Reviewed by Scott Marshall
Rating: 9 Beans
ote: this review refers to the film titled SCREWED
released in the year 2000, not the one from 1996.
Norm MacDonald is not much of an actor- nor has he
ever pretended to be. He is a pretty good comedian,
though, and Iíve followed his career since before he
appeared on Saturday Night Live. He built up a lot
of credit with me, as some performers do, as a
person whose work Iíll make an effort to see.
Some of that credit has been spent with SCREWED,
Normís second effort in a starring role. With a
cast including Dave Chappelle and Danny DeVito, itís
reasonable to assume that this might be a funny
movie. Sadly, itís not.
Norm plays manservant to a mean old lady who owns a
pie factory. She is having an affair with Sherman
Hemsley and is so cheap that she wonít buy him a new
butlerís uniform for Christmas. Fed up, he enlists
Chappelle in a plot to kidnap her dog and ransom it
for a million dollars. Unfortunately, the dog
escapes from Chappelleís rickety van and our
masterminds donít notice; but the ransom note and
crime scene are still left in their wake, leading to
the Big Misunderstanding that it is actually Norm
who has been kidnapped.
His boss, of course, does not want to pay the
ransom, but for good PR she relents. What follows
is a confusing mess of kidnappers attempting to fool
cops, people getting hit with lamps, references to
Jack Lord, and so on. It moves pretty quickly,
feeling like a 1/2-hour sitcom, only without the
I think the biggest difference between this and
DIRTY WORK, which I did enjoy, is that the earlier
film was written around Norm and his existing
devices, like anal rape jokes and notes to himself.
In this film, his role could have been played by
anyone who can look at an old lady in her bloomers
and say "gaah!" I canít even say that this movie is
a case of wasted potential: it never had potential.
Donít get screwed and waste your money like I did.
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