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Corky Romano
2001 - PG-13 - 86 Mins.
Director: Rob Pritts
Producer: Robert Simonds
Written By: David Garrett and Jason Ward
Starring: Chris Kattan, Peter Falk, Vinessa Shaw, Peter Berg and Chris Penn
Review by: Bill King
The script for "Corky Romano" should have gone straight from the printer and into the shredder. By definition, this is a movie, but it hardly resembles anything about what a movie should be. What it boils down to is a star vehicle for Chris Kattan. Who? He's one of the stars of "Saturday Night Live," which I never watch for fear of boredom (plus it's on too late). Lorne Michaels did not produce this movie, but that doesn't matter. It resembles everything that renders such SNL stinkers as "The Ladies Man" and "Superstar" unwatchable. The little girls who laughed in the theater I attended can have Corky. "Rat Race" is a work of sophisticated art compared to this mess.

After watching what unfolded before me, I now understand why audiences dismissed a real movie like "A.I." 'Too slow' was a common complaint. Oh yeah, beware the movie that threatens us to think. "Corky Romano" will fulfill those tiny attention spans. The fact that a movie like this could become a hit disgusts me.

If overacting is a new fad, then Chris Kattan can cash in on it. He plays his part like a high-strung Jim Carrey. Corky Romano (Kattan) is the outcast in his gangster family. His brothers (played by Chris Penn and Peter Berg) hate him. His father Pops (Peter Falk) cares for him, but has kept certain secrets concerning the family business from him. Leo Corrigan (Fred Ward) is Pops Romano's right-hand man, but he's really an undercover FBI agent. The FBI has enough evidence to put Pops away for good, so the brothers draft Corky to sneak into FBI headquarters and steal the evidence.

This is an uninspired plot, but director Rob Pritts and his screenwriters turn up the contrivance level to an absurd degree. Every time Corky gets close to the evidence room, the FBI boss, played by Shaft, uh, Richard Roundtree, assigns him to various cases. Inevitably, Corky meets the resident FBI babe, Kate Russo (Vinessa Shaw). Inevitably, Corky uses his personality traits to solve cases. Inevitably, several FBI agents become his friends. Inevitably, the audience laughed about 20 times more than I did. I chuckled a few times, but not enough to save this movie from its permanent home near the bottom of my 2001 list.

Chris Kattan has a long way to go before he can display any acting ability. Flailing his arms wildly, grinning his teeth and shaking his head may work for television, but relying on it for a feature length movie is a mistake. Vinessa Shaw is gorgeous, but she deserves better. I hope she chooses more serious projects in the future, as she did in 1999 with "Eyes Wide Shut." As for the rest of the cast, I wish them a speedy recovery.
Movie Guru Rating
Unwatchable.  One of the worst of the year.  Skip it.
  0.5 out of 5 stars

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