Directed By: Steve Oedekerk
Written By: Steve Oedekerk
It wouldn’t be for almost another ten years before the name Steve Oedekerk meant anything to me, but long before I saw Kungpow I was laughing at this movie. It was a popular film in my home after it came to video and many evenings of my early high school years were spent watching it. As it goes with comedies like this it’s a pretty simple film. The strength lies in the chemistry of the men who play the unlikely companions in the film and this one does well enough. The unlikely pairing of Tim Robbins and Martin Lawrence is pretty funny and I still enjoy watching it on occasion.
Back in the days before one, or two, or THREE Big Momma movies I thought Martin Lawrence was great. I still think he is great but he never impressed me with his career as a leading actor. My favorite role of his has always been his part in Bad Boys but this movie is a really close second. This one takes me back to a time when I was younger and before I and my siblings grew up to move away. I think he has surprisingly good chemistry with Tim Robbins. While he never impressed me as a leading actor, I always felt the strength of Lawrence’s acting came in the supporting role. Much like his role in this film or in Bad Boys where he isn’t the center of attention but the funny guy who brings his chemistry and comedy to the movie. I have not seen his new show where he is paired with Kelsey Grammer but I think that is an interesting duo with a lot of potential to be funny. If anybody has seen this show I’d love to hear thoughts on how it is.
I have never been much of a fan of Robbins. He is a great actor and there is no denying that. I think part of my disliking of him goes back to my younger days when I was simply jealous that this goofy looking guy got to go home to Susan Sarandon during his downtime. They had a long time relationship that my ill place adolescent admiration of her took hold of my better senses. I have long since though Sarandon was one of the most beautiful and talented actresses to grace the screen. She is much older now but still doesn’t fail to be beautiful and even sexy in her later years. It’s sad that with such a distinguished actor such as Tim Robbins that all I can do is talk about how lucky he was with the wife he had but like I said I’ve never been much of a fan. He plays a different role in this movie and I do think he is quite funny at it. He had surprisingly good chemistry with Martin Lawrence and it made for good comedy.
Now, to Steve Oedekerk. I have said in many reviews now that I think he is hilarious and this has been a pleasant surprise because I had no idea until watching this film recently that he was responsible for it. It makes sense though, when a movie is really funny as much credit goes to the man directing the show as it does to the talents of those playing the parts. Oedekerk wrote a funny script for this movie and he did a good job directing it. He plays a small cameo in the film to that I had also never noticed or made the connection with. He plays the security guard that goes wild with his own personal and presumed to be private dance routine during the scene when Lawrence and Robbins are breaking into Robbins’ boss’s office.
Also worth mentioning is Irma P. Hall who plays Mama in the film. I specifically remember Hall from her role in The Ladykillers and I thought she was hilarious in that part as well as this one. This movie precedes Martin Lawrence’s Big Momma trilogy and I have to think that her role in this film was a significant influence on the idea Lawrence had when he started that franchise. If she wasn’t what influenced him from the get go then her performance in this film undoubtedly influenced Lawrence in his performance in the part. Granted I only saw the first one, or at least part of it, but I can clearly see a correlation between Big Momma and Irma P. Hall. Hall was a very talented woman who always fit the roles she was cast in appropriately.
If you haven’t seen this movie you really haven’t missed anything significant but you may have missed something you would enjoy. I love the movie that came out in the later 90s when comedies weren’t made with the teenage market in mind. We still have plenty of funny R rated comedies coming out today but not like we did in the late 90s. Martin Lawrence is without doubt funnier when he has free reign on his vocabulary. When you censor him down to a PG-13 rating you have take something away from him. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see this film but if you get a chance to see it your time won’t be wasted.
This is one of those easy-to-watch movies that they usually play on TBS, or Comedy Central on repeat during certain times of the year. It’s always interesting when they put to people you normally wouldn’t see together and see how they play off of each other’s comedic abilities. This is a funny movie and I always like watching it, if even just listening to it while doing something else. It’s completely easy to follow.
There isn’t anything special about this poster, but it’s not completely horrible either. I love how they play up the height difference between Lawrence and Robbins. The typography is simple, but a little offset, and I think that replicates the movie pretty well. I don’t know if “The Funniest Comedy Of The Year” is true or not, I am guessing not, but ultimately I hate this little retail plug. I don’t think the viewer cares at all about this opinion.
NEXT MOVIE: Notorious (2009)