Witless Protection, by Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter

Apparently seeking to fill the gaping cinematic void left by the untimely passing of Jim Varney ("Ernest"), the rotund Southern comedian again is playing a yokel, a deputy sheriff who attends to such duties as resolving a domestic dispute between a man and his horse.


When Larry encounters the unusual sight of a beautiful high-society woman (Ivana Milicevic) being escorted by a group of "Men in Black" types, he decides that she must be being held against her will. He takes it upon himself to save the day by kidnapping the woman himself and winds up being pursued by a team of FBI agents led by the slow-burning Yaphet Kotto (making a welcome return to the big screen after an absence of more than a decade).


The resulting "Midnight Run" scenario -- Kotto plays the same character he did in that 1988 comedy -- finds the mismatched duo forming an unlikely bond while becoming embroiled in a complex adventure involving a crooked wealthy tycoon (Peter Stormare, sporting perhaps the worst British accent ever) and the kung fu fighting leader (Eric Roberts) of his security team Private Maximum Security, or PMS for short.

Director-screenwriter Charles Robert Carner's script includes such gemlike dialogue exchanges as: "Are you insane? No, I'm Larry" and "Do you think he's attempting subterfuge? Or, he's trying to fool us."


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