The In-Laws

This was not that atrocious remake with Michael Douglass from a few years ago. This is the original, and it is far superior, and far superior to any modern day frat pack comedy. Of course, they are completely different comedic styles. The frat pack comedies like Anchorman arecartoonish. They are like live animation Looney Toons. From the immediate first second of the film, the movie needs to be funny, but not just funny, absolutely absurd. The In-Laws slowly descends into insanity. It begins as a normal film. The first somewhat absurd but still funny moment occurs twenty to thirty minutes into the film. However, in the last thirty minutes it is just one ridiculous event after another.

Both actors are superb in their performances. Peter Falk plays an insane CIA agent; however, he is not a lunatic like General Garcia (Richard Libertini) at the end of the film. He has more of a quiet insanity one would expect from a spy. He talks about beaked flies the says of eagles carrying away babies as if it is common knowledge. Then he states their is incredible bureaucratic red tape in jungle due to the Guacamole Act of 1917 that will not allow the extermination of these frightening flies. Later he speaks matter-of-factly about his profession as a CIA agent in a bar with a cab driver. My favorite scene, however, is when he casually speaks with Allan Arkin about his pea soup after the two of them escaped a fire fight.

Alan Arkin is an astounding straight man with lines like, "Beaks. Flies with beaks." He also actually becomes progressively more insane as movie continues, which is hilarious to watch. He starts out as a calm dentist running away from trigger happy Treasury Department agents shouting, "Don't shoot me I'm a dentist," to a man who enjoys the company of General Garcia and his atrocious army choir.

The one poor spot in the film is thematic, of course. At the end of the film Arkin and Falk escape with ten million dollars from the General. They basically set up the General in a kind of espionage drug bust. They sold the General stolen confidential goods, then called in the agents to arrest him. However, they overcharged the General by ten million; therefore, they kept ten million and surrendered the other ten million over to the CIA. They also both escape punishment for stealing this cash. It would have just been simpler for them to be awarded ten million for the capture, or not even introduce it to the film.

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