Dirty Work (1998)

Directed by Bob Saget
Written by Norm Macdonald, Frank Sebastiano & Fred Wolf
Starring Norm Macdonald, Jack Warden, Chevy Chase, Artie Lange, Christopher McDonald

My Advice: Wait for Cable.

So if you're still looking to Bob Saget to make up for the time he spent torturing America as the host of America's Funniest Home Videos--look further.  This comedy starts out with an interesting premise, as comedic premises go--two childhood buddies, Mitch (Macdonald) and Sam (Lange) who used to get revenge on those who wronged them in original and creative ways, must now return to professional mischief making in order to pay for a heart transplant for Sam's aging father (Warden).  However, it goes sour somewhere after the first fifteen minutes or so, and stays there despite some rather amusing gags including Chris Farley in a cameo as a, ahem, noseless veteran, and Gary Coleman as a hallucination.  No, I'm not kidding.  However, the unfunny guest appearances dogpile the others, including Chevy Chase (who we've unfortunately gotten a little used to seeing unfunny) as a doctor in need of money and Don Rickles as a cinema owner.  A movie that makes even Rickles unfunny.  Geez.  Part of the problem is Macdonald himself, who's blunt I'm-not-acting-any-way-but-naturally method leaves a lot to be desired, no matter how many times he's bodily thrown into things.  Everyone else seems to be trying to do something with the material, whereas he seems almost bored with the entire prospect of the film--and he helped write the thing.  Add to this nonsense an obligatory romantic angle with Kathy (Traylor Howard) and a final wrap-up that feels like the writing team were very tired and eager to go home, and there you have it.  A film with a few good belly laughs, but nothing more to offer, I fear.

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