Jan 23rd, 2004, 12:24 AM
shit, i ruined this...didnt i?
Jan 23rd, 2004, 02:53 AM
Usually, the all-star comedy will turn into a sprawling godawful mess (e.g., It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World). But sometimes they work beautifully, especially if the scope is kept reasonable. That said, some funny adlibbing and good stunt work make The Oops: Delete This a real treat.
Burt Reynolds stars as J.J. McClure, one of about a dozen contestants in The Oops: Delete This, a cross-the-country road race where there are no rules. His sidekick, Victor (Dom DeLuise), has the unfortunate habit of turning into a plump and ridiculous superhero, Captain Chaos, when the chips are down. They hit on the novel idea of souping up an ambulance, so that they can hit the lights and siren whenever the situation gets sticky in the race. Among their many competitors is Seymour Goldfarb (Roger Moore), an Aston-Martin-driving girdle factory heir who fancies himself to be....Roger Moore. Jamie Blake (Dean Martin) and Fenderbaum (Sammy Davis Jr.) are a pair of drunk drivers masquerading as priests in a Ferrari. Marcie (Adrienne Barbeau) relies on her charms and her cleavage to get her out of trouble with the law. Mel (Mel Tillis) and Terry (Terry Bradshaw) are a pair of bumpkins with a car full of beer, and Jackie Chan (as a Japanese version of himself) is in a completely computerized Subaru. An Arab oil sheik (Jamie Farr) and motorcycling tycoon Brad Compton (Bert Convy) round out the principals of the field. In order for McClure's ambulance gambit to work, he needs a doctor and a patient. He ends up with proctologist Nickolas van Helsing (a hilarious Jack Elam) and a sexy but completely brain-dead treehugger, Pamela Glover (Farrah Fawcett). The mayhem as they work their way across the country at over 140mph is complicated by the police and a vengeful bureaucrat A.J. Foyt (George Furth). Who wins isn't nearly as important as the fun of getting there.
Director and veteran stunt man Hal Needham keeps up a frenetic pace with a wacky sense of humor throughout. Ethnic humor tends to play a substantial role (characters with Jewish names who don't appear Jewish in the least, and improbable characters like an Arab speaking in Yiddish), so this isn't the most PC film you'll ever see. While there is a certain amount of leering sexual humor as well, it doesn't slide over the edge into grossness. The inclusion of Martin and Davis makes this feel like the old Rat Pack movies they made with Frank Sinatra 15-20 years before.
There are plenty of stunts and car crashes to keep the action fans happy, as well as a climactic brawl where Jackie Chan really gets to shine in his first American film appearance. The product placement reaches outrageous proportions, to the extent of DeLuise singing the Dr. Pepper theme song. Budweiser and 7-11 also get huge amounts of exposure, which is the one point that really detracts from enjoyment of the movie. The music lends an added dimension of humor, most obviously in the near-quotation of Monty Norman's James Bond theme, but less so in the Lawrence of Arabia-like theme that accompanies the Sheik.
At the heart, though, is a talented and funny cast that is allowed to be funny, without being tied too closely to a script. Reynolds and DeLuise, like Martin and Davis, play off of each other splendidly, with excellent comic timing and infectious hilarity. Fawcett is good as well in her brainless role, while giving due emphasis to the finer points that made her legendary poster material. In all, a highly enjoyable over-the-top comedy that delivers on its promises.
Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B
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