With its overblown script striving for maximum wackiness and cheap laughs, the espionage-and-matrimony comedy "The In-Laws" walks a thin line between funny and dumb in an inebriated stupor. Butt-crack gags and unlikely explosions are the order of the day. But a threesome of smarter-than-the-screenplay comedic performances keep the flick punchy enough to earn fairly steady smiles.
Albert Brooks stars as an anxiety-ridden podiatrist who considers a little foot fungus one of the most dangerous things in the world. Needless to say, he's in way over his head when, while trying to micro-manage his daughter's wedding plans, he stumbles onto a covert operation of international intrigue being led by the father of the groom (Michael Douglas), a loose-cannon undercover CIA agent.
Brooks provides a running narrative of amusing neuroses as he's knocked out and dragged along on a mission so he doesn't blow Douglas's cover as the screwy spook tries to prevent an effeminate French arms dealer (David Suchet) from selling a stolen nuclear stealth submarine. With masked insanity in his eyes and caffeine in his bloodstream, Douglas rides a comically uneven keel as the obnoxious daredevil spy of questionable sanity who does everything by the seat of his pants, including trying to negotiate with bad guys in a restaurant bathroom while having his first dinner with his future in-laws.
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