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(Review originally written at 17 May 2006)

Lots of things are going on in this movie but the movie itself provides very few laughs and overall nothing refreshing or memorable.

It's very obvious that the writers and director tried to make a movie in the same style as the successful British movies; "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch.". Of course there is nothing wrong with impersonating a movie its successful and refreshing style- and way of storytelling but in this particular case they took the style and storytelling to an horrible level.

Main problem is that the movie is too obvious. It tries to obvious and desperately to connect every story-line and character in the movie to each other. Everything feels forced and therefor none of the characters and comical situations really work out. Also a very major problem with this movie is that it simply isn't a funny one. Although the movie is somewhat fun and entertaining to watch, the humor in it never works out. Maybe it's because the way and style of American humor, in which everything is over-the-top and everything is highly unlikely, simply don't work out in this typical case of British storytelling. The movie is nowhere as subtle and its characters are nowhere as likable. Everything feel over-the-top and forced.

The story is just so ridicules and totally unbelievable that it becomes terribly uninteresting to follow. It also is probably somewhat due to the story, that most of the characters don't really work out.

Lots of crazy characters (too many) pop up in the movie and problem with them all is that they just aren't funny. They are being played by some good, well known actors in the movie but none of them makes an huge impression, due to the fact that there are simply too many characters are introduced in the movie that are all being tried to be given an own personality, likable level and a level of comedy. It all feels so forced. Every time a new character pops up in the movie, you just know that they are going to try to make him look as crazy and funny as possible. And this is not only the case with its characters but also in every single sequence. Every sequence has to be funny and has to have one or more jokes in it. It all is done way too obvious and forced, with as a result that the movie gets incredibly annoying to watch at times.

All of the good actors are simply wasted in this movie. Tom Sizemore, Stanley Tucci, DJ Qualls etc. they all deserve better than this. And who's bright idea was it to cast Tim Allen as the main lead? He is like the worst possible choice they could had made. He felt totally out of place in a comedy like this one and he certainly wasn't good enough to carry the entire movie. The movie is filled with some more strange casting choices that all feel terribly out of place.

Barry Sonnenfeld comedies are often lacking in good humor, consistency and likable and believable characters. This movie really is no exception. His movies often have an awkward sense of humor that has both its hits and misses. The way his movies are created make it really seem like the creators seriously thought they were making something brilliant but the end result always feels lacking. We as the viewer are the victim of this overconfident way of movie making.

The movie gets even more annoying to watch thanks to the musical score by James Newton Howard. It really is one of the most annoying musical score I have heard, the last couple of years.

I don't know, I guess the movie is still somewhat fun and entertaining but the movie has too many obvious and forced elements in it to call this movie completely a successful one, as pure entertainment. Instead it's a more annoying than funny movie to watch.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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