Corky Romano Movie Review

Why do you suppose "Saturday Night Live" stars seem to be no more discriminating when picking movie scripts than zoo monkeys are when they eat their own feces? Are they that desperate to see themselves on the big screen?

And what kind of studio executive can live with himself after green-lighting a picture in which the infuriatingly shrill Chris Kattan nancies his way through a lobotomized plot about the nitwit son of a mob boss going undercover in the FBI? I mean, is it all about the money? Do these producers and actors have any shame or integrity whatsoever?

If "Corky Romano" is any indication, clearly they do not. An aimless parade of puerile ploys for Kattan to launch into unwatchably histrionic slapstick buffoonery, the movie revolves around a ludicrously benevolent mafia don (Peter Falk, desperately clinging to his dignity) calling home the shunned white sheep of his family to steal evidence from the feds so he won't go to jail.

Flamboyantly peppy Corky (Kattan) left the mob clan to become an assistant veterinarian at a clinic called "Poodles and Pussies" (nyuck, nyuck). Pressured into rescuing his pop from a life in the pokey, Corky is given a fake identity (Agent Pissant -- ha, ha, get it?) and a badge, and sent on his inept and merry way into FBI headquarters, where through a series of mishaps he's mistaken for an ace operative and assigned to hunt down a mass-murdering drug dealer.

The rest of the movie is all fart jokes and similar no-brow gags aimed at the mentality of 11-year-old boys as Corky tries to get into the evidence locker to swipe one Xeroxed copy of a turncoat's sworn testimony (as if that would be all you'd need to clear a mobster of wrongdoing).

First-time director Rob Pritts doesn't even try to give the movie continuity (Corky's veterinarian boss is confined to a wheelchair in one scene and walks in another) or an ounce of common sense (after all their investigations, why doesn't the FBI doesn't know Corky's a Romano?). In fact, he does little but point the camera at Kattan while he does his schtick -- which amounts to bumbling Jim Carrey mimicry without any hint of Carrey's esoterically absurdist magnetism.

Any screen time not dedicated to this moronic monkey business is used to 1) establish the illiteracy of one of Corky's mobster brothers and the closeted homosexuality of the other, or 2) set up a zero-credibility romance between the sissified hero and a tough, sexy fed (Vinessa Shaw) who wants to be taken seriously, yet slinks around in a garter-revealing skirt when she goes undercover as Pops Romano's nurse.

One of those zoo monkeys could script a more appealing movie than "Corky Romano" just by doodling on the walls of his cage with that aforementioned stuff he'd been eating off the floor.


Corky Romano Rating

" Zero "

Rating: PG-13, Opened: Friday, October 19, 2001


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