Thursday, October 3, 2013

Instant Gratification Theater: Disorderlies (1987)

I imagine you might wonder, "With scores of classic films from the Criterion Colllection available on Hulu Plus, why in the world are you spending some of your precious time on this planet watching Disorderlies on Warner Archive Instant?" And to that I say...


"Disorderlies" is over 25 years old, and people who weren't around back then might assume that in 1987 there was a legitimate reason to build a major motion picture around the rap group known as The Fat Boys. I was around back then, and I'm pretty sure it didn't make sense to us, either. The Fat Boys aren't exactly a modern-day Three Stooges, unless maybe you somehow assembled 3 Curly Joes and drained their charisma, but they aren't irritating, and that counts for something.

There's a plot that involves a battle between the Boys and a villain played by an oily Anthony Geary, but the real battle worth watching is between Ralph Bellamy and his dignity. Bellamy is the ailing rich dude the Boys are caring for, and he goes all out. In fact, the more I see 1980s Ralph Bellamy, the more I love him. Not only was he a great sport in his heyday losing all those women to Cary Grant, but as he matured, he was willing to play increasingly immature characters in films like "Trading Places." Only in "Disorderlies," though, do you get to see an elderly Ralph Bellamy go clubbin' and ask someone if they'll stop illin'.

Bellamy and Geary deliver amusing performances, and there are a few chuckles from the movie's slapstick antics. I also find a certain pleasant time capsule element here. Let's be honest, though, "Disorderlies" is no hidden gem. It is an enjoyable piece of cheese to tide you over between Criterion offerings, though.

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