- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 11, 2005

The biggest shock in 1999’s “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo” wasn’t the tawdry bits or politically insensitive gags — it was that bit player Rob Schneider could carry a movie on his slim shoulders.

He tried twice more with “Animal” (2001) and “Hot Chick” (2002), but clearly his mojo was waning.

Now comes the belated “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo,” a possible last gasp for Mr. Schneider to prove he belongs in the Adam Sandler echelon of lowbrow comic screen actors.

Seventy-seven minutes of infantile gags later, the jury’s still out.

“European Gigolo” cranks out the smutty humor with alacrity, the kind of shtick any half-rate comic could sell. Yet Mr. Schneider rallies whenever he stops bulging his eyes and starts talking to his “dates,” a group of women even more dysfunctional than the original’s batch of beauties.

Tragedy has struck our favorite male prostitute since last we met. His one-legged bride got gobbled up by a shark during a trip to Mexico, and he can’t let go of her memory — or her prosthetic leg.

A moderately funny set piece sends Deuce to Amsterdam for a reunion with his old pimp, T.J. (the ever electric Eddie Griffin). Their joy is short-lived, since someone is killing the city’s male gigolos, and T.J. is the prime suspect.

To clear his friend’s name, Deuce returns to the oldest profession to find the real killer.

The setup, and it’s not bad for a flimsy and rather short sequel, lets Deuce be Deuce, meaning that he has comical run-ins with unconventional women. We get the oversized gal with a monstrous baby boy, a woman with a tracheal hole perfect for spitting out wine, and the lass from Chernobyl who has a most unexpected male organ where her nose ought to be.

Let’s not forget his new love interest Eva (Hanna Verboom), whose obsessive-compulsive disorder is played for even more guilt-ridden guffaws.

These scenes are both the film’s comic high points, for those with thick skins, and the reason we care about Deuce in the first place. Mr. Schneider, for all his groin-busting high jinks, is utterly endearing when comforting his clients. There’s nothing sexual about it — he merely treats their eccentricities as normal and the gals subsequently swoon.

It’s a formula perfected in the first film, and it hasn’t gone sour yet.

We even get a sappy denouement where the collective man-whores get a lesson in what women really want from ol’ Deuce.

However, these sequences can only go on so long. The rest of “European Gigolo” features nonstop sexual puns, gross-out slapstick that pushes the boundaries of its R rating and a sort of Dutch for Dummies aimed at those unfamiliar with the “anything goes” city.

Buoyed by authentic Amsterdam locales, “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” doesn’t reek of desperation, but it also doesn’t demand that Mr. Schneider turn in his sidekick card just yet.


TITLE: “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo”

RATING: R (Sexual situations, coarse humor, nudity and drug use)

CREDITS: Directed by Mike Bigelow. Written by Rob Schneider, David Garrett and Jason Ward based on characters created by Mr. Schneider and Harris Goldberg.

RUNNING TIME: 77 minutes

WEB SITE: www.sonypictures.



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