Posted on 12/28/05 12:39 PM
The Ringer looks like an edgy, offensive-as-hell comedy in the previews, but it seems that the Farrellys lost their spine and balls somewhere along the way. It's just not offensive enough, but still manages to be funny.
Johnny Knoxville is here doing what he does best: Beating the hell out of himself and acting like a retard. Actual emoting is pretty far beyond his capabilities, so this isn't a bad role for him. What's surprising is that several of the actors really are 'tards and manage to turn decent performances while sounding smarter than Knoxville. Not that doing such is an impressive feat, even for a mongoloid. It's good to see Brian Cox doing comedy again, but he's underused. Sure, he's funny when he's on the screen, but he just isn't given enough to do. Give that guy another role like the one he had in Super Troopers.
There is some "edgy" comedy here, such as jokes about retards whacking off and swearing, but most of it is passed up for heartwarming, non-offensiveness. Maybe they figured they'd get roasted and lose distribution if it was too offensive, but come on Farrellys, grow a pair! If you're trying to do another "raunchy" comedy, then you might as well go all the way with it. At least make it rated R and show us some boobies.
Still, this movie manages to work for the most part. It's not supposed to be believable, but we get enough for some laughs, which is what this movie is supposed to do. Knoxville's usual slapstick masochism comes into play. He slips on floors, racks his nuts several times, and gets slapped around. It manages to be amusing.
This movie is worth a matinee ticket, but the next time someone wants to make a movie about retards, they can do one that really will offend people. The Farrellys were too scared to piss anyone off (other than tightasses that don't like rude humor) and sucked a lot of potential out of it.