Wise Guys | Chicago Reader

Wise Guys

Ponderous, predictable, and unfunny, this gangster comedy was directed by Brian De Palma, though apart from a few of his characteristic symmetry gags in the opening sequences, it's indistinguishable from the work of any average TV hack. The characters are shudderingly familiar—Danny DeVito is a cocky runt, Joe Piscopo is a gangly innocent—and the situations were used up by Danny Kaye and Bob Hope about 40 years ago: they're minor mafiosi who go on the run when they loose a bundle of their boss's money. The standard signs of desperation are all there: ethnic jokes, outrageous mugging, and clumsy slapstick. With Harvey Keitel and Ray Sharkey.

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