Review by Diana, MaceVindaloo
Screenplay: David Garrett, Jason Ward
Starring: Chris Kattan, Peter Falk, Vanessa Shaw, Chris Penn, Peter Berg, Richard Roundtree, Matthew Glave, Roger Fan, David Sheridan
Rating: Imperial Star Destroyer popular crowd pleaser
This is sort of a strange movie in that it's obviously a comedy but it's a "mob" movie, and a redemption movie. Since Chris Kattan stars in this one, it's primarily a physical comedy which uses the funny bits to contrast the other bits. It does it very well, failing only in that Vanessa Shaw's character is not developed well enough to justify the otherwise good ending. But what do you expect from a movie with the billing "From two of the producers of Waterboy"? Fortunately, it's better than this damp promise.
Corky is a klutzy assistant veterinarian who is called to go undercover for "the family" because there is enough evidence at the FBI to put "Pops" Romano away forever. The plan is for Corky to steal and obliterate the evidence. Why him? Because he's been exiled from the family since his mother died; he was sent away to college and told not to visit/return. The FBI knows nothing of Corky's existance, thinking Pops has only two sons, Pauli and Peter both typical goons.
To make Corky a desired agent, the "family" fakes a resumé that has him an expert on foreign languages and martial arts. As this is patently false, it doesn't take long for Corky to get into compromising situations which he gets out of accidentally and opportunistically, which lends credence to the supposition that he's a "superagent." With a strong sense of right and wrong, once he gets the file of evidence and sees "murder" and "kidnapping" in the dossier, he has to confront his father with his wrongdoings. And he falls in love.
It's a really funny movie, especially if you are a fan of the rubber-bodied Chris Kattan. Unlike his roles in Monkeybone and Undercover Brother, he plays a clueless and lucky bumbler. Well, he sort of does that in the other movies, but it's not the M.O. for those other flicks. He's more genuine and oddly realistic here. You have no reason to believe this "family" is any threat to anyone; Peter Falk's Pops describes himself as a landscaper. Chris Penn and Peter Berg play the flawed men who are trying to fit the role of mafioso goons and who deeply resent their youngest brother and want him to just go away.
Also noteworthy are the FBI agents Corky comes in contact with head agent Howard Schuster, and agents Brick Davis, Bob Cox, and Terrence Darnell. True, they are rather 2-dimensional and serve primarily to push the story together to make Corky's undercover luck logical and believable. But they do a decent job of the roles, and provide decent comic relief. After all, aren't all FBI agents black-suited yes men waiting for a chance to bust out and wear brightly colored ties?
It's a good light movie, there is some light swearing, but nothing the kids wouldn't have heard in the schoolyard. It's actually a good family movie, but it's more a "friend movie" where you can calibrate if the other person thinks goofiness and dorkiness is funny. Hey, that makes it a date movie, too!
Images from www.imdb.com
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