Friday, June 20, 2008

Witless Protection

He's fat. He's uncouth. He's got a southern accent so thick, you could spread it on a biscuit... No, I'm not talking about veteran west country comedian Jethro - but instead the inexplicably popular 'Blue Collar Comedy' star Larry the Cable Guy.

This week saw the release of Larry the Cable Guy's third movie - the aptly named Witless Protection. Like his previous flicks, Health Inspector and Delta Farce, Witless is pretty much just a vehicle for Larry's comedy talents - and likewise sees Larry playing something (anything) other than a 'cable guy.'

[For Pete's sake, when do we get to see Larry the Cable Guy actually play a cable guy? Is that too much to ask for? Editorial Bear.]

Witless Protection sees Larry as a small-town Mississippi lawman, dealing with the day-to-day shenanigans of shotgun wielding locals, but dreaming of 'the big time' and a career with the FBI. Only his girlfriend, waitress Jenny McCarthy, keeps him tethered to his dead end deputy designation.

[Larry the Cable Guy? Dating Playbody centrefold Jenny McCarthy? So much for 'suspension of disbelief! Editorial Bear.]

Larry's chance at the big time arrives when a black Suburban pulls up containing Bosnian beauty Ivana Miličević and shadowy federal agent Yaphet Kotto (who has obviously fallen on hard times, after nearly snuffing out Roger Moore in Live and Let Die.)

Larry takes matters, and the law, into his own hands and 'rescues' Ivana - zooming off in his Ford Bronco while Kotto and his boys follow in hot pursuit [Howd pursooot, as it's called in Mississippi - Editorial Bear.]

It turns out that Ivana is the star witness in a Chigaco embezzlement case - and her ex lover, Swedish actor Peter Stormare (playing 'Arthur Grimsley', with what has to be the most appalling British accent ever committed to celluloid) wants her dead.

Cue comedy misadventures, plenty of flatulence jokes and an awkward scene of animal cruelty as an airport security German Shepard passes out after sniffing Larry's boots.

Witless Protection sounds pretty appalling - but it's not. In fact, it's a consistently funny, low-brow comedy that keeps the chuckles (and occasional howls) going right through the final credits.

Clearly, don't rent or buy this thinking it's anything other than a comedy vehicle for Larry the Cable Guy. As far as action adventures go, the plot doesn't make much sense and sometimes it's so amateurishly directed that you'd think it was closer to a sketch on Saturday Night Live than an actual feature film.

But it is funny - all the way through.

Say what you like about Larry the Cable Guy, but he is a hysterical guy. His trademark quips, analogies and malapropisms keep on coming (proving that his dumb character stems from an anything-but-dumb actor.) Throw in the site of bikini-clad Jenny McCarthy wielding a shotgun and you've got yourself a prime piece of popcorn fodder.

Verdict? Southern-fried silliness from beginning to end.

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