While the first “Whole Nine Yards” elicited some chuckles and was enjoyable to watch, “The Whole Ten Yards” was not because there should have been no sequel to the first movie to begin with.
The movie, starring Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet and Natasha Henstridge, falls flat from the moment it starts. Matthew Perry’s nervous character is worn out from overuse and makes him seem more like a bumbling idiot than a likeable, neurotic character. Bruce Willis, playing the ex-hit man gone Martha Stuart househusband, is dry and without humor. His character seems more disturbed and evokes little, if any, laughter.
The plot revolves around the idea that there is a secret that must be kept from Oz (Perry), or he could be put into danger. While both Cynthia (Henstridge) and Jimmy (Willis) are in on the plan, Jill (Peet) and Oz are kept in the dark for their “own safety.” The secret, however, unravels far too late and seems too drawn out to make the movie interesting, or to make the audience even want to find out what the secret is. As it turns out, this secret has to do with the fact that Lazlo Gogalack’s (who Jimmy killed in the first one) father has been released from prison and is now after those who were involved in his son’s death.
The movie could have had promise if the jokes and sly quips were not so cliché and didn’t continually reminisce on the first movie. The movie was stretched to its limit by trying to hold onto this “secret” that could not be revealed. Each of the characters is far more done up, as though they weren’t pretty enough in the first, and suddenly all the characters are richer than they had ever been before. While the movie shouldn’t rely on its predecessor, it should at least stick to the facts as they were told in the first place.
David Glotter, a sophomore who saw the film, believed the film was dull. “It was about as good as most sequels can be, if not worse, and it wasn’t a very entertaining action story.”
While some may say that Willis’s character of a crazy hit man turned househusband is funny, Willis butchered the part. He was dry and lacked any visible sympathy, preventing his character from being likeable to the viewer. Perry’s only acting achievement in this film was his ability to fall on command. The other characters were as dry as they were in the first, which wasn’t saying much, and added even less to the storyline, making their seemingly important roles in the film superfluous.
The acting falls short in every account. In the first movie, they were able to make the dry humor entertaining and funny. In this, the only redeeming factor is the occasional slapstick comedy that Perry adds. This movie makes the first one seem like a monumental achievement of the cinematic arts, which it wasn’t by any means. The movie had nothing to fall back on, as the first was entertaining and enjoyable, but not material for a second.