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Re­sults, com­edy, rated R, Vi­o­let Crown, 1.5 chiles

In What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, Woody Allen’s 1966 sendup of dubbed Asian movies, the evil gang­ster Wing Fat walks past a row of pros­ti­tutes and rec­og­nizes one. “This is my mother,” he tells the hero. “We’re very close. Isn’t she sweet? And the best thing about her is, she can re­ally take a punch.” And he gives her a hard right to the gut.

What Allen did was take a Ja­panese spy movie and dub it with com­pletely ir­rel­e­vant dia­logue, turn­ing a bad thriller into a hi­lar­i­ous com­edy about a race to re­cover the world’s best egg salad recipe. I bring this up for a cou­ple of rea­sons.

First, the ac­tion, such as it is, of An­drew Bu­jal­ski’s Re­sults takes off from the ar­rival of pudgy mil­lion­aire Danny (Kevin Cor­ri­gan) at a Texas gym owned by Aussie fit­ness guru Trevor (Guy Pearce). Danny wants to get in shape. “Why?” Trevor asks. “So I can take a punch,” Danny says. It makes no more sense in Bu­jal­ski’s “com­edy” than it did in Allen’s. And it’s not as funny.

The other way What’s Up, Tiger Lily? is rel­e­vant here is that Re­sults might be more en­ter­tain­ing if it were all dubbed into Ja­panese.

The theme, as it stands, seems to be the fu­til­ity of the no­tion that by ex­er­cis­ing com­plete con­trol over our bod­ies, we can also take con­trol of our lives. Trevor is cer­tainly in en­vi­able shape, and it’s fun to watch Pearce flex and con­tort through cal­is­then­ics ad­mirable for a man ap­proach­ing the mid-cen­tury mark. The top trainer at his gym, Power 4 Life, is Kat (Co­bie Smul­ders of How I Met Your Mother), a lithe, long-limbed woman tough in body and spirit. She and Trevor ap­pear to have a bit of a thing go­ing, but nei­ther of them seems to want to take pos­ses­sion of it, and when she nabs the as­sign­ment as Danny’s per­sonal trainer, mak­ing house calls to his man­sion, she winds up in the sack with him as well. Cor­ri­gan gets the best mo­ments, such as they are, spread­ing his newly-in­her­ited mil­lions with care­less aban­don, in­hal­ing pizza and beer, and even­tu­ally tak­ing a punch to the gut. Gio­vanni Ribisi turns up as a mum­bling lawyer help­ing Trevor to put to­gether a deal to ac­quire a larger space for a new, state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity to whip body, mind, and spirit into peak con­di­tion.

Re­sults stum­bles through a num­ber of ill-de­fined plot threads, and even­tu­ally makes its way to a valen­tine end­ing, but it never man­ages to make any real con­nec­tion with its au­di­ence. There are a few laughs, but they’re eked out par­si­mo­niously over the hour and 45 min­utes this movie asks of us. As a com­edy, it could use a good egg salad recipe.

— Jonathan Richards

Gym rats: Kevin Cor­ri­gan and Guy Pearce

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