Here's a quiz for you: you're a Hollywood producer, and you have a movie with a simple premise that did surprisingly well at the box office. What do you do? What do you do? The obvious answer is, you beat the idea into the ground. Such is the case with "Black Sheep," Chris Farley and David Spade's followup to last year's "Tommy Boy." It's not a sequel per se, but if you've seen "Tommy Boy," you have a pretty good idea what to expect from "Black Sheep."
This time, Farley plays the brother to a candidate for governor of the state of Washington. Of course, Farley is miserably inept, and in his eagerness to help his brother, he ends up doing more harm than good. So Spade, in an effort to ingratiate himself to the candidate and maybe get a job in his administration, offers to keep Farley out of trouble.
What happens next is slapstick, inexplicable slapstick, and, oh yeah, some more slapstick in case you didn't get the point. Farley crashes a campaign van into a movie theater. Farley falls down a hill. Farley hits grandma in the head with a football. Spade, perhaps the most annoying actor on the planet, is the straight man, but he gets in on the act, too.
Director Penelope Spheeris, best known for the "Wayne's World" movie, just keeps piling it on. She knows the genre, and she's not shy about beating Chris Farley up as if he were Wile E. Coyote. But "Black Sheep" is a scattershot at best, and we don't get a chance to care about the characters. And when was the last time you rooted against the Road Runner, anyway?
Farley is a pretty good physical comedian, and "Black Sheep" was relentless enough to browbeat me into laughing at a few of the gags. But overall, if you're looking for something more sophisticated than watching a guy fall down for an hour and a half, keep your family away from "Black Sheep".
Copyright 1996 Alex Lau
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