Witless Protection DVD: Review By Brian Gallagher

Larry the Cable Guy’s stage name might become a reality if he keeps making flicks as bad as this one…
  • OVERALL
    0.5
    HORRIBLE
  • Feature
  • Picture
  • Sound
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
A few brief laughs here and there and some decent chemistry between Larry the Cable Guy and Ivana Milicevic.
THE BAD
Everything else. Seriously. Everything else.
THE FEATURE
This is the first time I've had the displeasure of watching a Larry the Cable Guy movie. Yeah, I thought the Blue Collar Comedy Tour stuff was funny too, but there's a difference between stand-up comedy and acting and that vast gap - that's bigger than his various "relatives" that he always talks about - has never been displayed so prominently than in Witless Protection.

Sure, Larry, we get it. You tell metaphor jokes and in between those jokes you say "Git 'r' Done" and the crowd roars in applause. Those metaphor jokes are pretty dang funny too (I don't care who you are...), but they're funny on the STAGE when you have an audience to play off of and the viewers can then play off of that. Basically, Larry is doing for his act what porn does for sex: just find a lame story to provide a miniscule structure for him to tell his jokes. The problem with that is... stand-up doesn't play well on film, especially when we can hear no one laughing in the audience and ESPECIALLY when you have as terrible an editor as they have here in Marc Leif, who, from examining his credits along with director Charles Robert Cramer, seems to be in on his buddy system and just along for the ride. A good editor is simply essential to good comedy, because you're not supposed to notice it. When you notice it, you've failed and they certainly failed here.

The half star is basically just for the very few chuckles I got at some of Larry's metaphors and the semi-decent chemistry that develops between Larry's character, umm, Larry (i.e. his characters have been named Larry in all three features he's done so far...) and Ivana Milicevic's Madeleine. The rest, is simply garbage. The "story" here is Larry is a small-town deputy who has been boning up on FBI procedures in the hopes he might be a G-man someday. Those hopes don't look too good when, on a hunch, he thinks this high-class broad (Milicevic) is being kidnapped and he rescues her... only to realize her captors were really FBI agents... but then only to realize that they're dirty FBI agents and he takes her himself to Chicago where she can testify against her ex-boss (Peter Stormare) for dastardly corporate deeds. Look for some smaller turns from Jenny McCarthy, who despite being on the cover of the DVD only has minimal screen time as Larry's main squeeze Connie (although she still looks great), Eric Roberts as Stormare's right-hand man, Joe Mantegna in the weirdest character he's ever played (and probably the dumbest) as a crazy doctor and, the oddest of them all, Yaphet Kotto, playing FBI Agent Alonzo Mosely, the same character he played in Midnight Run. Weird. Oh yeah, while they all might have a tiny moment that isn't atrocious, every other moment is.

I have a feeling that there wasn't much of a script that writer-director Charles Robert Cramer wrote, because there is SO much of the movie that is Larry's metaphor jokes. Who knows. Maybe he did write them and was trying to get a job on that animated series Larry has in development. The actual story is so riddled with atrocious dialogue that tries so hard to be clever and funny it achieves neither and it really seemed that everyone created their character themselves, from an acting standpoint, and there probably was hardly any direction given at all, except for Cramer telling them where to stand and just needing someone to yell "Cut."

Witless Protection is about as dumb as air conditioning in the North Pole. It's as unfunny as a Rosie O'Donnell sex tape. It's as unentertaining as NASCAR with no crashes. See, metaphor jokes aren't that hard... but that doesn't mean they have a place in movies, especially so damn often and especially in one that relies on them so much as Witless Protection.
THE EXTRAS
We only get three things here, but apparently, in their asininity, they included not only some other Lionsgate trailers here BUT the DVD credits as well. Wow. Anyway, first up here is Making Witless: The Cast on the Cast. It's basically just these tiny little things with the main cast members: Larry the Cable the Guy, Yaphet Kotto, Peter Stormare, Ivana Milicevic, Eric Roberts, Jenny McCarthy and Joe Mantegna talking a little bit about the rest of them, intercut with some footage from the flick. It's just dumb, all the way around. It's just a lot of random observances from a bunch of talented people (or some who used to be) who were somehow drawn to this cinematic landfill of a movie.

Larry's Use of the Analogy is next and it's basically all the different analogies (and there are TONS) and him either giving an explanation on this "craft" and a lot of it is just basically him trying to do his act without an actual audience to play off of. And, of course, this five-minute segment ends with him saying "Git 'r' done" for the first time in the whole disc.

Lastly, we get The Musicians of Witless Protection and it's just a thing about some of the bands who play some of the songs from the flick. Interestingly enough, it starts out with Peter Stormare's actual band which is called Blonde from Fargo, which grew out of announcers introducing Stormare, who sings in the band, as, yeah, the blonde from Fargo. He talks about music and general and he and his band actually covered the Achey Breaky Heart song for the flick. Ugh. It goes on to other bands no one has heard about or cares about and the last of these three things bores us with particulars about getting rights to songs and the shortcut of hiring a band to cover the song but make it sound just like the original. Ugh.
THE VIDEO
The disc is presented in the widescreen format, in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio
THE AUDIO
The sound is handled through the Dolby Digital EX format.
THE PACKAGE
About as dumb as the movie itself. The front just has a shot of Larry the Cable Guy holding onto Jenny McCarthy (which is lame since she's barely in the movie) with the title card below. The back has a synopsis, a special features listing inside a sheriff's badge, a shot of the main actors in the flick with the billing block and tech specs below. No critic quotes whatsoever. Yes. It was so bad they couldn't even find one praising snippet to print. That's gotta say something...
THE FINAL WORD
Witless Protection is easily on the short list for the worst movie I've seen all year. It's precisely this reliance of stand-ups on their acts that is the reason for so few stand-ups being able to lead or open a movie. Keep your bits on the stage and try to do something different on the silver screen, for a change. Larry the Cable Guy's stage name might become a reality if he keeps making flicks as bad as this one...

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Comments (3)

  1. The Dark Knight

    your the man

    6 years agoby @thedarkknight23Flag

  2. MovieBuff

    Good review. I hated the hell out of it too. Always liked Larry's comedy on stage, but he's pretty bad on screen. All his movies have bombed.

    6 years agoby @moviebuff123Flag

  3. The Dark Knight

    good review

    6 years agoby @thedarkknight23Flag