Friday, June 4, 2010

Worst of the Worst: #10, Witless Protection

Larry the Cable Guy's Witless Protection scored a full Blutarski on Rotten Tomatoes, 0%. 0%? Could no critic find anything redeeming about this wacky slapstick comedy? What's not to like about it? To wit:
  • the movie celebrates stupidity, talking about how liberals are too wordy and having the main characters give their friend a funny look when he uses a word with three syllables;
  • there are more fart jokes than any other kind of joke in the movie, until Larry the Cable Guy decides to just unleash one-liner after one-liner towards the end (example: "This is like Michael Jackson opening a day care center. It ain't right!");
  • Yaphet Kotto co-stars and made me very sad that he would be in this kind of movie;
  • Eric Roberts co-stars and has a Southern accent;
  • Jenny McCarthy is in it;
  • there are almost as many poop and vomit jokes as fart jokes;
  • worst of all, the movie is explicitly racist.

Explicitly? Explicitly. Yaphet Kotto's character walks into a diner and asks for coffee, Jenny McCarthy gives him a look and replies, "Black?" Larry the Cable Guy makes a joke at one point implying that all Hispanics look like illegal immigrants. A scene involves Larry yelling at a Muslim motel owner, calling him "Omar" and "Muhammad," telling him he should go back to his training camp, accusing him of hating America, and using a wetnap to simulate wiping the counter for explosive residue. Add to that a superfluous scene where the good guys are watching a parade of troops and smiling about supporting them -- the only serious scene in the movie, mind you -- and you have this East Coast liberal elitist lumping everyone from Mississippi together as bigots.

Granted, I understand that Larry the Cable Guy doesn't in any way represent the majority of Southerners. Calling himself a redneck is probably as distasteful to many as his outward bigotry. His imbecility is probably as demeaning to the South as saying that homosexuals will never get their way as long as they are so exhibitionist in their pride parades or that African-Americans will always be looked down upon as long as gangsta rap exists. I understand that, but we all have some bias in us and mine gets perked up when I see ignorance being celebrated.

I have two more Larry the Cable Guy movies to go. Presumably, this is the worst of the three, based on rankings and reviews that I've read. I know Larry the Cable Guy is just an act. Dan Whitney grew up going to private school in Nebraska and only moved south (West Palm Beach, not like it was to Alabama) when he was 16. He tried doing regular comedy and then became famous when his "Larry" character got popular on various radio shows. In some ways, that exacerbates the problem. It makes this movie, with its racism that to me reflects more poorly on Larry and his culture than on the targets of the bigotry, into a sort of redneck minstrel show. Trying to avoid any mention of Sarah Palin or Rand Paul on a daily basis, I'm already fighting my bias against the red states. Witless Protection doesn't help.

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