The Pest

on February 07, 1997 by Dwayne E. Leslie
   Peter Sellers, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy and Jim Carrey are members of an elite multiple-personality-portrayal group. John Leguizamo ("Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet") is extremely talented and has what it takes to gain membership to that clan, but he hasn't found the right vehicle to gain such entre with "The Pest." Here, Leguizamo plays a con man who becomes a human target for a collector ("Ferris Bueller's Day Off's" Jeffrey Jones) who literally wants the head of a "Latinicus Spicticus" to add to his trophy case. If the con man can survive for 24 hours, however, he gets $50,000--which would come in quite handy, that being the exact amount he owes the Scottish mob. Along with staying alive, he must also keep a dinner date with his girlfriend to meet her parents.
   During the course of the film, Leguizamo's character changes into a visually impaired person, a Chinese delivery boy, an African-American boyfriend and a Japanese karaoke crooner/businessman, to name but a few. His funniest bit comes as the delivery boy, who leaves his boss at the Chinese restaurant puzzling over the slang variation of Chinese he speaks. But this Latin-laced "Ace Ventura" wannabe is likely to be one of the worst films of the year. Its biggest problem: The script and Leguizamo's talents don't mesh, so the actor comes off as more offensive than funny. Also, the filmmakers don't let a good supporting cast pull their own weight; Leguizamo gets all the funny lines, even though he's not the only comedian onscreen. Starring John Leguizamo, Jeffrey Jones and Edoardo Ballerini. Directed by Paul Miller. Written by David Bar Katz. Produced by Sid, Jon and Bill Sheinberg. A TriStar release. Comedy. Rated PG-13 for crude sexual, scatological and ethnic humor. Running time: 82 min
Tags: John Leguizamo, Jeffrey Jones, Edoardo Ballerini, Paul Miller, David Bar Katz, Sid Sheinberg, Jon Sheinberg, Bill, Sheinberg, TriStar, Comedy, sexual, humor, scatological, personality

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