Former bowling champion Roy Munson (Harrelson), whose career ended the day his hand was taken from him by a sleazy rival (Murray), now lives a live in the gutter. Until he sees an Amish protégé (Quaid), whom he uses to make it all the way to Reno for the
Coincidentally, the second film from the directing partnership behind Dumb And Dumber not only looks like a Jim Carrey vehicle but actually opens opposite the comedy king's latest. Whether it can summon up the necessary clout to take on Carrey's box office muscle remains to be seen, but taken on its own level it makes for a fun, if forgettable, experience.
Having been separated from his bowling arm by a disgruntled mob after a con trick backfires, ten-pin pro Roy Munson (Harrelson) stumbles across Amish bowling whiz Ishmael (Quaid) at his local bowling alley, takes the pudding-bowl protege under his wing and heads for Reno and the national bowling championship to settle a score with sleazy title holder Ernie McCracken (Murray) the man responsible for Munson's single-handed state.
As daft humour goes, Kingpin isn't in the same ballpark as Dumb And Dumber, and its everything-but-the-kitchen sink approach to its genre - with parody, sight gags et al. - makes for a muddled picture. But the jokes succeed often enough, while the bowling is covered to great effect in a showdown between Harrelson and Murray, whose strutting poseur steals the show.
Subtle as the proverbial brick, the directors have come up with a film that manages to offend just about everybody, given that the level of humour rarely rises above silly haircuts, bodily fluids and how Harrelson can best utilise his rubber hand. Those seeking a discerning evening's entertainment should pass, but as a barrel of unsophisticated laughs, Kingpin delivers in spades.