Friday, February 7, 2014

Beatlesmiscellania - The Rutles 2 - Can't Buy Me Lunch

When I originally planned these reviews, I assumed the two Rutles films were separate stories.  I had seen the first before, but not the second.  The description on Netflix described this second film as a parody of The Beatles Anthology, featuring interviews from the Rutles looking back on their old days.  I suppose the fact that they called the interviewer Stanley Krammerhead rather then Melvin Hall should have been a clue to me.  The Krammerhead character isn't even in this film, so I guess the person in charge of writing that description had a bit too much tea to drink that day.

In reality, this film is just a do-over for Idle who apparently wanted to add on a few jokes for the Melvin Hall character, get a lot more celebrities in, and visit a few more locales just for the hell of it.  He also changed a few of the details here and there - instead of the Maharishi stand in being into Ouija boards, he recommends eating curry to attain enlightenment.  If you're a big fan of any of the celebrities involved here, it might be fun for you to see them getting a bit silly and having fun with it.  But for me personally, even some of the people I did like fell a bit flat.

There is some previously unseen Rutles material here, but it's all scenes that were cut from the original film, as Idle did not involve any of the other three performers in this project.  He did use some songs from The Rutles Archaeology, an album recorded by Innes, Halsey, and Fataar in 1996, their own parody of the music version of The Beatles Anthology.  Idle did not appear on that album, but he didn't appear on any of the original songs either.

Some of the celebrities are stronger than others.  Tom Hanks just seems odd sitting there with an unflattering mustache discussing the whole thing, and Robin Williams as a German sexologist went over like a lead balloon for me.  But Conan O'Brien and Billy Connolly are pretty funny, as is Carrie Fisher.  Idle also uses some extra footage from Bill Murray's original appearance as Bill Murray the K and that's fun.

Hands down the absolute worst part of the film for me is Jimmy Fallon.  Of course I'm also kind of baffled that a guy who giggled his way through most of his Saturday Night Live appearances went on to have the career he now does, but his recurring bit with Idle of interrupting and trying to take over the documentary goes on for far too long, and the end "reveal" that he's actually Melvin Hall's son isn't really all that funny either.

When I finished watching it I was frankly left kind of confused why this even exists.  I suppose we can debate whether or not an artist has the right to recreate their own work - Star Wars fans certainly love to do so, but I'm more of the opinion that once something is out there and released, it's time to walk away.  If you want to revisit that world, make something new rather than just rehash the old. 

I'd recommend checking out The Rutles Archeology if you were thirsting for more Rutles rather than this film, because at least that was something completely new and feels much more fresh.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you 100% on Jimmy Fallon. He seems like a very nice guy, but he's a mediocre talent at best, and I never understood the appeal.

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