The Whole Nine Yards 2
They missed each other. This time, their aim is better.
Silas Weir Mitchell
Tallulah Belle Willis
Running Time: 98 minutes
US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12a
Country: United States
Anyone whos seen The Whole Nine Yards will no doubt remember that originality wasnt one of its strong points. What saved it, though, was a good cast, combining Matthew Perrys natural knack for slapstick with Bruce Willis oft-concealed aptitude for playing his roles with tongue-in-cheek. The good news in this sequel is that the pair are back, and appear to have lost none of their willingness to use their conflicting styles to bounce entertainingly off one another. The bad news is that, this time, the plot-line is even scanter in the innovation department.
If you cast your mind back four years, you should just about recall that the first flick focussed on Oz (Perry), an easy-going and clean-living dentist who gets dragged into Chicagos criminal underworld when he discovers new neighbour Jimmy (Willis) is a big-time hit-man. With the vast comic potential of that initial discovery now lost, the sequel is forced to find some new way of getting this odd couple together to take on a shared foe. So, in a turn of events that consistently struggles to convince, Ozs missus (Natasha Henstridge) is kidnapped by a gangland swellguy (Kevin Pollak), and our pratfalling hero is forced to turn to the now-retired Jimmy for help.
Theres a decent number of laughs to be had, with Perrys unflinching surprise at everything happening around him again providing the basis for many a Chandler-esque one-liner. Willis, too, delivers the goods, and theres competent support work from Amanda Peet, who was Ozs dental assistant last time round but is now Jimmys trigger-happy other half. Perhaps funniest of all, though, is Frank Collison as Hungarian henchman Strabo, whos on screen less than the big stars but gets many of the best lines.
Good performances all round then, but its just a pity theyre given so little genuinely engaging material to work with. Theres only so many times Perry can run into a wall or fall flat on his face before it grows a beard, and George Gallos screenplay runs out of steam long before the 98 minutes are up. In the end, its a watchable sequel, but you cant help but feel that these admirably enthusiastic performers would have been better off spending their time elsewhere.
It's Got: Tears over a dead chicken. Still, it makes a lovely casserole.
It Needs: A cameo from Norman Wisdom as Ozs dad.
This unnecessary sequel doesnt quite go the extra yard.