Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Kingpin (1996)

Synopsis: It’s like Bowling for Dollars...with scenes of Woody Harrelson being physically abused.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “25 Million Box Office!”

What Did I Learn?: If you ever treat somebody like crap, and quickly regret doing so, tell them it was just a “test.”

You Might Like This Movie If: This show holds a special place in your heart.

Really?: I could ask why an Amish community (or is it just a farm? The film suggests both) would borrow $500 grand from a local bank (among other things), but Kingpin isn’t meant to be taken all that seriously. That said, I will say that a) Roy and Claudia’s relationship shifts from mutual loathing to (predictable) romance a bit too quickly to be credible, and b) I have to wonder why Roy never tried to bowl with his rubber hand for the previous 17 years. Jeez, couldn’t somebody have at least filmed a training/practice montage?

Rating: The laughs are a little lowbrow and silly, but Kingpin is a very funny movie about the cut-throat world of professional bowling(!) Woody, Randy Quaid and Vanessa Angel are all quite good, but Bill Murray totally steals the show as the “Tanqueray-and-tap” swilling, and delightfully narcissistic “Big Ern” McCracken. Kingpin is worth viewing for Murray’s performance, alone. 7.5/10 stars.


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