The In-Laws review

Ill-cast, badly executed, jingoistic, boring... Is anyone still reading this? In any sane universe, that opening salvo of (entirely justified) adjectives would have scared off all potential viewers. But hey, in any sane universe, a dimwitted project like this would never have got off the ground in the first place.

First in the firing line is the once-respectable Albert Brooks - not so much acting here as channelling Woody Allen into the role of an uptight chiropodist whose daughter's about to get married. All fine and lovely - until the good dad meets his offspring's future father-in-law.

Enter Michael Douglas as a slick, globe-hopping type forever accompanied by his much-younger brunette sidekick. (That Douglas - always stretching himself as an actor!) Brooks, to his credit, hates him on sight... And that's before he realises Douglas is actually an international weapons smuggler.

What happens next? Well, Brooks gets swept up in Douglas' scheme to flog a Russian nuclear sub; the wedding plans are ruined by a sound-guided torpedo; and there's some jiggery-pokery with a camp French gunrunner (David Suchet). Only the fleeting presence of Ryan Van Wilder Reynolds and Robin The Craft Tunney stop you walking out long before the blessed relief of the end credits.

Technically a remake of a 1979 Peter Falk film, The In-Laws has `vanity project' written all over it. You see, it finally gives Douglas a chance to play an international man of mystery - parachuting off tall buildings, driving fast cars, flying jets and all that sort of stuff. Trouble is, while he's busy playing James Bond on hormone-replacement therapy, nobody bothered to sort out the script.

End result? What's supposed to be a comedy ends up as a nice home video for CZ-J but a long spell in purgatory for any audience looking for laughs or excitement.

Is it remotely funny? No. Is it entirely drivel? Yes, yes, yes. Michael Douglas might have very much enjoyed the experience of The In-Laws. Goodie for him. Nobody else will, though.

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