Crap­py­time Mur­ders

The less said about this adult pup­pet ca­per, the bet­ter

Calgary Herald - - MOVIES - CHRIS KNIGHT ck­[email protected]­media.com

THE HAP­PY­TIME MUR­DERS

★ out of 5

Cast: Bill Bar­retta, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Ru­dolph

Di­rec­tor: Brian Hen­son

Du­ra­tion: 1h31m What can be said about the very adult, not very funny film

The Hap­py­time Mur­ders? Well, it fea­tures a Los An­ge­les cop­turned-pri­vate-de­tec­tive try­ing to solve the mount­ing homi­cides of the cast of a ’90s chil­dren’s show called The Hap­py­time Gang.

Phil Philips, P.I. (Bill Bar­retta) is hard-drink­ing, hard-boiled and says hardly orig­i­nal things like: “I was a cop, and a damn good one.” The cast of The Hap­py­time Gang — El­iz­a­beth Banks is their most rec­og­niz­able face — has fallen on hard times, ad­dicted to var­i­ous un­healthy sub­stances and life­styles, but stands to make a killing in roy­alty cheques as the show re­turns to TV. Hence the mur­ders — the fewer sur­vivors, the more each of them will make.

Philips’ former po­lice part­ner is played by Melissa McCarthy, ba­si­cally do­ing a ver­sion of her char­ac­ter from Heat, ex­cept that was writ­ten by Katie Dip­pold (Parks and Re­cre­ation), whereas this one comes from the pen of Todd Berger (The Smurfs: The Leg­end of Smurfy Hol­low). McCarthy’s boss is a gruff lieu­tenant (Les­lie David Baker) with a habit of sus­pend­ing of­fi­cers who don’t mea­sure up; wish that Berger’s boss, di­rec­tor Brian Hen­son, had that kind of moxie.

The pair’s in­ves­ti­ga­tions take them into slums, drug dens, porn shops and strip clubs, all of them set­ting up two va­ri­eties of bor­ing, fluid-based in-your-face hu­mour: jokes you’ve prob­a­bly seen done bet­ter else­where; and jokes you re­ally don’t want to see done at all. Back at Philips’ Mar­loweesque of­fice we meet his re­cep­tion­ist Bub­bles (Maya Ru­dolph, wasted) and his client San­dra (Dorien Davies), a red-haired red her­ring.

The film’s fran­tic pace means you’ll be in and out of The Hap­py­time Mur­ders in 91 min­utes; less if you leave be­fore the cred­its, which in­clude a brief mu­sic video and out­takes that aren’t any fun­nier than the main fea­ture.

I can’t think of any­thing else to say about the film — oh, ex­cept that the cast is mostly pup­pets.

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