Thursday, October 18, 2012

Try 'Crapped in Paradise': "Trapped in Paradise" (1994)

Nicolas Cage, Jon Lovitz, and Dana Carvey play three of the most unconvincing brothers ever cast, in a comedy that should never have been made.

Dave (Jon Lovitz) and Alvin (Dana Carvey) have recently been paroled. They have a letter from a fellow inmate they must get to a small town in Pennsylvania. It seems Vic (Vic Manni) is trying to make amends with daughter Sarah (Madchen Amick), and the brothers agree to deliver it.

The third brother, Bill (Nicolas Cage), is leading a straight life before getting involved in his brothers' petty criminal shenanigans. He soon finds himself in Paradise, Pennsylvania, with his brothers breaking parole, and a local bank that is just begging to be robbed.

The robbery goes as planned (sort of, they did get the money), but the brothers keep getting caught up in the kindness of the local folk, and cannot seem to get out of the place. The FBI and local police move in, as does a now escaped Vic who has taken the boys' mother (Florence Stanley) hostage, and the wackiness continues.

Have you ever seen a film that was so bad on so many different levels, you were literally at a loss as to where to begin? Deep breath... Carvey, Cage, and brothers?!? Cage's idea of saving this mess is to shout all of his lines and wave his hands a lot. Lovitz tries out his pathological liar character on the big screen, to no avail. Carvey adopts this annoying high pitched nasal drone for a voice, I could not understand a word he was saying. None of them worked well together.

Poor John Ashton also comes along, playing the same asshole character he has played in every film he has been in, from "Beverly Hills Cop" to "King Kong Lives." The script is overly hokey and sentimental. I like a good Christmas movie now and then, but this is so chock full of good tidings and cheer, it turns completely unbelievable. The film makers are also overly concerned with having mentally retarded characters. The sheriff's son, a deputy, is retarded. Alvin's kleptomania is explained because he is retarded. Ashton's sidekick in the store is so dumb, he could be retarded. Geez, I know minorities want representation in mainstream media, but this is ridiculous! Throw in some of the loud bombastic music that drowns out some characters' lines, some of the fakest snow you have ever seen, and some characters suddenly acting in the complete opposite direction from how they were introduced, and you have an unmitigated disaster.

"Trapped in Paradise" clocks in at nearly two hours long and is in desperate need of an editor. I would lose the first half of the film, and then the second half. There, a better movie already!

Do not be fooled by the cast, this is as funny as another Christian holiday themed film- "The Passion of the Christ." (*) out of five stars.