Professional wrestler Terry "Hulk" Hogan takes his shot at the adorable moppet genre inspired by the runaway success of KINDERGARTEN COP and the HOME ALONE movies with MR. NANNY, a custom-tailored vehicle that elevates him to the status of the white Mr.T.
Ex-wrestler Sean Armstrong (Hogan) spends his days pier-fishing in Florida. He's contacted by ex-manager Bert Wilson (Sherman Hemsley) concerning work as a bodyguard. Dr. Alex Mason (Austin Pendleton), a shaggy professor in the Fred MacMurray-meets-Mitch Kapor mold, has created a microchip for
the Peacefinder missile which is coveted by a sociopath bent on world domination. This is the evil Thanatos (David Johansen), sporting a Bozo wig and a metal plate on his head).
Armstrong signs on as a nanny/enforcer to Mason's two kids, adorable monsters both, who have so far chased away the best the agencies have to offer and subject him to every atrocity shy of the "I Love Lucy" scenario in which twin brothers dress up as Indians and try to burn her at the stake. In
no time at all, he's won their admiration by weathering their best shots, and he effects a reconciliation of sorts by making the father see that what they really need is his care and attention.
But then Mason is kidnapped by Thanatos, who happens to have drummed Armstrong and his manager out of professional wrestling years before. When the children are kidnapped as well, Armstrong and Wilson have little choice but to follow Thanatos to his lair and deliver his just deserts. After the
threat has been diffused and the evil Thanatos blown to kingdom come through some high-tech mumbo-jumbo, Armstrong cheerily signs off on his duties as babysitter, although the door is left open for a sequel.
Along the way, Hogan does Harley stunts, gamely poses for a fistful of sight gags--he learns to pour tea and practices ballet in a tutu--and, of course, gets involved in a wide variety of physical mayhem.
In a year that saw everyone from Burt Reynolds to Michael J. Fox to Schwarzenegger himself handcuffed to six-year-old sidekicks in high-concept cartoons, one could do worse than to exploit the image of a professional wrestler forced to play mom. That said, MR. NANNY is of little interest to any
audience other than pre-teens of all ages. (Violence.)
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