Wednesday, June 17, 1998

Stinking mess

Movie: Dirty Work

Posted on Wed, Jun 17, 1998 at 4:00 AM

Our Rating: 1.00

Norm Macdonald was given the hook from "Saturday Night Live" because he wasn't funny. After this atrocity, devoid of mirth or wit, he should be banned from earth. Chris Farley, who puts in an all-too-familiar cameo as a fat psychotic boozer, has already been shuttled off this mortal coil. The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. If only He were a bit quicker out of the blocks.

Mitch Webster (Macdonald), a terminal loser, decides he's had enough of being walked over. He's over 30 with no job, no chicks, no respect. When Pops (Jack Warden), sleazy father of Mitch's dullard friend, Sam (Artie Lange), succumbs to a heart attack and requires emergency surgery from a crooked doctor (Chevy Chase, who else?) with a heavy gambling debt to pay off, inspiration strikes. Our two misfits set up a revenge-for-hire service, setting us up for an hour of moaning and groaning.

First on the list is an ill-tempered car dealer who bullies the young lovey that Mitch fancies. Said purveyor discovers, in the midst of a live TV commercial, that all the trunks of his Caddies contain "dead hookers." Ha-ha-ha, that's a good one. Where's the exit?

How does a film like this get made? Well, it's quite simple really. There's a whole segment of the population which has willfully submitted itself to the ongoing lobotomy that is American mass culture. The folks thrive on it. And director Bob Saget, infamous host of "America's Funniest Home Videos," knows his public well. No wonder he has so little trouble crossing over from real-life, cretinous slapstick to fictional, cretinous slapstick.

At times, the film is so over the top in its tastelessness that one might think that the whole stinking mess is a put-on -- laughs for those who get it, laughs at the expense of those who don't. But that would require us to greatly overestimate Macdonald's intelligence. And that, my friends, would be dirty work indeed.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation