Broken Lizard troupe stumbles again in ‘Slammin’ Salmon’

  • By Robert Horton Herald Movie Critic
  • Thursday, December 10, 2009 12:52pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

I never thought “Beerfest” would look good in retrospect, but perhaps I was wrong.

Here’s a new one from the Broken Lizard comedy group, the boys whose gross-out wallow “Beerfest” was a steep falling-off from their funniest picture, “Super Troopers.” We won’t mention “Club Dread,” an out-and-out Broken Lizard dud.

“The Slammin’ Salmon” is set inside a Miami restaurant, where the owner, a former heavyweight boxing champ (Michael Clarke Duncan), tells his waitstaff he must make an enormous amount of money in a single night to pay off a mob debt. Chaos ensues.

Naturally, most of the waiters are the Broken Lizard boys. Kevin Heffernen, who also directed this outing, plays the manager, an unfortunate man who ingests a diamond ring that a wealthy patron was planning to give to his fiance this evening.

Jay Chandrasekhar gets a few laughs by playing a waiter off his medication, Steve Lemme is an ex-actor who returns to waiting tables after getting fired from a TV series, Eric Stolhanske is a leering lech and Paul Soter plays two roles.

The BL crew is joined by April Bowlby and Cobie Smulders, two actresses with a taste for slapstick. They’d better have a taste for slapstick, because the humor hereabouts is crude.

When you find yourself typing the sentence, “Michael Clarke Duncan displays the subtlest comic touch in the movie,” you know the movie in question is probably pretty broad.

The spectacle of the staff waiting for the diamond ring to re-emerge is the least of the movie’s transgressions against taste. But then we expect that from the “Beerfest” creators.

But taste is one thing, funny is another. I would have no problem with this movie’s rampant crassness if only it were really, really funny. Hey, Cloris Leachman was funny in “Beerfest,” and she did a few unspeakable things.

Not only is the humor off, the cast has an annoying tendency to laugh at each other’s jokes onscreen. Nothing kills a gag like pretend laughter in response to it, and “The Slammin’ Salmon” has too much of that. Also, no Cloris Leachman.

“The Slammin’ Salmon”

The staff at a Miami restaurant goes crazy one night trying to set a sales record for their in-debt owner (Michael Clarke Duncan) — a situation that ought to provide some opportunities for the Broken Lizard comedy troupe, but that ends up with lots of bad taste and too few laughs.

Rated: R for language, subject matter

Showing: Uptown

Talk to us

More in Life

FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2013 file photo, Elvin Bishop performs at the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary celebration in Milwaukee, Wis. Bishop, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Johnson, John Mayall and the Memphis Jug Band were inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis, Tenn., on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. (Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Invision for Invision/AP, File)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Elvin Bishop will join fellow bluesman Charlie Musselwhite on stage in Edmonds on May 25.

789_speller: Olive Ostrovsky (played Abby Price) concentrates on her spelling word while her competitors, played by (from left) Amanda Petrowski, Alexa Soriano, Haylie Conchelos, and (back row) Jackson Zimmerman try to distract her in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” running May 26-June 11 at Red Curtain Arts Center in Marysville.(Kenny Randall)
‘Spelling Bee’ wraps up Marysville theater’s 2022-23 season

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” will run May 26-June 11 at Red Curtain Arts Center.

Just outside Kraków, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is filled with salt sculptures – and tourists.
Rick Steves’ Europe: Kraków weaves a vibrant cultural tapestry

It’s Poland’s cultural and intellectual center, and easily the nation’s best destination.

Do I express my feelings or keep them to myself?

It might be difficult, but communicating uneasy feelings is an important part of taking care of yourself.

American Queen Voyages takes five months to process refund

May Youngclaus has been waiting months for a refund from American Queen Voyages. Is her money lost at sea?

Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

Thousands walk the streets of downtown Everett with cameras in hand for return of Cruzin’ to Colby Monday afternoon in Everett, Washington on May 28, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Everett’s Cruzin’ to Colby car show is ‘place to play on Memorial Day’

And it’s free! Last year’s event drew 50,000 people downtown to see hundreds of gleaming hot rods and cool cars.

“The Tree Frame Cabin” at the site of the Index Cabins, also known as The Pietsch Pit, in Index, Washington on Friday, March 31, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
The Index Cabins showcase Sky Valley beauty — and millions of years of history

Nick and Nassim Pietsch’s property offers six ways to see your surroundings in a new light.

Firearm discovered by TSA officers at Paine Field Thursday morning, May 11, 2023, during routine X-ray screening at the security checkpoint. (Transportation Security Administration)
3 guns caught by TSA at Paine Field this month — all loaded

Simple travel advice: Unpack before you pack to make sure there’s not a gun in your carry-on.

Home Garden Briefly: Mill Creek Garden Tour & Artisan Market

Mill Creek Garden Tour & Artisan Market returns For the seventh time,… Continue reading

The delicate pink flowers of Soapwort are just one part of the tapestry of blooming ground covers in Steve Smith’s garden right now. (Getty Images)
Lament slow growth no longer: Our gardens they are a-changin’

What a difference a few weeks can make! A late-spring surge never fails to keep things interesting.

Eagles are a powerful symbol in American designs from the Great Seal to everyday decorative arts. A carved eagle holds up this table’s faux marble top.
Colonial Revival pieces celebrate American history with classic symbols

Stars and stripes, Uncle Sam, Lady Liberty and, of course, eagles often appear in works from this period.