I had a fair idea of the level of humor we were in for when the press kit for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo arrived — packaged like a condom. Little did I know that this was obviously pandering to the sophistication of us movie reviewers, since the wit involved in the press-kit presentation is on par with George Bernard Shaw — compared to the film itself, which sinks so low that it’s a wonder it doesn’t ask the viewer for spare change.
Before dredging our way through the cesspool of comedy that is the new Deuce Bigalow, I do want to note that it continues a very welcome trend in bad movies.
Two weeks ago, Stealth arrived on the scene at 121 excruciating minutes. Last week The Dukes of Hazzard yee-hawed into town — and while it wasn’t appreciably better than Stealth, it was 16 minutes shorter. This expression of humanity prompted me to give Dukes an extra half-star. Now we have Deuce Bigalow clocking in at 83 minutes — that’s 22 minutes shy of Dukes, which represents a net savings of six minutes more than Dukes had already saved over Stealth. This veritably magnanimous gesture garnered Deuce another half-star. If this trend keeps up, the next such atrocity should be at least 28-30 minutes shorter than Deuce Bigalow.
Someone with a mathematical bent can work out whether bad films will cease to exist altogether before I find myself awarding five stars to some affront to cinema on the half-star-increment-for-increased-brevity basis.
In the meantime, there’s this … thing lurking in theaters called Deuce Bigalow. OK, it scores slightly over the past couple weeks’ turkeys owing to a few funny moments from Eddie Griffin, and on the “what the hell did they think they were doing” meter. We’re talking a jaw-dropping mix of the production values of Pootie Tang with the gross-out quality of Freddie Got Fingered. Pretty, it ain’t, but it’s perversely fascinating in the same way a two-headed cow is.
As noted, Griffin scores a few points with his rat-a-tat delivery of occasionally amusing outbursts on racism (the fact that he’s in a restaurant specializing in chicken and waffles is one thing; that Deuce figured on finding him there is, according to him, “racist”). And I admit to having gotten the good out of him waxing rhapsodic over some pioneer of pimpdom who froze to death performing a numerically-named sex act with a moose, leaving behind only a club he used to “bitch-slap Eskimos.”
I still haven’t decided whether all the gay jokes are homophobic or poking fun at homophobia, but with Adam Sandler’s name on the movie and his penchant for including at least one moment of homosexual panic in his own flicks, the latter seems improbable. Regardless, Griffin is also given a scene that finds him eating french fries out of a toilet.
That may seem the height of tastelessness, but that’s only because it comes before the gags involving the woman who spews wine out her tracheotomy, and the woman whose mother worked in the Chernobyl nuclear plant while she was pregnant, thereby affording the unfortunate lady with a penis for a nose. What happens when she sneezes shouldn’t happen to Monica Lewinsky’s dress. This last gag was so beloved of the filmmakers that it had be repeated several times before reaching its … er … climax, where a diner in the restaurant where this occurs ingests a mouthful of the results when it lands in his soup. Oh, yes, we’re talking classy stuff here.
There’s also a lame mystery plot where the “man whores” of Amsterdam are being offed by a transparently obvious serial killer, but it really doesn’t matter, since the plot is only a thin excuse to display the comedic talents of Rob Schneider. That also doesn’t matter, since displaying that which does not exist is a lost cause. But Schneider and his mentor, Adam Sandler, will keep trying.
Rated R for pervasive strong crude and sexual humor, language, nudity and drug content.
– reviewed by Ken Hanke