Thursday, March 11, 2010
Kingpin was directed by the Farrelly brothers, and stars Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, Vanessa Angel, and Bill Murray. It's hilarious at times, and at other times the jokes just bomb. Maybe the intention was that they knew that some of the jokes would be so bad that they'd turn out funny in a camp sort of way, while really the fact is that some were just terrible. But, as I said, there were some really funny moments as well.
Woody stars as Rory Munson. As a kid, he's taught the ins and outs of bowling by his dad. Rory developes amazing bowling skillzzzz. When he's around 19 he plans to go on the Proffesional Bowlers Tour, after winning the 1979 Iowa state amateur championship. He wins his first tournament on tour by beating Ernie McCracken (Bill Murray). Soonafter, he teams up with McCracken as they try thier luck at bowler hustling. After beating a redneck priest, they are found out and McCracken ditches Rory. The rednecks stick Rory's hand into a ball retrieval mechanism, and he looses his hand. Cut to 17 years later, and Rory is an alcoholic with a comb over, and a hook for a hand. He makes up for unpaid rent by having sex with his disgusting landlady. He comes across amish Ishmael Boorg (Randy Quaid) bowling with a 270 average. (I don't bowl but I'm guessing that's good). Rory convinces Ishmael to go along with him to a $1,000,000 winner-take-all tournament in Reno, Nevada. Along the way they pick up the super sexy Claudia (Vanessa Angel). Ishmael must win to save his amish land, and there's a bit of a love story that developes between Rory and Claudia.
As I said, at times it can be hilarious(Claudia to Rory,refering to his hook hand "Must be hard when you're spanking your monkey". Ishmael to Rory "You've got a monkey?"), and at other times the reliance on the disgusting jokes are nothing but disgusting and far from funny. There's homages to films like "the Hustler" which I found quite interesting, having LOVED The Hustler. Bill Murray is quite good as the arrogant, slimey, cocky, king of all assholes Ernie McCracken. As others have commented, more Ernie would have done the film alot of good. The film also feels very disjointed at times. Characters dissapear for ages then return and you're like "where the hell was he for the last half hour??"
Overall, this is a movie with a few decent strikes, but a lotta gutterballs.(hahaha............)