Saturday, October 29, 2016

Movie Review: "The Man With Two Brains" (1983)

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Movie"The Man With Two Brains"
Director: Carl Reiner
Year: 1983
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr (Steve Martin) is the world's leading brain surgeon. After falling for and marrying a con woman (Kathleen Turner) who marries wealthy men for their money, Michael starts to fall apart at work because she is intentionally sexually frustrating him at home. His boss recommends he head to England for a medical conference. Once there, he meets Dr. Necessiter (David Warner), who has been developing new brain transplant techniques and uses many jarred brains in his research. Strangely enough, Dr. Hfuhruhurr falls in love with one of Dr. Necessiter's disembodied brains, and now, all he needs is to get rid of his wife and find a body for the brain he loves so dearly.

Directed by Carl Reiner, "The Man With Two Brains" is a silly goofball comedy that parodies the old sci-fi B-movies like 1962's "The Brain That Wouldn't Die." It stars Steve Martin at his absolute silliest. He plays Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr, a brilliant brain surgeon who knows he's great at what he does and isn't afraid to tell you. Joining him are Kathleen Turner, who plays the sultry, sexy con artist who tortures Michael by constantly arousing him and leaving him unfulfilled, David Warner, who plays Dr. Alfred Necessiter, a scientist who studies the brain and is working on revolutionary new transplant techniques, and Sissy Spacek, who plays the voice of the disembodied brain of Anne Uumellmahaye.

"The Man With Two Brains" is full of an overabundance of wacky moments, but that doesn't mean it's completely useless as a sci-fi minded comedy. There isn't a whole lot of nuance or subtlety to the humor in this. In fact, the entire film relies on its overabundance of blatant, in your face comedy to drive its plot forward. The jokes include a lot of slapstick and visual gags about brains, bodies, sex (or lack thereof), and intricate sciences that even the movie doesn't know what it's saying. There is one running joke about the constant mispronunciation and misspelling Dr. Hfuhruhurr's absolutely ridiculous last name. Everything is as over the top and outlandish as possible, but it's not so stupid that there's no merit to the comedy. Sure, Martin, Turner, and Warner are zany as can be here, but we laughed a lot more than we expected we would.

A lot of people will find this movie downright stupid, dismissing it before even seeing it. Others may enjoy it for its random nature, its mad scientist parody, and its sheer insanity. We understand it's idiotic and super silly, but we're also able to laugh at the fact that it's centered around a man who literally falls in love with a brain. "The Man With Two Brains" knows what it is and really embraces its stupidity. Steve Martin is the perfect choice for a role like this, and he performs well alongside Kathleen Turner and the voice of Sissy Spacek. When it comes to acting ridiculous, it's hard to find someone more appropriate than Steve Martin.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 76%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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