Combustible Celluloid
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With: Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, Vanessa Angel, Bill Murray, Rob Moran, Chris Elliott, Chris Schenkel, Nelson Burton, Jr., P. W. Evans
Written by: Barry Fanaro, Mort Nathan
Directed by: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude sex-related humor and a drug scene
Running Time: 113
Date: 07/04/1996

Kingpin (1996)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Bowl Mates

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This follow-up to the Farrelly brothers's smash hit Dumb and Dumber was a surprise flop, but it later became a cult classic. I'm kind of in the middle on it; it didn't deserve to flop, but it's also not a film I need to see again and again. Like many Farrelly movies, it's too long and its balance of broad, vulgar humor and goopy pathos is a little awkward. But it's not hard to love Roy Munson (Woody Harrelson), a would-be champion bowler whose hand is mangled thanks to an act of jealousy by showoff Ernie McCracken (Bill Murray). Years later, Roy gets a second chance when he discovers the Amish Ishmael Boorg (Randy Quaid), with God-given bowling talent. Claudia (Vanessa Angel) escapes an abusive relationship and joins them. Murray is especially brilliant (as usual) playing a loathsome bad guy, and there are definitely a few laughs that make Kingpin worth seeing. Cameos include the great Red Sox/Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens, the singer Jonathan Richman, and the band Urge Overkill. Chris Elliott also appears.

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