"The Slammin' Salmon" DVD, Blu-ray Review

4/21/2010 Posted by Admin

DVD, Blu-ray Review

"The Slammin' Salmon"

Directed by Kevin Heffernan, Written by Jay Chandrasekhar, Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske, 98 Minutes, rated R.

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

Broken Lizard, the conglomerate of comedians that make up the writers, directors and stars of "The Slammin' Salmon" and the film most people remember them for, "Super Troopers," seem to be an acquired taste. Except for "Troopers," their films generally have slipped under the radar and end up being cult favorites. There's a good chance the same will happen with "The Slammin' Salmon," which sort of meandered through its limited theatrical release and likely will find its audience on DVD. And, as one has probably come to expect from the comedy group, it's another absurd, solid effort--if you're into their brand of comedy.

The plots to their films hardly ever matter--it's mostly about putting the five members into wacky situations in different settings. "Super Troopers" made them state highway troopers, "Club Dread" made them crazy beach partygoers, "Beerfest" made them, well, beer drinkers, and "The Slammin' Salmon" makes them waiters in a five-star restaurant owned and operated by former heavyweight boxing champ Cleon "Slammin'" Salmon (Michael Clarke Duncan). After losing a bet to a Yakuza boss, Salmon tells the restaurant's head manager, Rich (Kevin Heffernan), that he needs to bring in $20,000 in one night. So, a competition starts between the waiters, hijinks ensue, etc.

Anyone who remembers the film "Waiting..." (also an acquired taste, I've found) will definitely see elements of it here. Conflicts between the waiters and the kitchen staff, inside jokes, the new guy, angry and annoying customers--it's all here, it's just taken a bit more to the extreme than the former film. I think this is mostly because Broken Lizard have no interest in conveying a believable night on a typical job.  Instead, they just want to have insane antics in a restaurant. To that end, it works enormously well.

Take this scene as a small example of how crazy this film gets. Paul Soter's character, Donnie, sets the check down on the table of a character played by Will Forte. Forte has been spending the entirety of the film at his booth reading Tolstoy's "War and Peace" and sipping tea, ordering nothing more and frustrating others waiters to the point that they handed the table off to Donnie. As Forte finishes the last page of the epic tome and rises to leave, he gives Donnie $1,000 as a tip and tells him he's recently learned he has only a month to live and just wanted to spend his last days the simplest he could. After this goofy and touching moment, Forte walks through the front doors of the restaurant, breathes in the fresh air, and is subsequently trampled by a horse. If none of that registers as funny to you, you're looking for the wrong movie. I wasn't lying when I said this was an acquired taste.

But five films in, Broken Lizard definitely have their style down perfectly. Each actor knows his typical character, they know what works and what doesn't, and despite having a rather small market for their work, they do what they want to do and they're great at it. Some jokes hit, some miss (sometimes a lot), but they don't have any qualms about revelling in the lowest of the low-brow, and if low-brow is what you like, look no further.

Grade: B-

Below is the trailer for "The Slammin' Salmon." What are your thoughts of the movie?

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  1. Spidy said...

    i shared it on facebook
    (my mail id- sam.sumitkumar@gmail.com)