The Whole Nine Yards
Dir: Jonathan Lynn
Star: Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Natasha Henstridge, Michael Clarke Duncan, Rosanna Arquette
Cert / Year: 15 - R / 2000
Format: VIDEO

Former 'mob' hitman turned informer Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski (Bruce Willis), gets released from jail and moves to a sleepy neighbourhood in Montreal, Canada where he hopes to start a new life. His new next door neighbour is wimpy, unhappily married dentist Nick 'Oz' Oseransky Matthew Perry. A former Chicago resident, Nick recognizes Jimmy from the newspaper stories of his mob testimony, and suddenly Nick's mundane life is turned upside down.....

This proves to be a witty and amusing film with some good fun and humour. Much of the humour is suitably wry (suicidal dentists, etc.) and the occasionally dark comedy is brandished by some very good performances most notibly Matthew Perry and Bruce Willis who enjoy an excellent on-screen chemistry. Rosanna Arquette however, hams it up with a terrible, comedy accent and generally abrasive performance which begs the question 'what happened?'.

The Whole Nine Yards is a very entertaining and enjoyable film, much better than you would expect in fact. In terms of Friends stars' movie projects it is obvious that Matthew Perry is the more accomplished and successful even if he is regarded by some as a bit of a 'one trick horse'. Perry is cracking 'reactionary' actor, and in this type of role he excels but it does leave him open to criticism that he can only play the 'Chandler' character from Friends, but it is actually more likely that he knows what works and what he is good at so he sticks to it. Why try and overstretch yourself by trying a serious role or by re-inventing yourself when you have a winning formula and an established fan base who expect a certain character from you. On the downside (to some), this does mean that most of his roles are similar to Chandler, but lets face it this is what he does best and is just so funny with it and remains entertaining even if it isn't fresh or innovative. Here, Perry teams up with pal Bruce Willis and they indulge themselves a bit, but get you laughing even if it isn't non stop hilarity.

The luscious Amanda Peet bares all, Rosanna Arquette thankfully doesn't as she looks really old and tired, whilst Natasha Henstridge remarkably stays fully clothed and acts quite effectively. Michael Clarke Duncan occupies an awful lot of the widescreen format as his hulking frame dominates his scenes as Frankie 'Figs'. The ensemble cast deliver some good performances and are an enjoyable watch (not just Amanda Peet either). Big shock though is the general state of former hottie Rosanna Arquette, who really does look quite ropey now and seems to have given up baring all for the camera (thankfully) like she managed to do in most of her other films. Bruce Willis plays retired hitman 'the Tulip' very well and proves yet again that he can do comedy, even though he has come under fire in the past for some of his comedic roles I think that they suit him well (lets not forget Moonlighting) and it would be nice to see him do more of them. Perry , does his usual thing and acts up as a nervous, bumbling and furtive fool to Willis' cool assassin leading as you would expect to some slapstick here and there, affording plenty of giggles and a few laughs too.

Unfortunately, The Whole Nine Yards is a little cliché in places and the script isn't brilliant and relies on the strong performances of Willis and Perry to carry the whole thing off. Some of the dialogue is a bit lame and cheesy but to be honest, and it is the interaction between Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry that saves the day as they work so well together and provide some of the films best laughs. On the whole this isn't going to prove a winner for everyone, it is intermittently funny and needs a little polish but it is well worth a watch as it can be quite amusing and features some cool performances by a good cast, but for Friends fans this is a definite must see.


In the heart of suburbia, a hit man with heart has just moved in.


Cynthia: I haven't made love in five years.
Oz: Neither have I. I've been married.

Jimmy: It doesn't matter how many people I've killed. What matters is how I get along with the people who are still alive.

Frankie: You know, I can't think of nothing finer than a fine naked woman holding a gun.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Reviewed by Logan Back Top Home