Disorderlies

It must have gone down something like this…some Hollywood producer caught sight of the 80’s rap act The Fat Boys and, being that there were three of them, thought of The Three Stooges.  And so a plan was hatched to bring the trio of rotund rappers to the big screen in a slapstick comedy.  The result…1987’s Disorderlies.  Even the trailer for the film featured scenes of Moe, Larry and Curly. The film was directed by Michael Schultz, the man responsible for the notorious Beatles themed disaster Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  He had also directed The Fat Boys a few years prior to this in Krush Groove, which also featured Sheila E, Run DMC, and The Beastie Boys.

As the film opens, we are introduced to Winslow Lowry (played by former General Hospital heart-throb Anthony Geary), nephew of sickly bizillionaire Albert Dennison (played by Ralph Bellamy).  Winslow, it seems, has a gambling problem and owes some Tony Montana wannabe a bunch of dough.  To pay the debt, he hatches a plan to make sure that Uncle Albert kicks the bucket in the next few weeks, thus leaving the huge inheritance to him.  He decides to replace Albert’s live-in orderlies with the worst ones he can find.  Enter The Fat Boys…Markie, Kool and Buffy.

The rest of the film involves putting the boys into situations where they can foul things up and slap each other.  There really isn’t much more to the plot than that.  One major misstep the filmmakers made, is that Bellamy’s character warms up to the boys way too quickly.  Pretty early on, the boys take him to a roller skating rink where they wheel him around with a pretty young girl on his lap.  That’s all it takes to have him pretty much cured and spouting phrases like, “Step off, homeboy.”  Had Bellamy’s character have been slow to take a liking to the boys, even possibly have been somewhat bigoted in the beginning, there may have been more opportunities for character growth.  Lack of character development is one of the key reasons the comedic situations of this film don’t work.

If the producers of this film were going for a new version of The Three Stooges, the first thing they needed to realize is that The Stooges didn’t just slap each other around.  Their comedy worked because of the three distinct characters.  Moe was the boss, who knew a lot less than he thought he did…Curly was the loveable idiot…Larry took sides with one or the other depending on who had the upper hand.  The well-defined characters is what made it work.  The Fat Boys are not without potential, but the script takes little effort to give their characters any definition.  As a matter of fact, there are times I wondered if the script mostly consisted of passages that said things like “Dog attacks the boys…they say something funny.”

Disorderlies is interesting as a curiosity…I mean where else are you going to see an attempt at making a hip hop Three Stooges movie…but that’s about all it is.  The one scene that allows the boys to show off their musical skills is a bit fun.  There’s no denying their talent in that department.  But if you want to actually laugh, check out the real Stooges.

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