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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > The Whole Ten Yards

MOVIE REVIEWS

THE WHOLE TEN YARDS (2004)

Starring Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Natasha Henstridge, Kevin Pollak, Frank Collison, Johnny Messner, Silas Weir Mitchell, Tasha Smith, Elisa Gallay, Tallullah Belle Willis, Johnny Williams, George Zapata, Carlo Zapata, McNally Sagal, Ned Bellamy and Amy Pietz.

Screenplay by George Gallo.

Directed by Howard Deutch.

Distributed by Franchise Pictures.  94 minutes.  Rated PG-13.

The Whole Ten Yards

There is a light sheen of flop sweat covering every moment of The Whole Ten Yards.  From the stupid, trying-too-hard-to-be-cute title (I can see some exec saying, "hey, instead of calling it The Whole Nine Yards II, let's just call it The Whole Ten Yards.  Ten!  Get it???") to the desperate-to-be-anywhere-else performances by the cast to the dumb, needless plot, this film is fully aware that it is only there for a quick payday.  It hopes we won't notice how little effort or imagination was expended on it. 

No such luck guys.

The real shame of it is I really liked the original The Whole Nine Yards.  It was funny and quirky and surprisingly good.  It also pretty much told the story it needed to tell.  There was no real reason to revisit these characters other than greed.

However, the characters pretty much all here and accounted for... only Rosanna Arquette and Michael Clarke Duncan haven't returned for this second film.  I know what you're thinking, wasn't Kevin Pollak's character killed in the first film?  Yes, he was, so now Pollak is back with the same weird accent and a silver Liberace wig and Swifty Lazar glasses playing the father of the old character.

Matthew Perry is still relatively funny as "Oz" Oserasky, who has now moved to Beverly Hills with his beautiful wife (Natasha Henstridge).  To this day, he is horrified that the mob will come after him after the occurences of the last movie.  He has security cameras all over his home and hits the dirt every time he hears a loud noise.  And yet, somewhere along the line, Oz must have become the richest dentist in the world -- he has an entire office tower for his one-man practice, drives a late model Porsche and lives in a Brentwood mansion.  And he's supposed to be trying to be inconspicuous?  He may as well put up a sign saying "I took the money."  

However, despite all of the problems with his character, Perry is at least usually manically funny as Oz.  The same can not be said about Willis' annoyingly one-note read on Jimmy "The Tulip."  The character was funny last time out -- a former contract killer trying to fit in as a suburban husband.  The good parts of the character... Jimmy's quiet machismo was tempered by a clever hominess.  The comic potential in the character has been pounded into the ground by now, though, and scenes where Jimmy tries to show his emotions fall curiously flat.

Amanda Peet has become relatively well-known as an actress since the first film, and therefore she has a tendency now to downplay Jill's goofier tendencies.  In the first film the character was hysterical in the total wacky joy she took in her criminal acts.  Now she and Jimmy are fighting and the character is much less interesting... she seems just like another jealous wife.  This leads to an embarrassing scene where Jill is forced to try to seduce Oz to make Jimmy jealous.  (Peet must have a clause in her contract that she must strip to her panties in every movie she makes... not that I'm complaining, mind you, it was the most interesting part of the movie.) 

The storyline doesn't really matter, it is just a wire hanger to put the film on.  By the time the movie gets to its quote-unquote surprise ending, everyone in the theater has figured out the twist before the characters. 

The best thing that will come out of the stench left by The Whole Ten Yards is that I think we can all sleep soundly in the knowledge that there will not be a The Whole Eleven Yards coming down the pike.  (4/04)

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 2004 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved. Posted: April 17, 2004.

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Copyright 2004   PopEntertainment.comAll rights reserved. Posted: April 17, 2004.