The Whole Ten Yards Movie Review

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The Whole Ten Yards is an awful movie. And yet, as bad as it is, I think I may have learned something from it. According to Bruce Willis's Jimmy Tudeski, every car built since 1985 has a trunk release! Did you know that? Of course, that bit of information may actually be BS. And in the context of this movie, it wouldn't surprise me. This lame sequel to the original hit is about as witless as Jimmy's nutty automotive gibberish.

In the sequel to the sleeper hit The Whole Nine Yards, Jimmy has abandoned his hit-man lifestyle and is enjoying retirement with his new wife Jill (Amanda Peet) in their quiet Baja hideout. He's content sharpening his Martha Stewart homemaking skills by cooking pot roasts, caring for his pet chickens, and cleaning house. But this way of life doesn't work for Jill. She wants to reprise her husband's previous life, and desires nothing more than to shoot a worthy piece of ass. Meanwhile, back in the states, Jimmy's former neighbor, Oz Oseransky (Matthew Perry) has relocated to Los Angeles where his dental practice and marriage to Jimmy's ex-wife Cynthia (Natasha Henstridge) appears to be thriving.

Though prosperous, the overly paranoid Oz believes the Hungarian mob will someday track him down. He has outfitted his Brentwood estate with hidden cameras, security monitors and enough artillery to fight off a small army. His fears soon become reality when mob boss Lazlo Gogolak (a terribly-cast Kevin Pollack) is released from prison and arrives at Oz's doorstep looking to avenge the death of his favorite son Yanni. When Cynthia is taken hostage by Lazlo and his henchmen, Oz high-tails it to Baja looking to drag Jimmy back into the business and help get Cynthia back.

As Jimmy, Oz, and Lazlo engage in their cat and mouse game, the wildly uneven action teeters unsuccessfully between Los Angeles and Mexico. George Gallo's inept script contains none of the wit that helped make these characters so enduring in the original film. In fact, much of what we get here is a bunch of tiresome bickering and backstabbing that annoys much more that it amuses. Are we really supposed to find an argument about trunk releases funny, or laugh when Oz bangs his head against the wall out of frustration? This silliness has no purpose in this film; Ten Yards is dead on arrival.

The question begs to be asked: Why bother with this film in the first place? Pretty in Pink director Howard Deutch takes these characters on an insignificant journey that leads nowhere - that is - unless you count the tacked-on conclusion wherein the first 90 minutes are explained away. Ten Yards lacks any sort of coherent style, which is evident by Deutch's yearning to include pointless action sequences where cars are blown up for no apparent reason. The highly paid and talented cast mutters through the material with little zeal or creativity.

This sequel refuses to go the extra yard that its title would suggest. Avoid Ten Yards' BS at all costs.

The DVD includes one extra, a commentary with Deutch and writer George Gallo.

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The Whole Ten Yards Rating

" Unbearable "

Rating: PG-13, 2004


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