Directed by Charles Robert Carner
I have never seen this American classic. I will now share my recap and review.
I don't see every movie out there. Sometimes there are too many other things happening in life, sometimes the situation just isn't right. There are certain movies you need to see in the theater for a more complete movie experience. Sometimes the special effects are only worth it in a theater, sometimes it's because having an audience to laugh along with makes it more special.
And every once in a while, a film comes along that you need to watch at home in a controlled environment to experience it fully. With a $7,500,000 (estimated) budget and $4,131,640 gross, Witless Protection is the kind of small independent movie I want to spend time with in my living room. The subtlety of the romance and the personal nature of the origins of the comedic situations, make this the perfect Sunday morning coffee & blanket couch movie.
It will be difficult to review this film without revealing the many jokes. Many plot points are resolved humorously and do not lend themselves to review. And I need to be honest; sometimes I was laughing so hard pretending to watch this, that I missed the next punch-line. The jokes are that fast and furious.
Yaphet Kotto stars in this film as the same FBI agent he plays in the movie Midnight Run. While this is not a direct sequel, it does take place in an unexplored corner of the Midnight Run universe (what we fans call "The MR-niverse (pronounced "MR-niverse")). It's a daring chioce for the filmmakers that really pays off.
Much of the humor comes from such jokes as Mr. Kotto constantly mentioning that he appeared in such classic pop-culture touchstones as "Alien", "Live & Let Die" and TV's "Homicide". So watch all those things first to really get your head around this movie.
Witless Protection features a lot of fun cameos. Larry The Cable Guy shows up as a doofy backwoods sheriff who can't even afford sleeves for his police shirts. If you're unfamiliar with Larry the Cable Guy, in real life he is a young struggling comedian still trying to hit it big, even with his humble background haunting him.
His past follows him like a specter, never allowing Larry to really find the success he truly craves. It adds a poignant undercurrent to all of his on-screen work to date. He and his family recently outgrew their tiny Florida swamp shack. He brings this tender, redneck vulnerability to his small role as "Ferd", a disabled American Army vet who lost his legs in the first Gulf War.
Larry is joined on-screen by Jenny McCarthy. Her character is a mute waitress. It is a shame that Ms. McCarthy was not award-nominated for this role, which seems tailor-made for her skills.
Other quick cameos from Eric Roberts, Joe Mantegna and Peter Stormare tell you all you need to know about the rest of this movie: Quality, quality, quality.
The Rube Goldbergian climax of Witless Protection will reward patient, careful viewers with comedy at a level beyond what movie theaters deserve. Spend time with Witless Protection and someone you love soon, and share the magic of cinema!
Recommended for those who enjoy men's beefy arms, coffee and America.