Kingpin - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Kingpin Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 1, 2011
The Farrelly Brothers have made some very memorable comedies. Dumb & Dumber, There's Something About Mary, Me, Myself & Irene to name a few. Kingpin though is one of their best. Kingpin is the story of a once great bowler who due to a con gone awry got his bowling hand cut off, thus ending his career. Twenty years later, Roy Munson is a down on his luck sales who one day discovers at a bowling alley, a talented Amish bowler. Roy proceeds to take the Amish Boy, Ishmael under his wiong and proceed to make him a bowling champion. Kingpin is a hilarious comedy with some of the funniest gags I've seen in a comedy. Woody Harrelson and Randy Quaid are terrific on screen, and Bill Murray also delivers some laughs in the role of Ernie McCracken. The Farrelly Brothers continue to build on the comedy after their film Dumb & Dumber, but this time, their comedy a lot more confident here than it was with Dumb & Dumber. Dumb & Dumber felt it had to prove something to be a great comedy, but Kaingpin feels more confident about the subject and its actually at times more funny. Dumb & Dumber is a classic, but Kingpin feels like the Farrelly Brothers didn't have to prove themselves as good comedy writers. The comedy here is original , fun, and hilarious. Kingpin is an overlooked Farrelly Brothers film that shouldn't be passed up, Dumb & Dumber was great, but Kingpin is just as worthy a follow up to their classic than anything. Kingpin is an unforgettable comedy with lots of laughs.
Super Reviewer
March 30, 2007
how this film can be rated any less than a ten is beyond me. the tragic character of Roy Munson is genius in itself but the true golden star of this film is Ernie McCracken played by bill Murray. an egotistical, vindictive bowling champ who's only ambitions are to bowl and fondle! the film is chock full with gags and more importantly original ones. the film takes us through the effervescence of young Roy Munson and his god given gift (bowling) and hammers us down with his sad demise. he find solace in booze and ...well more booze until he hits the jackpot with the sound of one strike. through Roy's struggle to climb out of the gutter his tormented past comes back to haunt him and the story evolves into one of courage,friendship and extreme stupidity. the best selling point i can give to people who have yet to indulge is simply this, i very rarely laugh out loud at a film but my sides were in agony after watching this and i think i may of ruptured something.
Super Reviewer
January 16, 2010
I've never been a huge fan of this movie, but it's not terrible. I just wasn't crazy about the plot and I think the Farrelly Brothers just went way too overboard with the kooky characters. Bill Murray was hilarious as a villainous bowler and made the movie worthwhile.
Super Reviewer
January 24, 2007
a little crude at points for my taste, but hilarious all the same and worth the viewing.
Super Reviewer
March 25, 2007
An early Farrelly Bros effort, this one has a rather unique comedy storyline.
Super Reviewer
February 26, 2008
Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, and Bill Murray are brilliant in this film about the journey of a has-been bowler.
Super Reviewer
February 7, 2007
Washed-up pro bowler Woody Harrelson is so funny who grooms Amish farmboy Randy Quaid for the "big time" in Reno.
Super Reviewer
June 12, 2006
ESPN Announcer: So Roy, where have you been for the last fifteen years?
Roy: Well, I uh, well, ya see, I uh... Drinking. Lot a drinking.
ESPN Announcer: I see. Well, are you still drinking?
Roy: No. I uh... I put... uh... Why, you buying?

From the directors of Dumb and Dumber and There's Something About Mary, this is probably the Farrely Brother's most underrated film. I say that because along with the goofy gross out humor in this movie, it has a great heart, with characters that develop and grow by the end of the film. I am mainly referring to Woody Harrelson. Between killing innocents in Natural Born Killers and sporting a prosthetic hook and a beer gut, the fact that he can humanize these characters is very impressive.

Harrelson stars as Roy Munson. He starts earlier in his life as a state champion bowler, with the whole world ahead of him. Enter Bill Murray as Big Earnie McCracken, a rival bowler and asshole. Big Ern gets Roy involved in a hustle scam gone wrong, resulting in the loss of Roy's hand.

17 years later, after much drinking and giving up on life, Roy encounters Ishmael, played by Randy Quaid. He is a young Amish man, who happens to be a good bowler. Roy sees this, and convinces him to go to Reno with him to compete in a bowling championship, with a first prize of one million dollars, which they will split down the middle. This is of course a convenient prize amount, because Ishmael's Amish community needs half a million to save their farm.

Along the way, the boys meet a hotty, Claudia played by Vanessa Angel, who will help them to make it to Reno through small time betting and scamming.

As goofy as the plot is, especially when turning to Ishmael's naive senses when experiencing the world for the first time, this movie is a very good character movie, with very good comic performances as well.

There are many gags throughout this movie, most of them work, some don't, and some come with a punchline much later in the film.

Next to Harrelson, you have Bill Murray who is only in the beginning and end, but everything he does is hysterical.

This movie even has a good soundtrack that moves along nicely with the scenes.

By the end of the movie, the conventions of a sports movie take hold, but in a way, they also don't, which is what makes me like this movie even more during the final ten minutes.

This is a very funny movie, with a funny cast, some gross-out humor, but still done in good spirit.

Roy: Thomas can raise a barn, but can he pick up a 7-10 split?
Ishmael: God blessed my brother to be a good carpenter. It's okay.
Roy: Yeah, well he blessed you, too, and I'll give you a hint what it is. It's round, has three holes, and you put your fingers into it.
Ishmael: You leave Rebecca out of this.
Super Reviewer
August 11, 2007
Comedy about Woody and Randy as champion bowlers.
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2007
Patchy but enjoyably tasteless comedy from the Farrelly brothers. Any film that combines bowling with Bill Murray gets my vote!
Super Reviewer
January 5, 2007
I didn't think it was as funny as most of the people I know.
Super Reviewer
½ March 14, 2012
Kingpin is a fun screwball comedy from the Farrelly brothers, but a lot of it falls flat. The story follows a washed up pro bowler named Roy Munson who trains an up-and-coming Amish bowler named Ishmael for the Reno championship, so that Ishmael can save his family's farm. Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, and Vanessa Angel lead the cast, but it's Bill Murray who steals the show. Murray brings a lot of charisma to the film with his arrogant, showboating hustler character, Ernie McCracken; who owns nearly every scene he's in. But, as a Farrelly brothers film it tends to push boundaries and use edgy comedy, but a lot it misfires. Kingpin is a lot of fun, but isn't able to sustain the laughs all the way through (especially in the extended edition).
Super Reviewer
½ May 10, 2011
It's definitely funny, maybe not to everyone, but to me at least. Interesting choice in cast; plot needs work.
Super Reviewer
May 14, 2012
Good, not great. This is one of those comedies that has funny moments, but to get to the laughs you have to endure a lot of filler. Bill Murray steals the movie from the rest of the cast, and with his screen time ratio and cast he's playing against, that's an impressive feat. But otherwise, proceed with caution, cause it can get real old real fast.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ May 11, 2011
The R-Rated version only seems to bring in some more nasty jokes. Yeah, as if it's not nasty enough. Hey, it's the Farrelly Brothers. They're known to be "Farrelly" foul... well, at least its less awkward than a lot of these jokes. Seriously though, the film's other cons include a moderately lengthy development segment, slowness, a poor performance from Angel, overusage of montages and poor placement of some music. In spite of this, "Kingpin" is still carried by Harrelson's solid performance and can also thank its predominantly effective humor, strong characters, good soundtrack, decent writing and reasonably smooth pace to make it a thoroughly entertaining Farrelly classic.
Super Reviewer
½ August 24, 2010
Woody Harrelson plays Roy Munson, a very promising bowler in the 70s whose ticket to fame ends when he loses his bowling hand due to the Ernie McCracken(Bill Murray). Bitter and resentful Munson lives a sad and pathetic life living in a rundown apartment, selling condoms, and dodging his landlady.
He meets a very naive and trusting Amish man, Ishmael Borg (Randy Quaid) who shows a special talent for bowling. He tries to convince him to compete, but unfortunately for Roy, Ishmael refuses the offer and leaves to go home. Roy finally convinces Ishmael to leave his roots to win big bucks in the Million Dollar at the Reno Bowling Tournament. Along the way, they meet smarter-than-she-looks sexpot Claudia (Vanessa Angel).
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2010
Its just so damn funny. The last time I saw this movie was in jr. high and I remember thinking it was hysterical then. It holds up for me all these years later, proving its not just a dumb comedy. The interplay between the actors is amazing and there are some great sight gags in this (which is becoming a lost art form). Definitely one of the better Farrelly outings. Oh and Bill Murray is fucking amazing in this.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2009
The best Farrelly Bros I've seen, some good laughs and actually quite a bit of heart. Woody Harrelson is perfectly cast as a slightly dim, down-and-out ex-bowling sensation who sees Amish acquaintance Randy Quaid as his ticket back to glory over former mentor Bil Murray. The wigs alone are worth an entire star.
Super Reviewer
½ August 7, 2007
Kingpin is one of the funnier Ferrerlly Brother movies. The entire cast does of their best work. Randy Quaid, especially has never been as funny. He's great as a naive Armish guy, hell, he should have been nominated.

While Woody Harrelson is perfect as a loser ex-bowler. Bill Murray pretty near steals the show though as Harrelson's ego maniac arch enemy. Vanessa Angel is also really good as Harrelson's partner. For a raunchy comedy that's actually funny, check out Kingpin.
Super Reviewer
½ July 9, 2008
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