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  The Whole 10 Yards  
  Howard Deutch  
  Michael Kapner and George Gallow  
  Matthew Perry, Bruce Willis, Amanda Peet, Natasha Henstridge, and Kevin Pollack  
Release Date:
  April 2004  
Reviewed by:

A sequel to the movie The Whole Nine Yards, and it doesnít embarrass the first one. Again, Iíve got to qualify the rating: if you liked the previous one, add an extra sponge. If you never saw the first one, you could conceivably take a sponge away. Itís a comedy-action about ex-hit men, mobsters, dentists, kidnappings, sneaky plots, and con games.

In the end, itís all the plots and games that make this movie less than it should be. Kapner wrote the original, so he has the voices of the characters down pat, and the actors were pretty much perfectly suited to those roles. Pollackís original character is replaced with a makeup-and-prosthetic job so that he can play the original characterís father, and he winds up stealing the show. Willis has his funny lines, and still gets to do a little comic emoting. Perry plays his part well, as does Peet. And for once, Peet is not the nakedest person in the movie (thank God!). The interaction and timing are very well done, and the patter written for the characters is really entertaining.

Where this movie falls down is the story. Itís clear from the first twenty minutes that something sneaky is going on. The Whole Nine Yards was fun because you got to see everyoneís machinations and see them cause each otherís plans to screw up. In contrast, this time around, you are literally waiting until the credits to find out what is happening. As such, during the movie, you wonder, "Is that character really upset? Or is he doing this for the sake of whatever scam is clearly up but the writers feel that Iím unworthy to be let in on?" Itís frustrating and distracting. A simple re-write that clarified the details of the plot would have made this a much better movie, and another afternoon spent working around the problems would have been sufficient. As it is, things feel contrived.

Itís a shame, too, because everyone else was clearly giving this movie the effort it deserved. The first movie was a real unexpected treat since it didnít have any reason at all to be as good as it was. In this one, you already know the characters, and were expecting good things from them. That part delivers, and it was sufficient for me to enjoy the film. It just so easily could have been better than what it was.

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