Clay is Ford Fairlane, a Hollywood private eye who specialises in cases involving the music business, which puts him on the trail of a missing groupie, the murderers of a disc jockey, some sinister CDs, a ruthless record tycoon, and a variety of designer-suited muso murderers.
Andrew Dice Clay, for the uninitiated, is an American comedian of the Brooklynese white slimeball persuasion, a man whose stand-up persona is so foul-mouthed, sexist, hip and obnoxious that he makes Eddie Murphy look like a Blue Peter presenter. Here, in his first starring vehicle, Clay has cast himself as Ford Fairlane, a terminally cool Hollywood private eye who specialises in cases involving the music business, which puts him on the trail of a missing groupie, the murderers of a disc jockey, some sinister CDs, a ruthless record tycoon, and a variety of designer-suited muso murderers.
Strutting his stuff - which involves propositioning and ogling every woman in sight but weedily not schtupping the underage bimbette so as not to offend the ratings board - Ford wanders through the case like an idiot, but it all turns out okay in the end. And, like the movie hero he refers to as Suck-My-Dick Tracy, he even adopts an orphan and turns annoyingly responsible in the last reel. So much for not compromising.
While hardly pleasant (neither were the Marx Brothers or Bob Hope, so that needn't be a drawback), Andrew Dice Clay has screen presence and can get a laugh by saying "get the fuck outta here" with the best of them, but this comedy-thriller suffers from that strangest of drawbacks, a miscast director. Renny Harlin, best known for Die Hard 2 and Nightmare On Elm Street 4, is an expert at action and atmosphere, and this movie comes to life whenever cars and houses are blowing up, people are being tortured, violence is being done in dark alleys and all manner of conventional action stuff is going down. The trouble is, however, that you paid your money for a comedy, and none of the slam-bang stuff is that funny, and, despite the input of Daniel Waters (screenwriter of Heathers), the wisecracks don't snap that much either. Finally, what can you say about a movie whose comic highlight is the hanging of a koala bear? And guess what, they even wimp out on that.
Though Clay is unbearably watchable, the mis-cast director means this comedy would be better as an action flick - it isn't funny but the violence is well executed.
Reviewed by Kim Newman