Stupid is as stupid does

“The Whole Ten Yards” relies on cheap humor to defraud the audience.

Mistakes. We all make them. Some of them matter a lot, others not so much. The important thing is to identify our mistakes before we inflict harm on others. The masterminds behind “The Whole Ten Yards” slipped up with a big mistake – one that lasts nearly 100 minutes.

The goof-troop from its predecessor, “The Whole Nine Yards,” is reunited for this excruciatingly bad, unfunny, unintelligent and unimportant comedy that makes the first movie appear to have the subtle ingenuity of Shakespeare or Chekhov.

In “The Whole Ten Yards,” Jimmy “The Tulip” Tudeski (Bruce Willis) has moved to Baja, Mexico and become a domestic engineer, while Nicholas “Oz” Oseransky (Matthew Perry) now practices dentistry in Beverly Hills, Calif. While Jimmy manages the vacuum, his wife Jill (Amanda Peet) dreams of getting knocked-up while taking over in the assassination department. But all of a sudden – wait for it – mobster Lazlo Gogolak (Kevin Pollak) kidnaps Jimmy’s-ex-turned-Oz’s-wife Cynthia (Natasha Henstridge) and the hunt is on to save her.

The movie makes little sense to begin with – and practically none at all if you haven’t seen or don’t remember the original’s minuscule details. The humor is built-up slapstick comedy, the likes of which are currently facilitating the revolutions of Curly, Larry and Moe in their stoogey graves. To top things off, bad turns to worse with a slew of impotence jokes that the makers of Levitra warned you about.

“You might be shooting blanks,” suggests Jill to Jimmy, referring to his inability to impregnate her.

“A few moments of erectile dysfunction and now I’m not a man?” Jimmy replies.

Beneath the gun-fighting, border-crossing, homoeroticism and utter lack of detectable humor is “chemistry” between Jimmy and Oz’s characters that amounts to the mix of baking soda and vinegar without the cool factor. Willis’ blunt sarcasm spells everything but funny when added to Perry’s often-twitchy “Friends”-type overacting, whose aggressive physical humor does not make up for the lack of creative writing.

“I am not going to go out there and risk my life before I get a few things off my chest,” exclaims Jimmy to Oz in one scene, adding, “Did you know I was a bed-wetter?” The one-liners aren’t any better, as displayed in Oz’s easy-to-forget exclamation, “It looks like he got shot in the foot! Who dies from being shot in the foot?”

While the first movie’s basic plot was everyone trying to kill each other, at the very least it was full of interesting twists and turns. One of the many problems with the sequel lies in its lack of these very qualities that made the first film interesting; save one big twist that renders most of the movie futile anyway.

In the end, “The Whole Ten Yards” goes one more yard then necessary.