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With: Michael Clarke Duncan, April Bowlby, Kevin Heffernan, Jay Chandrasekhar, Paul Soter, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, Jeff Chase, Carla Gallo, Michael Yurchak, Nat Faxon, Cobie Smulders, Carrie Clifford, Will Forte, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Olivia Munn, Jim Gaffigan, Koji Kataoka, Smith Cho, Vivica A. Fox, Morgan Fairchild, Lance Henriksen
Written by: Kevin Heffernan, Jay Chandrasekhar, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske
Directed by: Kevin Heffernan
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language and sexual references
Running Time: 98
Date: 01/17/2009

The Slammin' Salmon (2009)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Fish Blank

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

On their fourth feature film, the Broken Lizard ensemble is fresh-faced and ready to embarrass themselves with and endless string of vulgar, profanity-filled and sex-related dialogue, even if they aren't quite ready to deal with adult relationships or emotions. Likewise, the humor isn't particularly intelligent or memorable, but occasionally, some of these shallow jokes will stick and cause giggles even in the stiffest of viewers.

A former boxing champ Cleon "Slammin'" Salmon (Michael Clarke Duncan) runs a popular and well-regarded seafood restaurant. He announces that he needs to make $20,000 in one night to pay off a gambling debt, even though it has never before been done. So the house manager (Kevin Heffernan) cooks up a contest to get the waiters motivated into selling more food and drinks. Unfortunately, just about everything goes wrong: one character goes off his meds, another gets burned in the face, and yet another swallows an expensive engagement ring. The customers cause more problems, such as a man who takes up an entire booth for the evening to read "War and Peace" and drink lemon water. Can this hapless wait staff pull it together and save the day?

Oscar-nominee Duncan (The Green Mile) is a high point, playing a spoiled, privileged, retired boxing champ who usually gets his way, and if he doesn't, he's ready to use his fists; he wears his stupidity proudly and cheerfully. Actor-director Kevin Heffernan captures a fairly real workplace atmosphere, even if most of the incidents there are the stuff of low comedy and old films. Overall, the movie is harmless, and will mostly appeal to already-converted Broken Lizard fans.

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