Witless Protection

Witless Protection (2008)
Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Cast: Larry the cable guy, Jenny McCarthy, Ivana Milicevic
Extras: Featurettes, Bloopers, Deleted/Extended Scenes

I guess my problems with Larry The Cable Guy begin and end in a few areas that are simply impossible to get over. First off, his whole blue collar routine that instantly connected with millions of people across the world seems unconvincing since his becoming a millionaire, and now his stale routine has lost whatever appeal it had in the first place. I never thought 'Hee Haw' was remotely amusing either, and I still can't figure out what people get out of that show or the old fashioned and almost offensively one sided right wing viewpoint that lies just under the surface. You see, these extreme viewpoints have caused a lot of problems in the world recently, and I just don't think you can easily get a laugh (certainly not from me) while prancing around like some kind of uneducated obnoxious country boy. Of course I'm not really the target market for this type of comedy anyway.

I never thought his routine was even remotely funny, and those that did worried me. You see, I always considered comedy very important and I admire pioneers that have used it as a tool to not only enlighten, but also shock and educate. And of course I'm certainly not against good old fashioned cheap thrill shock value or gross out jokes (excluding the dull and annoying fart in the microphone stupidity behind Larry's uninspired routines). Either way my favorites always stretched the limits, or completely went across them, often times getting arrested in the process. Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, Richard Pryor, the late George Carlin (who as we all know passed away just recently) and of course the subversive and brilliant Matt Stone and Trey Parker (the creators behind 'South Park') and many others have shown us that comedy doesn't need to be stupid and appeal to peoples' hidden desire to light farts. It could be a bridge to new ways of thinking, a liberating force for change, or it could simply make us laugh. It doesn't have to have biting social commentary or genre defining moments of transcending and biting iconoclastic perception underneath it, it could just make us laugh.

Unfortunately Larry The Cable Guy does none of this. He got in the back door of fame by acting like everybody's likeable but annoying uncle, but now he is at the party and insulting the paintings, making fun of the appetizers and making borderline racist rants. I for one have had enough. It is time to ask the fat redneck to leave the party. And his films are the equivalent of cinematic terrorist attacks, and I'm here to tell you he needs to be stopped, as a matter of the highest level of urgency. Larry The Cable Guy is not only not taking comedy further, he is dragging it back ten years for every year his career remains flourishing.

In fact his whole entire act is as phony and see through and uninspired as it ever was, he is straddling the fence instead of improving his act, or taking it any further (and we all know a career cannot stagnate, it either gets better or worse) and in the process of his unimaginative career, he has infected the world of cinema with some of the worst films ever made, taking the honor from the Ernest films and the Pauly Shore catalog to truly show us someone who has no respect for either his own audience or filmgoers in general, just sign the check please and let's get through this.

"Witless Protection" follows in the tradition of his past films, this one is directed and written by Charles Robert Carner, and the title is certainly relevant because wit is the one thing sorely lacking in this poor excuse for a comedy. Deputy Larry Stalder (Larry The Cable Guy) is a dumb backwoods small town officer who for some reason has aspirations to become an FBI agent, and Connie (Jenny McCarthy, slumming it once again, what happened and why doesn't Jim Carrey help her pick scripts?) is his hopeful girl friend to be. She plays up the sexy countrified boy toy popularized by Daisy Mae from the insipid "Dukes Of Hazard".

When this befuddled cop rescues a city girl (Ivana Milicevic) from a seemingly perilous kidnapping attempt he opens a whole world of intrigue. What he doesn't realize is that the supposed captors were actually federal agents sent in to protect her from the bad guys in some kind of half thought out money laundering scheme where she is to be a witness for the prosecution. Soon the film reveals some shady feds including Alonzo Mosley (Yaphet Kotto) and also a private security guard with intentions all his own played by Eric Roberts, and it is all up to our befuddled deputy to save the day, and try not to lose his devoted NASCAR fan base when even they start looking at their watches and wondering what the hell they are doing watching this disgrace of a comedy. Filled with jokes that make "Meet The Spartans" look like great comedy, "Witless Protection" is one of the worst films I've ever had the privilege to review. Enter at your own peril.

When Larry The Cable Guy got his fifteen minutes of fame he farted in the microphone of movie history and it is difficult to have to watch. And what baffles me even more is to watch those in the cast I have respect for drag their names through this mind numbing piece of crap. It still completely intrigues me that the people behind projects like this actually get paid, and it also makes me realize I am in the wrong line of work, although it also forces me to acknowledge that one would actually have to work quite hard to make something so banal as "Witless Protection", movies this bad don't happen by accident.

On the visual side of things the film doesn't look half bad, featuring a decent transfer. The problem probably lies in the fact that the visual look of the film is rooted in cheap sitcom like lighting and unimaginative use of lighting create a somewhat one dimensional look. Although the colors are well represented and it does certainly retain a very polished look, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, it fills the screen with good ol boy shenanigans and is certainly an honest reproduction of the filmmakers limited devices for the home theater.

The audio is certainly more than serviceable also, featuring a DTS HD Master Lossless Audio track that showcases the limitations of the original sonic elements and featuring very little actual surround action. Once again the sound design stands out and brings attention to the lack of creativity and imagination used by the makers of the film, and therefore it certainly is a fine sounding track, although perhaps it works against this film, which is beyond any redemption or reasonable defense anyway.

The special features are predictably thin, although they are in high definition. We have a twelve minute featurette called 'Making Witless', and it is a typical EPK featuring comments from cast and crew about how great it was to let Larry drag their careers down with his. 'Larry's use Of Analogy' is about five minutes and is frightening because it actually shows us the method behind Larry's act. Disturbing but interesting. 'Musicians Of Witless Protection' simply features interviews with those involved in the soundtrack and shines a light on what they were attempting to convey. Also on board are some movie trailers.

So that sums it up, we have a Blu-ray that accurately represents what an awful mess "Witless Protection" is, and therefore it is a decent disc. The 'special features' are thankfully short and merciful, this movie is going to be hard to forget, but I'm going to try. Everyone should stay far away from Larry The Cable Guy when it comes to film projects, and those involved with choosing roles should think twice when one of these scripts lands on the desk. My suggestion is stay far away from this film.