The Farrelly brothers are at it again, but no where near their usual level of comedy. Kingpin has some funny elements but just isn't as hilarious as the Farrelly brothers' great films, such as Dumb and Dumber and There's Something About Mary.
Woody Harrelson stars as a deadbeat, one-handed bowler who's daily activity is to get drunk. He thinks his luck is about to change when he meets Randy Quaid, playing an Amish bowling ace, and talks him into making a million dollars at a Reno tournament. Along the way, they team up with the pretty Vanessa Angel, who is on the run from her rich and abusive boyfriend.
The movie is sort of stupid but, unlike other Farrelly films, it fails to make fun of itself. There aren't as many visual gags as some of the other gross-out comedies, and really, this movie isn't that gross. The problem is that Kingpin looks like it is attempting to be a gross-out comedy but is shy about letting the creative juices roll.
The acting is good enough but the story needs a little work. Yes, it does make fun of the Amish community, but not that much. If you're going to be cruel and make fun of a way of life, then you should go all out and do it. The movie doesn't. Even more annoying is the fact that Harrelson never gets to wreak revenge on his enemies. If a clever scene had been pulled into the act where he manages to destroy his enemies, it would have been a lot better.
Still, the main problem with Kingpin is that it just isn't funny enough. There are some clever lines, some clever visual gags, and some gross-out scenes, but no where near the amount that would make this movie completely worthwhile. It does have some redeeming moments and it isn't too strenuous to watch, but this is probably a last resort as Farrelly brothers movies go.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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