The Scoop: 1993 PG, directed by Robert Klane and starring Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman, and Terry Kiser
Tagline: Bernie’s back… and he’s still dead!
Summary Capsule: Voodoo animates Bernie; nothing else animates this movie.
Justin’s Rating: Two dolts and a corpse walk into a bar… OUCH.
Justin’s Review: After having seen both Bernie movies, I’m sent away with a pretty poor dowry. I learned that even a surefire premise such as “Two wacky guys pretend that a dead guy is still living” can be mishandled dramatically if left to the wrong hands. I discovered that Bernie died with his eyebrows raised high. And I felt a twinge of sadness for the passing of Andrew McCarthy’s career (as for Jonathan Silverman… well, did he ever have a career?).
Weekend At Bernie’s 2 returns to the unfunny land of necrofakery, with disastrous results. I’m not a huge fan by any means of the first Bernie’s, a guilty pleasure that, if made into a sporting event, would be attended by a throng of people wearing sacks on their heads, afraid to show their faces. I had no real desire to catch up on the ever-expanding adventures of a guy rotting and the idiots manipulating him, other than a completist attitude and a morbid curiosity about a film that many people are still spitting out of their mouths.
Listen, you’re a busy person, and I’m a busy internet celebrity, so I’ll cut it short: Bernie’s 2 is no Bernie’s 1, and Bernie’s 1 was no Bernie’s 1, if you get my drift. Actually, you might not. That sentence sort of derailed and many innocent cows were killed.
After a weekend of debauchery at the expense of dead Bernie (Terry Kiser), life-mates Larry (McCarthy) and Richard (Jonathan) find themselves sort of screwed. Bernie is taken from the morgue, they get blamed for Bernie’s previous thievery of the company and are fired, and there’s the small matter of two million (which is, like, twice as big as a million) dollars that Bernie took and is up for grabs. Oh, and Bernie subsequently gets a voodoo spell planted on his rotting flesh, which animates him into dancing toward the money if music is playing somewhere near.
No, I didn’t just make up that previous sentence. It’s really that dumb.
Thus begins a descent into 90 minutes of wild antics on the screen, and stony silence from you. It’s so profoundly unfunny that each pratfall, each “outrageous” setup, each moment of corpse abuse is akin to a firm mallet blow to your forehead followed by a commanding “NO!” to reinforce your punishment. Larry and Richard are not funny, nor likable, nor that watchable. It’s not a promising start. The two voodoo-casting criminals chasing them are… ghastly… in their attempts to be both intimidating and comedic foils. The company spy sent to take about a billion pictures of our heroes is… well, he takes pictures a lot and then falls down. A lot. Bernie does a lot of dancing, which has the effect of making me think, “This guy got a fat paycheck for just wriggling around? Where the heck do I sign up for this?”
But at least there are slim women in bikinis. That’s got to count for something in the pursuit of artistic excellence, yes?
- Is It Worth Staying Through End Credits? “No animals or corpses were harmed in the filming of this motion picture.”
Richard: Why would you need to guard a dead man stuck in a two foot refrigerator?
Richard: Stealing shoes off a dead man. Oh, we’re going to hell.
Richard: What kind of idiots would steal a dead body?
Larry: We did!
If you liked this movie, try these:
- Weekend at Bernie’s
- Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach