Friday, September 5, 2014

The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)

Bill Murray Film Fest Movie #1 Please click the links to read my reviews of: Kingpin, Scrooged, Where the Buffalo Roam, Ghostbusters II, and my favourites, Ghostbusters, Ed Wood, Rushmore, Lost in Translation and Groundhog Day

Synopsis: Bill Murray Mr.-Magoo's his way through charming-but-highly-implausible spy spoof. 

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “The international intelligence community is about to get a lot less intelligent.” 

What Did I Learn?: Not that many women appreciate being introduced to friends as “the Defence Minister’s call girl.” 

Really?: 1) So, the cops are impressed by a radio communicator in a gold cigarette case? That might have been believable in the 1960s, but these days most people carry cellphones. 2) Funny how that entire sub-plot: i.e the police raid on James’ London townhouse, and the cops thinking Wallace (Murray) killed the actor, never gets developed, and is dropped by the end. 3) Speaking of the end, I had a little trouble believing Wallace would read a newspaper account of the incident in London and still not put two and two together. 

Rating: The Man Who Knew Too Little is one of Bill Murray’s better films. The plot is extremely contrived, and built upon a lot of coincidences and perfect timing, but in this case, none of that matters – it’s an absurdist farce that made me laugh out loud several times. Murray himself is a hoot as the completely oblivious Wallace, Alfred Molina is great as a grumpy KGB assassin, and I’m chuckling over the bomb-tossing finale. Highly recommended. 9/10 stars.

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