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The Man Who Knew Too Little

Year: 1997
Production Co: Regency Enterprises
Director: Jon Amiel
Producer: Arnon Milchan
Cast: Bill Murray, Peter Gallagher, Joanne Whalley, Alfred Molina
The last of the slapstick Bill Murray comedies, after which Hollywood's A class discovered the wonders of his sardonic dryness. Post Lost in Translation, Coffee and Cigarettes and Broken Flowers, he'd no sooner appear in another lazy studio comedy than he would voice Garfield. Er...

It's a bit of a one-joke comedy as he plays Wally, an American who's come to see his brother Richie (Gallagher) in London. With Richie pitching to some important German investors for the night, he just wants to get rid of his embarrassing brother, so he offers to buy him one of those night-long adventure set-ups like we saw in Fincher's The Game.

Except that when Wally goes for the first clue in a phone booth, he mistakenly picks up a note that leads him on a real case of international intrigue involving a high level assassination. The joke is that at every step, Wally's blissfully unaware he's mixed up in real danger, having such a great time playing the game his ignorance unwittingly saves his life time and again.

It might otherwise wear thin if it wasn't for Murray's trademark persona, and while not the arthouse territory he occupies today, it's great fun if you're a fan. He has the unique ability to seem like a bumbling innocent and a sarcastic cynic all at once.

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