Friday, July 8, 2011

Ten Statements About....SLAMMIN' SALMON (2009)

In some cultures, stuffing a fish down a man's throat is a
sign of friendship and respect...not here, of course...
"I am so sorry, but her soup face scared the shit out of me. My voice is not that high."

1) This is the first Broken Lizard film not directed by Jay Chandrasekhar--Kevin Heffernan helms this one--and there is a definite disconnect here, partially due to Heffernan suffering from First Director Anxiety. He throws in so many different fancy tricks and transitions that it sometimes distracts from what is usually the strength of a Broken Lizard film...namely the characters and the performances.

2) I am relieved that Michael Clarke Duncan, an actor I fear is slipping into R. Lee Ermy syndrome (you know what I mean...playing variations of the same character in perpetuity), actually gets to do something lighter than he usually does. I wouldn't say he has a talent for comedy, but his timing is really good and he comes off well...

3) For that matter, so does Lance Henrickson, of all people, who plays a funhouse mirror version of Dick Wolf and does show the kind of talent for comedy those of us who are fans of his always suspected he had in those rare moments of Season Two of Millenium.

4) Given that Jay Chandrasekhar has the biggest career of this group, and could insist on better treatment, I have to give him so much credit for being absolutely fearless in taking the most embarrassing roles for himself. I don't think he's gone through a film since Super Troopers where he hasn't had some form of extreme indignity thrust upon his person--you know, like being featured bare assed through large portions of this film....

"Now I want you to drop and give me twenty decent jokes...not
the crap you're spouting in this movie!"
5) I do wish that Erik Stolhanske had moved forward a lot earlier to play the bad guy. Granted, he's a douche from the start, but so are a number of characters, and given the film the Lizards chose to spoof in this film they needed a clearer cut villain to work against.

6) And speaking of the film this was designed to's obvious fairly early on that Slammin' Salmon is supposed to be a comedic version of Glengarry Glen Ross...except that it gets lost in other things, like the increasingly gross mishaps that befall April Bowlby's Mia or Chandrasekhar's Nuts becoming 'Zongo' once he's off his meds, and loses its focus in the last forty minutes or so.

7) Another first time director mistake Heffernan makes is in making his own Rich into a central character--to the point where he has the major climatic beat when he stands up to Duncan's Cleo Salmon. It might explain why the film comes off as disjointed at times. Maybe if some of Rich's character traits, like his being married to Salmon's sister, were distributed to others, the film wouldn't seem so unbalanced.

Yep...'cause nothing says a good time at the movies than a
hot blonde with severe 1st degree burns...
8) I guess we can add Colbie Smolders to the list of actresses I actually find quite attractive and engaging as long she's not playing the role everyone knows her you just get in line behind Olivia Wilde, dear....

9) You know, I wonder if the film would also have benefited from having many of its cameos discarded. I mean, I guess it's flattering that Viveca A. Fox or Morgan Fairchild or Jim Gaffigan wants to be in your doesn't necessarily mean you need to use them all in the same film and give them all storylines.

10) With that being said, I do like how Will Forte's little-longer-than-a-cameo story played out...prolly because it ties in directly to the resolution of the film's A plot.

Overall...this is not the worst Broken Lizard film--let's be honest, they could do a film about them crapping on paper plates and it'd still be better than the reprehensible Puddle Cruiser--but it is unfocused and meandering, tending to get more involved in its side stories than keeping its eye on the main tale. I still will watch anything this group will do, but it doesn't make me laugh as hard as Super Troopers or Beerfest.

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