What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that much of the humor in this lowbrow, mostly unfunny Larry the Cable Guy comedy is crude, sexual, sexist, and racist. Women wear skimpy clothes and are objectified, and there's tons of toilet/body part humor. Also expect some swearing (of the "ass" and "bulls--t" variety), violence (a polo match becomes particularly brawl-y), drinking, and smoking.
What's the story?
Small-town deputy sheriff Larry Stalder (Larry the Cable Guy, doing his typical schtick) dreams of becoming an FBI agent (or at least approximating the cool of one). But as the movie's opening sequence -- in which the big-bellied comedian is in middle of a Navy Seals-type workout and can't keep up -- makes clear, he doesn't have the right stuff. So when he spies a group of men escorting a clearly resistant Madeline (Ivana Milisevic) through his diner hangout, he decides to rescue her. The problem? Her "guards" are from the bureau, and now Larry's on their bad side. Eager to make an FBI connection, Larry arranges a drop-off. But when the agents break the rulebook (which Larry has, apparently, memorized), he's convinced they're crooked. He decides to protect Madeleine -- who, it turns out, is a high-profile witness in a major federal case -- and deliver her to safety in Chicago.
Is it any good?
Anyone curious about what this movie is like need only read the title: WITLESS PROTECTION. It is, indeed, silly and pointless. The jokes, some of which are at the expense of women and many of which are dependent on tired bodily-function gags, falter on delivery. Though there are one or two funny moments -- an extended riff on airport security has promise -- the film is, for the most part, a disappointment
What saves it from being a complete dud -- or, rather, from a one-star review -- is Larry himself. He approaches the material with commitment, however misguided his efforts may be. He's funny (as is Jenny McCarthy, who plays his waitress girlfriend), and he has an ease about him that makes him perfect for physical comedy; watch him negotiate a homemade exercise contraption, and you'll be convinced. But he deserves much better material.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about comedies that are intentionally crude/lowbrow. What makes them appealing? What's the draw of toilet humor and sexist jokes? Is there a specific line between humor and bad taste? If so, who determines where it falls, and how do you know when something has crossed it? Who do you think the target audience is for this movie? Why?