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The Man Who Knew Too Little Reviews

Bill Murray in faux naif mode bumbles his way through a series of stock spy-spoof set pieces. Inept and painfully affable video-store clerk Wallace Ritchie (Murray) makes a spur-of-the-moment trip to London so he can celebrate his birthday with his brother James (Peter Gallagher), a buttoned-up banker. The hitch: James is hosting an important business dinner and can't afford to have his goofy brother screw things up. So he signs up Wallace for a night of participatory theater. The fun is supposed to start with a phone message, but Wallace mistakenly intercepts a call intended for hired killer Spenser (Terry O'Neill), and the "comedy" of errors begins. Wallace quickly teams up with Lori (Joanne Whalley), a government minister's mistress who needs to locate some errant love letters. The running gag, of course, is that while Wallace is taken for a lethal and oh-so-worldly spy, he takes the real-life spies and killers for actors, over emoting wildly. Murray is obviously having a fine old time doing impersonations of Dirty Harry, James Bond and other movie tough guys, but the endless stream of dreadful double entendres quickly becomes very tiresome indeed. There's something horribly dated about just about every aspect of the production, and the script contains no material that might challenge or extend Murray's comic range -- you just know the overriding attitude was, "Oh, just let Bill do some of that funny stuff he does." This is the sort of movie for which the term mindless fun was invented: Whether the emphasis is on the mindless or the fun will have to be your personal call.