In the first Deuce Bigalow, Rob Schneider created an amusing character, probably the first male prostitute to carry a feature film aside from American Gigolo, and there's no reason the joke couldn't have lasted through a sequel or two, except one: Schneider is a non-presence on screen. Whether he's wearing a diaper, swordfighting, or dancing to accordion music, or whatever else he's doing, Schneider has no comedic appeal, nil.
The plot is also unpromising: Bigalow goes to Holland to hang out with his old pimp, T.J. (Eddie Griffin), who recruits him to track down a serial killer who is assassinating Europe's he-whores. However, the movie manages to mine this premise for a few dumb laughs. A lot of the jokes in Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo are at the expense of Amsterdam's sex industry and overall permissiveness, and some of them are almost inspired. A harmless, dumb, slightly funny movie could have been made by focusing on Griffin's pimp, Holland jokes, and a couple of amusing scenes at gatherings of the European man-whore union. Unfortunately, like its predecessor, Deuce Bigalow the 2nd wastes a lot of screen time on Deuce's encounters with lady customers who have repulsive and unfunny deformities. These encounters -- bizarre, mystifying, gross, completely misguided -- make a film that should have been a groaner into a real puker. In fact, when I walked out of the theater after seeing this film, I had the same feeling you get after vomiting -- queasy, shaky, empty.
Schneider would not be exhuming this character if he had any other ideas left. But it's possible to feel sorry for the other actors in this film, especially Griffin, who is entertaining even with this dumbfoundingly bad material. Hanna Verboom is an appealing and funny newcomer who I'm afraid we'll never see again. Why did they agree to make this movie? How could they? Seems like poverty would have been preferable.
Films like this wear their badness like a badge of honor and nothing that I can say can really hurt them. But Hollywood is experiencing a box-office decline along with its obvious artistic decline, which has studios on alert. Sure, a few blockbusters with broad appeal keep them in the black. But by continuing to approve loser projects like Deuce Bigalow they are running a risk. While dumb films sometimes make money, they also contribute to Hollywood fatigue, making the studios seem increasingly out of touch with reality.
Let me leave you with a thought experiment: Imagine if one morning all the major Hollywood studio execs went into work and found the walls of their offices covered in shit. It wouldn't be pleasant for them. But for a minute, at least, they would know how we feel every weekend as we walk out of the theaters.
Run time: 83 mins
In Theaters: Friday 12th August 2005
Box Office USA: $22.3M
Box Office Worldwide: $22.4M
Distributed by: Sony
Production compaines: Happy Madison Productions, Columbia Pictures Corporation, Out of the Blue... Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 9%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 90
IMDB: 4.6 / 10
Director: Mike Bigelow
Starring: Rob Schneider as Deuce Bigalow, Eddie Griffin as T.J. Hicks, Jeroen Krabbé as Gaspar Voorsboch, Til Schweiger as Heinz Hummer, Hanna Verboom as Eva, Oded Fehr as Antoine Laconte, Carlos Ponce as Rodrigo