Black Sheep (1996)

“Are you or are you not the black angel of death?”

Justin’s Rating: Gnaw on my skull a little and see how YOU like it!

Justin’s Review: In the entire lexicon of cinema, there really only stands two movies that can boast, with utter sincerity and honest integrity, that they star both David Spade and Chris Farley. Snarky and fat, dumb and sarcastic, you probably think that they’re the most understated [comedic genius/work of the Devil] of the 20th century. Since 50% of this duo has passed on, you can only relive their on screen hilarity with either Tommy Boy and Black Sheep or that weird woman who reads Tarot cards with a Jamaican accent on TV.

Tommy Boy’s modest success spurned several mad scientists to throw copies of the tape into cloning vats in order to earn cheap, filthy, wonderful wads of cash. Unfortunately, a corn dog fell into the vat as well, so we end up with not-quite-a-clone, not-quite-a-sequel, not-quite-as-funny, but still enjoyable Black Sheep. The character templates haven’t changed too much, so those of you with brain and nose disorders are safe for the time being. Mike (Farley) is the dumb but energetic brother of a gubernatorial candidate while Steve (Spade) is assigned as Mike’s keeper. This time, the two go camping and road tripping their way from one disaster to another in an attempt to keep Mike out of trouble.

This film presumes that you consider overweight individuals who scream and jump around a lot are funny. While having good intentions, Mike always manages to do the absolute worst thing possible for his brother’s campaign. Instead of dealing with these mistakes like any rational human would, Farley launches into his whole-mouth screaming, red face rants while following that up with sheepish grins, large scale destruction, small scale self-destruction, and acting that comes straight from the school of electrocution.

Farley is, therefore, a perfect target for the sardonic Spade. Condescending as usual, Spade’s Steve snarks off everyone from a military survival nut to the hillbilly residents of Washington state. The two “black sheep” become reluctant friends, naturally. May I take this opportunity to say that the world in general needs to be appreciative that we have an actor like Gary Busey (who plays the aforementioned military survival nut). Any time you need a generic bad guy who’s lost a few marbles, call Busey! I sometimes wish he was available to rent, in case I wanted to impress some girl by appearing more sane in comparison.

If you listen to anyone else, you’ll probably be told that Black Sheep is a terrible movie with no redeeming value. This might be true, except that you must remember that all critics have been paid off to bash every SNL star movie that has come out from 1985 until 2300. It’s kind of funny and a perfect follow-up to Tommy Boy. Spade and Farley show great chemistry, from bagging a bat to accidentally getting high on police car fumes.

Kyle’s Rating: I’m so glad I’m an only child

Kyle’s Review: In case no one has ever told you this, please heed my words: Tommy Boy is the greatest film ever to star Chris Farley and David Spade. I mean, it’s an incredibly funny comedy. The bit with the bong, a slimy and slick Rob Lowe, the strong and lovely Julie Warner, the raw charisma of Spade and Farley. Tommy Boy resides in a special place in the hearts of each and every one of us. It’s brilliant, it’s funny, and it’s touching.

Black Sheep, on the other end of the spectrum, is still funny… but it’s not as effective, or as smart, or as touching, or as memorable as Tommy Boy. It’s like some movie dude figured that Farley and Spade were all that made Tommy Boy great, without bothering to see the film to learn that Tommy Boy had a great script and a great cast backing up the SNL duo.

Other than the fat guy and the skinny guy, Black Sheep has only one thing going for it: Tim Matheson, god among men and composed purely of shiny blazing starlight. Tim Matheson, who was not only Otter in Animal House but also the devious Alan Stanwyck in Fletch, portrays the brother of Farley and the candidate raring to become the next governor of Washington. Can Tim hope to win the race, with the evil current governor doing everything to stay in office and with Farley doing his best to help his brother yet failing at everything and making his every action look like some type of illegal activity? Probably, but I’m not going to give away the whole thing in this review.

Suffice to say that there is enough political intrigue to satisfy your brainy intellectual friends and enough toilet-brained foolishness to keep you happy if you rent it for a party.

Yes, when the sun eventually expands and consumes the Earth, the last living thing on the planet will recall Tommy Boy being the best Farley-Spade movie and all the copies of Black Sheep will be used as a pathetic makeshift barrier against the rapidly growing red sun. That’s really too bad, because there is enough to laugh at in Black Sheep to warrant you wasting your time on it, although one wishes that the great Tim Matheson could be in more movies. So see Black Sheep at least once if you haven’t already, and the next time you’re planning the cast for your next film no matter what the plot, consider Tim Matheson for a starring role. That’s all I ask.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s