In Corky Romano, Chris Kattan (TV’s Saturday Night Live) careens onto the feature-film scene in a mindless, maniacal comedy that is funny enough to distract anyone from today’s real news headlines. The title character is the goofy youngest son of a low-level Mafia don who hasn’t seen the family in years. Away from them, Corky became the chirpiest guy on the planet. As Mr. Sunshine personified, Corky wears a sunflower-colored jacket, drives a Day-Glo-yellow convertible, and blithely creates cheerful chaos wherever he goes. He wouldn’t hurt a flea — unless it happened to be a patient in the Pooches and Pussies Pet Clinic where Corky works as the assistant veterinarian. Then he might smash it accidentally while he’s chasing after the cat with the parrot in its mouth or trying to pull the slithering snake out of his fly. Corky’s silly world suddenly takes a serious turn when he is summoned to the family estate. Bedridden Papa, played by Peter Falk (TV’s Columbo), insists that Corky infiltrate the FBI to steal the agency file on him. Enforcing this ludicrous idea are Corky’s two brainless brothers, Peter Berg (Cop Land) and Chris Penn (The Funeral). They send Corky off to the FBI with a fake resume, a new suit and a recording device clamped to his crotch. Needless to say, the placement of the recording device means that Corky’s crotch plays second banana to Corky for the rest of the movie. Sounds tacky, but in truth it’s pretty darn funny. While at the FBI, Corky inadvertently becomes a publicity-prone crime-stopper, showing the real G-Men — Richard Roundtree (Shaft) and Matthew Glave (The Wedding Singer) — how effective a bumbling idiot on the federal payroll can be. Corky even steals the heart of the sexy FBI agent Vinessa Shaw (Eyes Wide Shut) when he gives CPR to a dying dachshund. (You think I’d make this up?) Corky can put his rose-colored glasses back on when it turns out that — guess what? — dear old Papa’s innocent of rubbing out all those wise guys mentioned in his files. He’s merely guilty of prostitution, gambling, extortion and hanging out in a gold silk bathrobe for most of the movie. Kattan’s forte is his ability to act like an Energizer bunny with a different wire short-circuited in each predicament, and Corky’s tangled plot allows him to show off his physical-comedy talents to the max. But it seems that first-time director Rob Pritts concentrated so much of his attention on bringing out the best in Kattan that he allowed nothing much to come out of the other actors. They all seem to be competing for the Most Boring Performance of the Year award. Not to worry too much though: Kattan’s onscreen most of the time and that means Corky delivers a lot of yucks for the bucks.
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