevin Pollak, unrecognisable in impressive prosthetic make-up as Old Man Lazlo (Pollak played the son in the original).

As for the female leads, Henstridge isn’t given much to do, but she looks utterly fabulous doing it – it’s a shame she doesn’t get offered better parts than this. Meanwhile, Amanda Peet is both attractive and energetic, but it seems odd that after gaining her reputation for kit-offery in the original film that she would refuse to oblige for the sequel, particularly as it means the film gains a horrendous example of Implied Nudity as a result (i.e. where the characters of the film see someone naked but the audience don’t).

In short, The Whole Ten Yards is a colossal waste of time and it would be better for all concerned if we just shut our eyes and pretend it never happened. It’ll turn up on Channel 5 within three years anyway.

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Content updated: 31/10/2014 14:09

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