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MAN WHO KNEW TOO LITTLE

SYNOPSIS:
Wallace Richie (Bill Murray), an American from Iowa, celebrates his birthday by purchasing a plane ticket and flying to see his brother James (Peter Gallagher) and sister-in-law Barbara (Anna Chancellor) in London. Though James is delighted to see Wallace, the visit comes at an inopportune time as he is on the verge of closing a big deal with German businessmen; a wild card like Wallace is far from what he needs. For a birthday present, James gives Wallace an evening's participation in the ‘Theatre of Life’, an experimental form of entertainment that allows normal people to act out their fantasies. But instead of participating, Wallace accidentally intercepts a phone call intended for a real hit man; as a result, becomes embroiled in a web of espionage, attempted assassinations, and a would-be terrorist attack at the signing of a peace treaty between Russia and England.

"It may have sounded good on paper, but this tiresome adaptation of some lesser known novel is just simply a bore. Perhaps it's because the film tries too hard to be too many things, or perhaps director Jon Amiel, who has done some interesting work in the past, has no idea how to shape a comedy. One would imagine, by the film's title, that we would be seeing some kind of homage to Hitchcock's acclaimed Man who knew Too Much, but instead, this is a confusing, over- plotted attempted parody of secret agents. Surely this has been done to death, and far more effectively. The pace is plodding, Bill Murray is his usual annoying self, and one wonders what it was that attracted Joanne Whalley, Peter Gallagher, Alfred Molina (who has his moments) and Geraldine James, to this curious hotch-potch. There are some amusing moments, including a deftly choreographed Russian dance sequence towards the end, but it's too little too late. This is the comic dud of the year."
Paul Fischer

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 2
Mixed: 1
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MAN WHO KNEW TOO LITTLE, THE (PG)
(US)

 

CAST: Bill Murray, Peter Gallagher, Joanne Whalley, Alfred Molina, Richard Wilson, Geraldine James, John Standing, Anna Chancellor, Nicholas Woodeson, Simon Chandler

DIRECTOR: Jon Amiel

PRODUCER: Milchan, Michael Nathanson, Mark Tarlov

SCRIPT: Robert Farrar, Howard Franklin (based on the novel Watch That Man by Farrar)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Robert Stevens

EDITOR: Pamela Power

MUSIC: Chris Young

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jim Clay

RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes

 

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: May 7, 1998







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