By Amy Nicholson
By Amy Nicholson
By Heather Baysa
By Calum Marsh
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Simon Abrams
By Alan Scherstuhl
Thankfully, it's not just gross for the sake of gross -- there's usually an underlying absurdity that ensures things stay funny too. Director Mike Bigelow and writer-star Rob Schneider also manage to pull off something the Farrelly Brothers no longer can: mocking the handicapped without sacrificing their humanity. (The Farrellys started to get way too sentimental on the topic, which is good for them as people but bad for their comedy.) The trick seems to be to exaggerate real-life disabilities to the point of ridiculousness; there probably aren't any women with OCD who feel the need to slap themselves in the face every time they hear a sneeze, but the notion is funny. The fact that Schneider himself is not exactly Mr. Desirable, and knows it, provides a refreshing lack of condescension to the proceedings. He plays his own shortcomings for laughs; why not do the same to others?
Okay, so you're probably wondering right about now how exactly Schneider has bribed this paper into saying nice things about him. Suspicion is understandable. The Animal was not a good movie, The Hot Chick wasn't either (despite introducing us to the now-ubiquitous Rachel McAdams), and he's appeared in every lousy Adam Sandler comedy ever. The first Deuce Bigalow movie, however, is funny. Deny its technical and narrative proficiency all you want, but there's something about dialogue like "Don't make me he-bitch man-slap you!" that just works. The sequel works as well. Unlike some of those other Schneider movies -- and while we're at it, some of those other mediocre Eddie Griffin movies -- this is no homogenized PG-13 nonsense. Deuce may be the only role Schneider will ever be good in, but that 'll do.
The plot is barely there. After indirectly causing a school of dolphins to start eating a group of blind senior citizens, Deuce (Schneider) flees to Amsterdam, where his pimp friend T.J. (Griffin) is living on a tricked-out barge that bounces up and down like a hip-hop car and is half-submerged in the canal. Business is bad for T.J., as an unknown vigilante is killing off his "man-whores." When T.J. himself gets fingered for one of the murders -- and even worse, is suspected of being extremely gay ("Can't a brother stick his hands down a man's pants without settin' off the faggot alarm?") -- Deuce must return to the role of male prostitute to figure out which regular client is the most likely suspect.
At least that seems to be the plot, but the editing is designed simply to get the characters from one joke setup to another, without necessarily worrying about such trifles as "narrative" or "logic." Those who loved such catchphrases as "he-whore" in the first film will probably start using such newly coined terms as "prosti-dude," "twatsicle," "Sherlock Ho," and "breastices." Familiar with actual odd sex terms like "Dirty Sanchez"? This movie has fun with that type of nomenclature, introducing the "Turkish Snow-cone," "Portuguese Breakfast," "Sneaky Castro," and "Chili Rainbow."
Believe it or not, there's even some timely social satire, including running jokes about Europeans hating Americans because of the Iraq war, Canadians enjoying public urination, and T.J.'s obsession with accusing people of racism. In one scene, while on the lam, he uses a "disguise" that consists of blackface to make him look like "a different black guy." In another, he chides Deuce for predicting that he'd come to a chicken and waffles restaurant. "But you are here!" exclaims Deuce. "Yeah, but figuring it out is racist!" responds T.J.
As usual in a Schneider movie, Norm Macdonald makes a cameo, but this may be his best yet. Affecting an exaggerated Scottish accent, he's basically playing The Simpsons' Groundskeeper Willy . . . as a male hooker.
Points also for stealing a joke from Gigli and actually making it work. We unlucky few who saw that cinematic travesty will likely never forget the insanely bad line about making a penis sneeze. Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo introduces us to a Russian woman with a penis for a nose . . . you figure out the rest.
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