Note to self: Dirty Work is a funny movie.
So, it's a typical revenge, but so what? Aren't most of the comedies repeating themselves nowadays? Yes, you know it's true. The really weird thing about Dirty Work, though, is that its dialogue is horrible, its acting incredulous, and its theme less than original, yet it still is a good movie. And there is one reason for that: Norm MacDonald. I haven't seen this comedian in much of anything, but I do know one thing about him... He's not a good actor. In fact, he can hardly sound convincing even when he's trying. But that's the other weird thing. This movie actually benefits from his lack of acting skills.
You see, if there was a more accomplished actor, such as Academy Award winner Robin Williams, in the starring role, the bad dialogue would stick out like black on white. But, with Norm MacDonald starring, his persona matches the dialogue, and he's good at it. He has a sarcastic wit that some of the really good comedic actors are able to do, and he doesn't even have to put any expression into his voice. Everything he says is so blunt that it can fit the movie, because Dirty Work is pretty blunt.
Dirty Work has only two sappy scenes, and it makes fun of those scenes. The rest of it is just pure joke after joke after joke. I'm not saying that every single one is funny, but enough are to make this film worthwhile. Dirty Work doesn't stop to go too deeply into the characters (everything you need to know is explained in the first five minutes), which gives more time for this raw humor. And not since Tommy Boy has it been so funny to see people hurt themselves, as when Norm MacDonald is thrown out of several buildings. Thinking of Tommy Boy, Chris Farley has a small part in the movie, although I think his character could have been done a little better. Chevy Chase also shows up a few times, and does a pretty good job.
Norm MacDonald, though lacking the substance needed for most movies, fits in with Dirty Work, a mindless less entertaining flick about comic revenge.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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