The Whole Nine Yards
by Tom Meek
Getting to know your neighbor in suburbia can be treacherous business,
especially if he's a hit man. In this case our timid homebody is Nick (Matthew
Perry), a dentist trapped in a torturous marriage and saddled with debt. During
the welcome-wagon congenialities he realizes that his new neighbor, Jimmy Jones
(Bruce Willis), is really Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski, the notorious enforcer for
the Chicago mob turned informant. What Nick doesn't know is that his conniving
wife (Rosanna Arquette, appropriately over-the-top) has put a contract on his
head. Is the hitter his new pal Jimmy, his incorrigible dental assistant
(Amanda Peet), or some other John Gotti wanna-be?
Add to the uneasy buddy chemistry -- à la Analyze This -- between
Perry and Willis an uproariously perky Peet and you create a charming comic
veneer, but the other plot threads -- involving a Chicago posse en route to
Montreal to take out Jimmy, Nick falling for Tudeski's wife (the ever alluring
Natasha Henstridge), and the presence of Jimmy's sidekick, Frankie Figs
(Michael Duncan) -- are largely detracting. The Eastern European accent Kevin
Pollak sports in the role of a crime boss is atrocious, and the film needlessly
spills over into multiple, post-climatic endings. The Whole Nine Yards
doesn't go the whole 10.
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