The Adventures of Pluto Nash

Bomb Rating: 

Any film with a main, repeating joke of Randy Quaid dropping his pants, bending over, and mooning the audience while bouncing his sagging scrotum off the fat of his inner thighs is a film that automatically garners a nuke. Furthermore, when the studio (in this case, Warner Bros.) creates a promotional item to celebrate this fact (they've made a keychain that features two shriveled walnut-looking things dangling from a metal ring with the word "Go" on one and "Nash" on the other), you know Hollywood has finally hit rock bottom and that the cache of qualified marketing interns has dried up entirely.

Naturally, given that Pluto (Eddie Murphy) is the owner of a bar on the moon, the preceding joke comes as the result of the following question: "How do you get to Uranus?" Pluto is so named because of a sex act he invented, which involves a quartet of disabled midgets and the song "Hot-Blooded" by Foreigner. This gets Nash in trouble on Earth, where it's declared that anybody who would choose "Hot-Blooded" over "Double Vision" must be from Pluto, so he's exiled to the moon. Pluto opens a bar where the Pluto Nash is performed secretly in the back. Unfortunately, a local gangster, Felix Laranga (Luis Guzman) has a cousin who's a midget, and he shakes Pluto down for the money he's been making off this obvious exploitation of short people (though Randy Newman's inspired soundtrack does add a touch of class to the otherwise tasteless proceedings.)

Sadly, the only character in the movie who's been to Uranus is Pluto's head bartender, Dina Lake (Rosario Dawson), who's then constantly asked, "What do you like on Uranus?" Laranga sends his henchmen, Tony (Jay Mohr), Rowland (Peter Boyle), and Gino (Burt Young) to kill Nash after Nash refuses to pay up. Their preferred method of torture is to beat their victims to death with dyslexic baby seals while screaming anti-Castro slogans at the top of their lungs. This sends Nash on the run with Dina in tow, and the two almost fall in love in the process, but Pluto quickly discovers that Dina has a nervous tic that causes her to spit all the time. For her part, Dina doesn't much care for Pluto's constant insistence that she have her legs amputated at the knees.

Amazingly, the ending of "Pluto Nash" is actually a letdown compared to the rest of this unscreenably awful film. Pluto and Dina hide out at his mother's house, where the three of them spend the next 15 minutes of screen time playing bridge and drinking melon schnapps. Finally, as the mob approaches, Pluto steals a space ship and heads out of the solar system. As he passes Jupiter, sensors pick up a secret cavern on the next planet whose entrance is located near one of its poles. Consequently, Pluto escapes danger and certain death by flying straight up Uranus.

No wonder my screening was so sparsely attended. Or perhaps it was the fact that the advance word on "Pluto Nash" is so bad that the cowardly studio declined to provide an advance screening of any kind in my area, meaning that I had to stare at a blank screen for two hours and make stuff up. The above is probably close enough. It might even be better than the movie.

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