Let’s get this tailgate party started by acknowledging that I committed the mortal sin of attending a movie with both the intention of reviewing it and a preconception of how the movie will turn out. After I had the dubious honor of reviewing Larry the Cable Guy’s (Dan Whitney) last contribution to western culture, Delta Farce, it seemed clear what I should expect from Larry the Cable Guy’s latest effort to woo the unwashed masses. Hell, I even predicted in The Golden Pajibas of 2007 that Larry’s next film would probably end up on the 2008 list. To my dismay, it genuinely hurts to be so right about this statement because, unfortunately, Witless Protection was easily three times as painful as its predecessor. The reason for this seemingly impossible achievement is that, last time around, Larry’s offensiveness was downplayed or largely handed off to his buddies. As a result, Delta Farce saw a slightly teddy-bearish and blissfully ignorant Larry as the accidental hero who rolled his eyes while his buddies did the dirty work of spewing racial epithets at Mexicans. Witless Protection must have carried a smaller casting budget, for Larry is now forced to rise up and assume all of the redneck glory for himself.
The most damning part of this process was sitting in a theater with people who wanted to watch this film — on opening day, no less. And, although only 15 people were present, their sheer audible joy was unmistakeable once the opening credits rolled. At the 10-minute mark, an unkempt fellow rushed in and interrupted my viewing pleasure by asking how much of the movie he’d missed. Not nearly enough, buddy. Happily, the fellow settled down in front of me and proceeded to repeat every other line of the movie as if Tim Curry were strutting around in fishnets and a Freddy Mercury wig. Yet instead of the reprieve offered by what would be a humorous parody, Witless Protection is a celebration of carefully-cultivated ignorance and willful blindness to the world at large. No opportunity — not even the nonexistent variety — is wasted for a pratfall. The script is composed of gender and racial slurs against, well, everyone. Women are clingy obsessives who only want to trap a man. People who drive black SUVs are drug dealers. The presence of a Middle Eastern hotel clerk is an opportunity to flash one’s law enforcement badge and offer him a trip down to “Club Gitmo,” for the Koran is “toilet paper” worthy only of an “Eye-slamic ji-had.” The scariest aspect of all this is that Witless Protection isn’t trying to ironically poke fun of Larry by making him look like a bigoted, racist, misogynistic, and barely sentient being. On the contrary, Larry actually means this stuff. This isn’t a poor man’s version of parody or satire — it’s just fermented stupidity, which doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings as much as inspire their disgust.
As Witless Protection opens, Larry is still, naturally, getting more poontang than any other leading man in showbiz. Although he is a small-town sheriff’s deputy who appears to possess no thought processes beyond locating the nearest all-you-can-eat buffet, Larry is, inexplicably, dating the hottest dish in town. Presumably, reasons exist as to why Larry gets all the fly tail, but those clever screenwriters kept this logic all to themselves. His girlfriend is a waitress at the local diner named Connie (Jenny McCarthy in a fright wig), who is a bare-bellied, white trash damsel with a catfish tattoo on her right bicep. Although Larry is smitten with his girlfriend, who is “big-titted and quick-witted, that’s the way I like ‘em,” he is distracted by career dreams as big as his all-too-often uncovered gut. Larry envisions himself as an FBI agent, and the only thing stopping him, he thinks, is the opportunity to show the feds that he’s a hero. One day, while he chugs a milkshake at the diner, he mistakes a federally-protected witness, Madeleine Dimkowski (Ivana Milicevic), for a kidnapping victim because she is escorted by men in black, who are driving an SUV with black-tinted windows — just like drug dealers! So, Larry
rescues kidnaps Madeleine from the FBI agents who are escorting her to a Enronesque corporate corruption trial in Chicago. Larry takes Madeleine to the airport and refuses to take his shoes off while passing through security. He then viably threatens security personnel and uses the words “gun” and “bomb.” Next up, the highlight of the film arrives — the obligatory body cavity search, complete with a nude scene for Larry the motherfucking Cable Guy. Things get even more exciting when Larry shits all over the security guard, who is unlucky enough to perform the search. Later, Larry accidentally swallows the key to his handcuffs, so he makes himself projectile vomit to recover the key. Oh, but that’s not all. I could go on at length about the terrible acting, fucked up continuity, and piss poor editing at work in Witless Protection, but it just isn’t worth it. What do you people want from me? Leave me alone!
While leaving the theater, I was so desperate to cleanse my mind that I popped into a showing of the mind-numbing Fool’s Gold for a five-minute therapy session with the bare chest of Matthew McConaughey. This preemptive act got me though the drive home, but that’s about all. The lingering after-effects of this Witless Protection weren’t pretty — the movie ruined my entire weekend. I was inconsolable; the pale specter of Larry’s ass haunted me for days. No serial killer film has ever frightened me as much. My sex drive disappeared; I no longer wished to perpetuate the species. I couldn’t eat because it reminded me of Larry’s girlish figure. My dogs ran away from me with tails firmly tucked between legs, and my daughter kept bringing me the same box of Band-Aids all weekend. The only thing that made my pain go away, ever so slightly, was to share the misery by posting that horrible photo from the film above. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Agent Bedhead (a.k.a. “Kimberly”) lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma and may never fully recover. She can be found most days at agentbedhead.com.The Anti-McConaughey
Film Reviews | February 26, 2008 | Comments ()