Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

What is it about Lance Henriksen? Why is it, at least for me, whenever this old man who canít be no taller than 5í6" and might weigh about 130 pounds, shows up in a movie that movie automatically just gets better? If a movie is rated at four on a scale of one to ten, when old man Lance shows up that movie is automatically adjusted two points to a level of six. Just so you know that Iíve seen Mr. Henriksen in movies that heís brought up to a level of a two. Seriously. Quite a few of the movies Iíve seen Mr. Henriksen in actually, at least recently, because Lance donít give a damn. The same rule applies to this movie from those funny guys at Broken Lizard who release one of their comedy flicks like once every three years, such as this movie ĎThe Slamminí Salmoní. Lance brings this movie up to about a level of seven.

Now I gotta tell you I did kind of see the basic concept of this movie in the flick ĎStill WaitingÖí about a week ago. But this one was funnier. But then that movie was only marginally funnier than ĎSchindlerís Listí was, so donít go getting all happy on me. Anyway the basic concept behind this work of art isnít all that complex. Michael Clarke Duncan is former heavyweight champ Cleon Salmon and Cleon, in addition to being the master of malapropisms, also owns and operates an upscale sea food restaurant. Mister Duncan might also have the yearís best catch phrase because every time he said it was funny. And itís applicable in almost any situation. Use it in opposition to your bosses, school teachers, parents, health care professionalsÖ just about anywhere. Cop pulls you over, asks you that stupid-ass question ĎDo you know how fast you were going?íÖ hit him with the catch phrase.

Anyway the simple situation is that Cleon owes twenty thousand dollars to a Japanese mobster and needs his restaurant to have a huge night and make this twenty thousand dollars since apparently Cleon has zero dollars. If he doesnít make this twenty thousand dollars then he loses his restaurant to this unseen Japanese mobster. Saddled with making this happen is the restaurantís spineless manager Rich played by the filmís director Kevin Heffernan who is attempting to motivate his eclectic crew of waiters, waitresses, bus staff and kitchen staff towards this goal with the lure of prizes and money.

Even though itís not all that relevant we will tell you who these players are in this movie to take up some space and give some face time to these actors in this film. They include, but are not limited to, Connor (Steve Lemme) a failed Hollywood actor with a big nose, Tara (Cobie Smulders) the struggling medical student, Guy (Erik Stolhanske) the asshole, Nuts (Jay Chandarsekhar) the minority who needs his meds, Mia (April Bowlby) the hottie with the budding career as a prima ballerina and Donnie (Paul Soter) who is on his first day as a busboy, will soon be elevated to waiter and is the twin brother of asshole chef Dave. And thatís pretty much it. Customers come in and out of the joint, crazy stuff happens and nonsense takes center stage with the theory being that madcap hilarity shall ensue.

It doesnít really get much more basic than this movie ĎThe Slamminí Salmoní. Either you will think it is funny or you will not. There are an awful lot of characters in this movie and the depth of these characters doesnít go much deeper than the one sentence descriptions I gave you above. The movie takes place over a couple of hours spread across this crapload of characters so there arenít a lot major plot points to get carried away by. As far as I could tell there is no overriding social significance or hidden meaning in anything going on in this movie. As far as I could tell. I could be wrong and it just went over my head.

So without the need to worry about all that other peripheral nonsense the question would be, again, is ĎThe Slamminí Salmoní funny? Itís all subjective of course but I personally thought it was funny. Like any comedy of this ilk where the jokes come at you constantly and at a furious pace, itís not going to be funny all the time. Itís been done before, but it is rare and it doesnít happen here, but this movie is at least weighted more on the side of funny than on the side of not funny.

And Iím pretty much done here. I was trying to think of something else of value to say about this movie but I got nothing. I could go into a joke breakdown and examine why this was funny and that wasnít funny but I wouldnít know the answer to that anyway. I could mention how Lance Henriksen brought the quality of the movie up without actually being funny and being in all of two scenes, but that just the magic of Lance. Either you will laugh at this movie or you will not and the only way you can find that out is by rolling the dice on 90 or so minutes on your own precious time.

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