Since I just watched The Three Stooges, I figured I should watch another movie about a doofus who lives in an orphanage run by a surly nun. This is actually the second time I’ve seen this, and the second time was equally forgettable.
Knucklehead (2010) stars Paul “The Big Show” Wight as a very large, but lovable and clumsy fellow who lives at a home for orphaned boys. Melora Hardin (“Jan” from The Office) works at the orphanage, and she is one of the first characters we see during the movie’s opening scene. The boys are gearing up for a production of The Wizard of Oz, with one boy taunting another about getting to be Dorothy. So, social progress, I guess. The other child is Toto, and he’s not particularly enthused. Prior to the curtain going up, we find out that the person who was going to play Glenda the Good Witch had a tummyache, or something, so that role has been recast with Walter Krunk—that’s Big Show.
At the appropriate time, Walter the Good Witch, descends from the rafters, suspended by cables, and he flies around for a bit before MALFUNCTIONZZ, and everything goes awry. Walter ends up nearly murdering numerous orphans (in an accident that is not his fault), but it ruins the show…and Walter is having a blast scaring the children to death. It’s not as malicious as I make it sound…I’m just being realistic. Basically, this was the shortest production of Oz in history, but I would have rather paid money to watch Big Show wreck shop in a tutu, anyway.
Elsewhere, the quiet guy from Armageddon is watching his son Eddie (Mark Fewe Fures the guy from Royal Pains on USA Network) trains an ex-con in the ways of MMA. While this happens, “Memphis Earl” (Dennis Farina, Snatch) walks in with his own fighter, “Redrum” (aka Terry Tate, Office Linebacker and the guy from Gears of War). Eddie owes Memphis Earl a lot of money, but his plan is to win some pro-am fighting competition with this fighter, then pay Earl what he owes. Redrum knocks out the fighter with one punch. Basically, if Eddie doesn’t pay Earl in New Orleans, Earl is going to have Redrum beat the dogpiss out of him.
Back at the orphanage, Sister Francesca tells Jan Mary that she should have gotten rid of Walter years ago; she should have forced him into the world, but she didn’t because she’s a nice lady, or whatever. Walter is in the orphanage kitchen making pancakes in his Aunt Jemima costume, while the kid who played Toto is sitting on the counter playing his Nintendo DS. Walter is trying to give him a pep talk, but the kid isn’t really listening. When Walter leaves to poop, he asks the kid to watch the food, and he doesn’t, so fire happens. The kitchen basically explodes, and since the orphanage hasn’t been paying their insurance, a guy in a sweater is going to shut them down in 10 days.
While all this is going on, Eddie shows up at the chapel to pray about making $100,000 in a short amount of time. He starts things off by being really awkward with his prayer, which is always uncomfortable to watch. He asks God for a sign, or something. Sister Francesca was in the midst of berating Walter for being a buffoon, and he admits to being a knucklehead. Then she pokes him with his cane, and he trips and falls through a window into the chapel. And that’s the sign from God Eddie needed.
Eddie is able to convince Sister Francesca to let Walter come with him and train as a fighter. The nun makes Mary go with him, because she wants to make sure the orphanage gets some money out of it, and she secretly doesn’t want Walter to die. Their first stop is a Jewish temple, where there are fights in the back. Walter, who doesn’t like to fight, dresses out in his T-shirt and underwear, which is also uncomfortable to watch. The guy he’s fighting gets tired from hitting Walter so much, then punches him in the nuts. Walter falls on top of the guy, and the guy taps out. Good grief.
The trio stop at a motel on the way to the next town, and Walter and Mary go for a walk so Walter can tell her he wants to be a hero. It’s actually kind of touching. Memphis Earl and Redrum are sitting across the street from the motel, and Earl says, “We have to make sure they never get to New Orleans.” Why? I have no idea. I guess Earl doesn’t really want his money. They go to Eddie’s motel room to try to scare him, but that’s not gonna stop Eddie.
On the road to The Next Town, the trio has bus trouble. Instead of pulling over to the side of the road when the engine starts smoking, though, Mary drives faster until the go off-road into a field and hit some sort of electrical pole. Then the bus explodes, but all are safe. The three start walking down the road, and we get a wide shot that shows just how big Paul Wight is compared to the other actors. It’s crazy. To avoid having to walk everywhere, Mary hikes up her skirt to show her leg as a cattle trailer passes, and it almost jackknifes when it tries to stop. It turns out that the driver is a) a creeper and b) transporting immigrants illegally in a trailer filled with pigs. Fortunately, our protagonists escape, and they make it to the second fight, which is in the backyard of a 10-year-old promoter’s house. While Walter is getting ready, and Eddie is giving him a really great pep talk, the kid’s father shows up and starts to dismantle the whole operation. Walter doesn’t realize that’s not the guy he’s fighting, so he runs (in hilarious slow-motion) and spears the guy through a fence. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen.
The team is down on their luck, so Mary comes up with a solution. They walk into a trailer park, knock on a door, and a buxom red-headed lady tells “Sapphire” that it’s so great to see her. Sapphire is Mary, so she was a stripper…or maybe a sex merchant. Not sure yet. Walter has a crush on the friend, though, and she remembers that there’s a fair in town where they can all work to make some money, and there’s a $500 prize for anyone who can defeat “Bare-Knuckle Dave.”
Walter gets a pre-fight makeover, where Tina the Stripper shaves his head and beard and gives him tattoos (?). In other words, now he looks like Big Show. They all go to the fair and eat funnel cakes until it’s time to fight. And then we find out that “Bare-Knuckle Dave” is actually “Bear-Knuckle Dave.” Because he’s a GD bear. Walter nearly wets his pants before he’s able to get behind the bear and choke him out for the victory. In case you’re wondering, Walter didn’t actually choke out the bear—it was a guy in a bear suit for that part. I hope Cody Rhodes just shows this movie to embarrass Big Show next time.
After the fight, the crew goes to an all-you-can-eat buffet, where Walter claims to have an iron stomach. If you’ve ever seen a movie before, you already know that he’s going to have the shits. And he does, but not until they get on a Greyhound bus to wherever they’re going. Walter’s too big for the bus’s bathroom, so he has to leave the door open, and everyone almost dies. Walter begs for forgiveness, but they’re all kicked off the bus. They finally walk to a gas station, where two dudes try to sexually assault Mary. Eddie tries to save her, but he’s a wiener, but Walter is terrifying. He growls like an enraged lion, then promptly destroys the would-be assailants. For the record, if Big Show screamed at me like that, I would shit my pants.
The palz steal the douchebags motorcycle, because theft is ok as long as it’s from terrible people, and they camp in the woods (?) for the night. While they’re roasting hotdogs over a fire, Eddie reveals that he had to retire from fighting because one of his balls got smashed, or something. Walter and Mary take turns making bawlz jokes, and Walter roars with laughter—another sound that would probably cause me to shit my pants. They’re still on the way to New Orleans, so we get a glimpse into the cinematic creativity and ingenuity of the writing/directing staff when we see a training montage. Yay. Ps Eddie wants to make sexes on Mary so much.
Finally, they make it to the smelliest city in the country, where everyone only listens to zydeco music and rides around on steamboats—not of the Ricky the Dragon variety. That’s not how New Orleans is, but if you get past the hobo piss and stagnant water smells downtown, it’s actually rich with culture and it can be a really beautiful place. Of course, of all the places these guys could go in the city, they pick the dirtiest country bar. I hope there’s karaoke and Mary starts singing “That One Night” by what’s-his-name. She gets trashed on a giant margarita at about the same time she notices their waitress hitting on Eddie. She confronts the waitress, who rips off her own clothes and challenges Mary to settle their differences with mud wrestling. Mary responds with a spinning heel kick to her effing face, knocking the lady into the pool of mud. The end. Of that part—not the movie.
Tina the Stripper surprises Walter in New Orleans with a robe and some fighting trunks that have a bear with Xs over its eyes on them. Because he’s Walter the Bear Breaker, or something. Eddie finagles Walter’s way into the 30th Annual New Orleans Pro-Am 5K Fight Race for the Cure Championships, and he HULK SMASHES his way through the competition until he gets to Redrum. Duh. If this movie was just 90 minutes of Big Show beating the hell out of dudes, it would be way cooler. Mary goes to the bathroom, and Memphis Earl joins her because he’s a sex offender and he wants them to know that he’s kidnapped Walter’s little buddy from the orphanage. The search is on for the kid, because he’s gotta be somewhere (the nuns are there looking for him, too), and Eddie tells Walter, “Let’s not just do this, let’s step up to this!” I have absolutely no idea what that means. The fight happens and Walter wins with Hell’s Gate, because…I dunno why. Memphis Earl goes to jail, the kid is safe, the orphanage gets money and everyone lives happily ever after, I guess. There’s a little more that makes it even more sappy, but you can watch the movie if you want to see what it is.
As I said in the intro, this was a completely forgettable movie. The story is slightly touching, because I have a heart and I understand the importance of forgiveness, etc. Really, it wasn’t the worst movie ever, because all of the actors were just fine. For what it was—a feel-good comedy with a message—it was ok. There were some major indicators of laziness-in-writing, but I didn’t expect much from the movie, anyway. Big Show was good in his role as the doofus-turned-hero-after-MMA-training, but his acting career is always going to be limited because of his size. He’s a funny guy, though. It’s not a movie you have to see…ever…but it’s better than some of the other stuff I’ve watched lately. The Commando-meter is showing a 3 for this one.
That’s it for this week. Next week I’ll try to have the list of movies I’ve done in the past, but I still welcome your suggestions for future columns. Also next week, I will be watching Almighty Thor, starring Kevin Nash as Thor’s father, Odin. I’m excited for The Avengers next weekend (going to see it for my birthday), so I figured that would be perfect.
Don’t forget about my RAINN fundraiser. If you can donate anything, even $1, RAINN will match your donation, as long as you get it in by 4/30. Loyal Reader Cody was kind enough to make a donation earlier this week, and for that I am incredibly grateful. Here is the link.
Thanks for reading.
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