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Mr. Nanny
1993 - PG - 84 Mins.
Director: Michael Gottlieb
Written By: Michael Gottlieb & Edward Rugoff
Starring: Hulk Hogan, Arthur Anoai, Sherman Hemsley, Ed Leslie, Butch Prickell
Review by: John Ulmer
   
Sometimes you expect a certain something from a film. You expect it to just be good. At least. But the first impression when you hear of "Mr. Nanny" is instant nausea. Now, you might not know why this produces nausea until I lay down the plot for you. Think of image no. 1: Hulk Hogan as a babysitter wearing a tutu. While I freely admit that it doesn't sound promising, it's nevertheless astounding that the production team was able to take this simple idea and create one of the most monstrously agonizing motion pictures to come along this year. Now, here is image no. 2: Hulk Hogan giving a small child weapons training. Image no. 3: The child electrifying the school bully with his newfound weapons interest. Image no. 4: Hogan and Kid celebrating because Kid has electrocuted Bully in an awful manner.

What we have here is good material for a spoof. How funny would it be to see an eight-year-old electrocute his bully in a Farrelly Brothers movie? But it's not a spoof. The problem is that in "Mr. Nanny" it is not played as a spoof, but as the real thing. The kid supposedly electrocutes his school bully (for real), and we are supposed to feel happy because he has beaten the bully at his own game. That has to be the most sappy excuse for an emotional rush I've ever heard. I don't feel like celebrating with this kid, but rather arresting Hogan and ordering a restraining order on him.

Hulk Hogan plays down-on-his-luck ex-wrestler Sean Armstrong (get it, "Armstrong"?). He has long since exited the ring because of recurring nightmares involving violence in the ring. To give Sean something to do, his best buddy and manager, Barney (Sherman Hemsley), gets him a job as a bodyguard for computer genius Alex Mason (Austin Pendleton). Mason has invented a new super chip and a psycho is out to get it, so the engineer needs someone to look after his two motherless children (played by Raymond O'Connor and Madeline Zima). Reluctantly, Sean agrees, but only because they already have a nanny and his job will be strictly protection. No sooner has he arrived, however, than the nanny quits and Armstrong finds himself babysitting two demons.

A film like "Mr. Nanny" is intellectually insulting on all levels. You have to wonder what the producers and filmmakers were thinking when they gave the "OK" to this film. It doesn't have a plot. It doesn't have good acting. It doesn't even have a half-decent script. The only reason for this film, apparently, is so that Hulk Hogan could be shown in a ballet tutu.

Hulk Hogan can't act. His best performance was his three-liner in "Gremlins 2: The New Batch." So you can imagine how awful it is when the testosterone-junkie with the deep voice fills up the majority of screen-time in the film, and tries to teach a father the values of family interaction and why it's good to tell your kids you love them. Perhaps this would be good material for, say, a muscle-man that can act, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but "the Hulk" can't act half as good as Mr. Schwarzenegger, and most likely never will be able to.

Most of the apparent laughs in this film come at the expense of Hogan, and at the expense of every film it has borrowed from. It's a bunch of recycled gags posing as new ones. But it might as well be said that I expected it.

To name some of the recycled gags, here they are: He's hit on the head with bowling balls (see "Uncle Buck"), drenched with water (see "Dennis the Menace"), covered in flour (see "Dennis the Menace" a second time), and electrocuted (see "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York"). Not one of these instances is funny, and it isn't because we've seen it so many times before. And another thing that doesn't help this film at all is the inept direction of Michael Gottlieb. Such comedy, while once amusing in Home Alone, has long since worn out its welcome. Here, it's handled in such a pedestrian manner that it comes across with the audible clunk of a standup comic's joke falling flat. Don't see this movie, whatever you do. If you see it glaring at you in the video store with Hulk Hogan's god-awful smirk on his face, pass it up. Even if it looks like clean family entertainment. It is far from it. It is PG-13 material packaged in a sweet little box. It's not a film. It's merchandising, plain and simple.

There used to be a time when wrestling and Hulk Hogan where what Tony Hawk and skateboarding are today to children. Anything with Hawk sells and, at one time, anything with Hogan sold. Film execs knew this, and played to it. And that's all "Mr. Nanny" is: Marketing, plain and simple. Don't give any more money to these selfish corporations. They can live with what they did. "Mr. Nanny" was a spur-of-the-moment film made for cash-purposes. I'm surprised that all copies weren't burned after Hogan withered away into the recesses of "has-been," because this film stands out as a single merchandising attempt, and its time has long since passed.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Offensive and completely without value.  Should never have been released.
  0 out of 5 stars

 
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