Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Delta Farce

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Xenophobic, homophobic and humor-phobic, Delta Farce is so screamingly awful it might also create audience phobia of ever dropping nine bucks at the multiplex again.

A witless comedy "vehicle" for the talents of Daniel Whitney (aka Larry the Cable Guy), Farce is more like the rusted old pickup on a neighbor's lawn: a broken down embarrassment that's going nowhere. Larry stars alongside "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" drinking bud Bill Engvall and human toothpick DJ Qualls, as the most bumbling buck privates since Abbott and Costello. Apparently the Army is so desperate for bodies that these beef-jerky-chewing weekend-warriors get hastily shipped off to Iraq, but somehow manage to fall out of the troop carrier somewhere over the Mexican desert.

Believing they're in a combat zone, the gung-ho nitwits set off to battle insurgents, randomly shooting at two innocent hombres (and a burro), because, well, all brown people look alike. Borrowing pages from Stripes and Three Amigos, our trio of dipshits end up defending a friendly village from marauding banditos, engaging in a cultural exchange program consisting mostly of fart jokes.

Danny Trejo, best known as "that dude with the knives" from all those Robert Rodriguez movies, has a good time spoofing his macho image as a snarling gang leader called — and what could be the most popular Latino name to Yanks? — Carlos Santana. That's about the best gag the movie has to offer, and it gets used time and again, in between spastic bits of slapstick and desperate camera mugging. Prolific actor Keith David takes a break from narrating documentaries long enough to bellow through his part here as the boys' hardcore sarge. But after a valiant effort, David loses the fight for dignity against overwhelming odds.

In a certain way, the flick is a throwback, with a style of corny boot-leather comedy not seen since Martin and Lewis were At War with the Army. Indeed, it'd be easy to write Farce off as a harmless bit of piffle, if it weren't so aggressively stupid, offensive and insistent on racial and cultural ignorance. It's one thing for Larry to confuse a mural of Pancho Villa for Saddam Hussein, it's quite another to claim it reminds him of the "Indian guy that works at the Circle K." While he makes himself the brunt of most jokes, it's hard to shake the notion that "Larry" is smugly folding his fat, sleeveless arms in superiority over both those dirty foreigners and the unwashed NASCAR Nation that loves him so.

Corey Hall writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to


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