Just plain offal

Rated 1.0

I see bad films on a regular basis; part and parcel of the calling. Fortunately, only rarely do I have to endure a movie so bad that it causes me physical pain. Unfortunately, I took that bullet with King’s Ransom, a competently filmed, edited and acted “comedy” with an incomprehensibly lousy script. To market this—a series of set-ups barren of punch lines—as a comedy takes false advertising to an almost felonious level.

The premise has some modest promise: Universally loathed CEO Malcolm King (professional sidekick Anthony Anderson taking on his first lead) is the target of overlapping kidnap attempts, finally falling into the hands of a put-upon cracker (Jay Mohr, paying for a new car?). The promise lies in the fact that King thinks that it is part of a kidnap scheme he himself devised in order to withhold part of his assets from his gold-digger soon-to-be ex-wife (who also has similar plans on him).

Any potential for humor is aborted by an undercurrent of angry slapstick, akin to playing the Three Stooges as if they actually intended to damage each other. People this with a cast of grotesque caricatures of stereotypes and a lack of any single character to feel any empathy for, and you have to wonder how anyone ever made it through reading the script, let alone feeling compelled to actually spend $16 million to film it. Who is writer Wayne Conley, and who is he related to/sleeping with? This may be the only comedy I’ve sat through that failed to elicit even a smile.

The five bucks I forked over to see this spew would have been better used buying a four-pack of two-ply toilet tissue, about the amount that would be needed to wipe away this cinematic diarrhea.