The Whole Nine Yards (2000)

Directed by Jonathan Lynn
Written by Mitchell Kapner
Starring Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Michael Clarke Duncan, Rosanna Arquette, Natasha Henstridge

My Advice: Wait and Rent It.

"Oz" (Perry) is a dentist, and he seems to be a really nice, if slightly neurotic, guy. You can't seem to help yourself—you know him, you like him. But regardless, if his life wasn't miserable enough, he's married to Sophie (Arquette), who's not only a bitch but she also has an outrageous accent, you silly king. Anyway, who should move in next door but Jimmy (Willis) who seems like a nice enough guy, but Oz recognizes him as a hitman on the run from the mob. Sophie figures out a great way to get rid of their debts—sell Jimmy out to the mob.

The good news is that the cast, for the most part, is a riot. Perry is the stand out of the crowd, due to his great comic timing and his willingness to batter himself into almost anything on screen, including Michael Clarke Duncan's breastbone. Duncan himself is extremely effective as the walking roadblock/hitman Figgs. Willis is fair enough as a hitman with a conscience and Amanda Peet plays Oz' assistant with goofy aplomb, easily stealing the screen from Natasha Henstridge—whose character isn't really given a great deal to do, so it's understandable she didn't hurt herself delivering it.

The bad news is not limited to Arquette's annoying accent. Or Kevin Pollak's accent for that matter. Kevin's funny as hell without a stupid accent, whose bright idea was that? But that's the symptom and not the disease. This film's particular affliction is that it takes about forty-five minutes for anything really funny to happen, instead we get sitcomesque sidelong references to Jimmy's profession. Afterwards, the humor comes in only fits and starts. It's a shame, because when this film decides to cut loose and be out of control, then it finds its rhythm. However, it's only in these moments that you're able to forgot how exactly like a sitcom the thing is written—for the most part thin and fragile. Couple this with a cheeseball ending and the thing barely holds together. Were it not for a mostly good cast, it might have been unwatchable.

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