Trashing “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” seems pointless, even a bit cliched.
Film critics clearly aren't the target audience for this sequel, as we weren't for its predecessor, “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.” What we say won't matter now, as it didn't matter then. (The first movie made about $65 million, which probably doesn't sound like a major box-office haul, but it was a lot more money back in 1999.)
Then again, “European Gigolo” itself is pointless, and more than a bit cliched. It is a nearly rote remake of the original movie, with the gross-out adventures taking place in Amsterdam instead of Malibu. And though it sounds impossible, it's even cruder and less coherent than the first. But what else would you expect? You don't walk into A Happy Madison Production for the intellectual stimulation.
The movie has an episodic, sketch-comedy nature that renders the jokes and gags hit-or-miss, with a vast majority falling into the latter category. Of course, that was also true of the original “Deuce Bigalow,” but at least earlier effort provided an unexpected guilty pleasure now and then. With this sequel — directed by Mike Bigelow (no relation) and written by star Rob Schneider with David Garrett and Jason Ward — we've already seen it all.
As hapless, clueless aquarium cleaner Deuce Bigalow, “Saturday Night Live” alum Schneider again must reluctantly squire a series of circus-freak caliber women to get out of a jam. This time, he's trying to help prove that his old friend and pimp, T.J. Hicks (Eddie Griffin in blue-beaded cornrows), did not murder a series of famous European gigolos, or "man-whores," he's accused of killing.
Deuce, who gave up the business after marrying the perky, blond Kate from the first film (whose death in a shark attack during their honeymoon is played for uncomfortable laughs), returns to man-whoring to meet the dead gigolos' clients and collect clues. He also finds time to woo the exceedingly cute Eva, a painter with obsessive-compulsive disorder played by Cheryl Tiegs look-alike Hanna Verboom.
As in “Male Gigolo,” Deuce's dates include a frighteningly tall woman, but there's also a lady with a hunchback, another with enormous ears, another who speaks with a microphone through a hole in her trachea. The humor is supposed to be outrageous but instead falls flat.
The most crass of all is a Russian woman whose mother was exposed to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl while she was pregnant. The daughter has male genitalia in the place of a nose, which she covers by wearing a veil; let's just say that when she sneezes, that's not snot flying across the restaurant and into people's food.
The bit is not offensive — it's just plain yucky. Far more disturbing is the homophobic vibe that permeates the whole picture. Making fun of homosexuality seems to be the one area of humor that has yet to be ruled off-limits by political correctness; such jokes also appeared in the far superior "Wedding Crashers" earlier this summer.
Here, T.J. the pimp grows increasingly agitated with the assumption that he is gay, based on the fact that he keeps getting caught in compromising positions with the dead gigolos. A newspaper headline blares: "Man-whore killer at large, extremely gay." A TV news report states that the latest killing is his gayest yet, etc.
T.J. repeatedly exclaims, "I ain't gay!" or some variation thereof. It's not funny the first time, it's not funny the 20th time — it's just stupid, small-minded screenwriting.