The one question that eats at me after seeing Corky Romano is why Touchstone spent so much money marketing this throwaway film. Since June, I haven't been able to turn on the TV or go to the movies without getting hit by some ad depicting Chris Kattan as the spastic Corky, shrieking out A-Ha's "Take On Me" in his yellow Miata. Why would Disney sink so much cash into the Corky hype machine? Honestly, I was hoping that all the goofball ads were actually a front for a decently funny movie.
Man, was I wrong. Corky Romano is one of those throwaway, cliché-ridden TV-star-to-film vehicles built upon the most rickety of plots. Fortunately for Chris Kattan's precariously positioned career, Corky does have some good laughs, even if most of them are of the lowest-brow variety.
Kattan plays the title character, the unsinkable assistant veterinarian Corky who has a penchant for sunshiny '80s tunes, bright ties, and banal coffee mug slogans ("You don't have to be crazy to work here, but it sure helps."). When his mob boss dad (Peter Falk) is about to be put away on murder charges, his bungling, lughead brothers (Peter Berg and Chris Penn) rope in innocent, black sheep Corky to infiltrate the FBI as an agent and steal the evidence. Predictably, hijinks ensue.
If the basic plot sounds bad, wait until you get into the inner-workings of this clunker. The writers will amaze you with the depth of their inanity. Corky's FBI agent identity is named Corky Pissant ("That's pronounced Pees-ahn. It's French."). He becomes a first-rate agent by accidentally stumbling Mr. Magoo-style onto the proper clues and talking his way in and out of situations, which plays like something out of a sitcom. And not a good sitcom, I mean. The Romano family brothers even insult each other by farting in each other's face. And in a scene taken straight from There's Something About Mary, Corky gives a dachshund mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
But it's not a complete disaster. The manic Kattan does occasionally rescue some comic moments, including a bit featuring a cat in a fat suit named Jesus and another involving schoolchildren, a German Shephard, and a kilo of cocaine. Plus, Berg -- whose career has obviously gone downhill since The Last Seduction and Chicago Hope -- gives a great turn as the illiterate brother Paulie. And, it's nice to see that Richard Roundtree of Shaft fame is getting work.
Unfortunately for those out there who can't truly appreciate animal or fart jokes, Corky won't have much to offer you. So the next time one of those pesky ads appears on your TV, asking, "Who is Corky?" you can simply reply, "Who cares?"
Curious about seeing Corky Romano go from rehearsal to finished scene? No? Well, if you check out the DVD, you'll get this feature anyway, plus two extended versions of scenes in the film. See Corky drink a Tab!
He Corky, she Jane.