Frank McKlusky C.I. (2002) / Comedy
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for language, crude humor and sexual innuendo
Running Time: 83 min.
Cast: Dave Sheridan, Randy Quaid, Andy Richter, Chyna, Dolly Parton, Cameron Richardson
Director: Arlene Sanford
Screenplay: Mark Perez
Review published April 20, 2002
Someone out there must have seen a void in the ridiculously dumb comedy genre now that Jim Carrey has progressed in his career to the point where he wouldn't make another Ace Ventura movie. The thinking must have been, "Hmmm, them Ace Ventura movies made like a hundred million dollars each so we gotta make even more of 'em. Can't get Jim Carrey? Hmmm...how 'bout we get someone who looks and acts just like him and make another hundred million?"
That someone is Dave Sheridan, most recognizable as Deputy Doofy in Scary Movie, whose uncanny resemblance to Jim Carrey in Frank McKlusky C.I. had me doing double-takes at times. However, try as he might, Sheridan is just another ambitious pretender, and if Ace Ventura: Pet Detective took us by surprise with a new star in the making, Frank McKlusky has a little too much of a retread feel. Jim Carrey himself wasn't able to recreate the goofy fun in the one and only sequel, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, so why would anyone think they could with a second-rate knockoff?
The film starts off with Randy Quaid (Independence Day, Kingpin) playing an Evel Knievel type of daredevil madman, only much more on the edge. Not exactly a stickler for safety, he has a massive accident which leaves him comatose, but the greedy insurance company won't pay up. After such a traumatic experience, the family becomes overly sensitive to safety, strapping on multiple seat belts and always wearing a helmet. Twenty years later, son Frank McClusky is all grown up and working as a claims insurance investigator, but is too afraid to leave the van and lets his crafty partner do all of the work. That is until one day his partner is found dead and Frank must continue the work with a new partner even greener than he is, adopting the vast array of disguises his partner used to catch fraud at every turn.
Frank McKlusky C.I. has about a handful of witty lines, about one or two decent sight gags, and an overall goofiness that keeps it from being out-and-out detestable (although often flirting with it.) The rest of the film is just plain awful, with a heap of horrible slapstick, some offensive stereotyping, and hardly a semblance of an interesting plot to be found. About the only aspect of the film that can keep an interest is the never-ending barrage of cameo appearances by people we grew up watching but haven't really seen much of in a while. Scott Baio (Bugsy Malone, Zapped!) plays a prominent role, but also look out for special appearances by Emmanuel Lewis ("Webster"), Lou Ferrigno ("The Incredible Hulk"), Orson Bean, Adam Carolla ("The Man Show"), Kevin Pollack (The Usual Suspects), and the group Hanson, who contribute a performance during one of the more inspired bits.
Unless you are the staunchest of Ace Ventura fans who absolutely loves every god-awful frame of both films and every other dumb comedy that came afterward, you would be doing yourself a grand service by avoiding the waste of time that is Frank McKlusky C.I. The comedy isn't just dumb, it's painfully awful. This sloppily written and derivative film is so much of a rip-off, the biggest laugh comes from thinking of the irony that phony claims inspector Frank McKlusky is the biggest fraud of them all.
©2004 Vince Leo