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The Whole Ten Yards’ fails to measure up

JACQUELINE PIMENTEL-GANNON | Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The much-anticipated sequel to “The Whole Nine Yards” opened this past Friday, and as often unfortunately happens with sequels, the anticipation was better than the actual film. Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry are back again to star in their old roles, but even they cannot save “The Whole Ten Yards” from being a big disappointment.Willis plays hitman Jimmy “The Tulip” Tudeski. Jimmy and his wife, Jill (Amanda Peet), are living in peace in Mexico after Nicholas “Oz” Oseransky (Matthew Perry) faked dental records to make it look like Jimmy was dead in “Nine Yards.” Oz is now married to Jimmy’s ex-wife, Cynthia (Natasha Henstridge).Lazlo Gogolak (Kevin Pollak) – the Hungarian mobster that Jimmy helped put away in the first movie – is now out of prison and looking to get revenge on Jimmy who killed Lazlo’s son Yanni. To find Jimmy, Lazlo kidnaps Cynthia. Oz is forced to go to Jimmy for help, and Jimmy, Jill and Oz set out to get Cynthia back.Making the search more interesting are the fights between Jill and Jimmy, Jimmy’s new love for domestic work and the two couples issues with pregnancy. Also, the identity of Oz’s new dental hygienist makes for a good surprise, as does the revelation of Lazlo’s true identity. Eventually, Oz learns that the whole kidnapping had been part of a plan that his wife and Jimmy had devised. In the end, the main characters predictably triumph and get everything they wanted.It would be great if it could at least be said that there is much tension and suspense leading up to the unsurprising, fairytale ending. But this is not the case.The horrible, barely-existing plot means that the movie is forced to rely heavily on the acting and chemistry of the leads. Both Perry and Willis have some Jim Carrey-like scenes of overacting that are simply not amusing. Neither of these good actors turns in an especially memorable performance.The accents of the mob, especially Lazlo, are so awful that they are funny, but even they get tiresome by the end. Frank Collison is an unexpected source of humor as Lazlo’s son Strabo Gogolak.There is certainly enough profanity, violence and sexual innuendos and situations in this film to warrant its PG-13 rating, but “Ten Yards” doesn’t get the R rating of its predecessor.If “The Whole Ten Yards” has any redeeming qualities, it is that it does not take itself seriously at all. It has so many attempts at humor that it cannot help but be successful at some of them – resulting in audience members’ getting at least a few laughs.It could be that “Ten Yards” would not seem like such a bad movie if such high expectations had not been set for it or had it not come after the hilarious “Nine Yards.” Not taking “Ten Yards” in comparison to another movie, it is possible that one could find this film fun and entertaining. However, for anyone who has seen “Nine Yards,” “Ten Yards” is sure to fail to measure up. So if wanting to see a good movie starring Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry, rent “The Whole Nine Yards” and wait until video to see the sequel if it must be seen at all.