Brewster’s Millions -1985-


Directed by Walter Hill. 97 mins.

Worth my time? No. (Watched on DVD)

Aw, the first straight-up comedy in the Hillmography is a bummer. Walter tries (or does he?) to channel his inner Blake Edwards, and the end result just sorta sputters.

How does this sort of thing happen? You got Pryor and Candy, two of the greatest American comedy legends in the last half-century. You’re working with time-tested source material and an adaptation by a writing team who came fresh from the success of Trading Places. Moreover, you have Jerry Orbach in a supporting role. As William Hurt said in A History of Violence, “How do you fuck that up?

From the lack of people getting punched in the face, I can only conclude that Hill had little to no interest in this project.  Tying the package together is a confused fable that attempts to teach a lesson of the emotional emptiness of possessing obscene wealth. Pryor’s character learns that money can’t buy happiness. The result? He’s rewarded with far more money than he received in the first place.

Of course, the biggest obscenity on display in Brewster’s Millions is the total squandering of Pryor and Candy. The duo gives it their all, but there simply isn’t much for them to do. No matter how talented the two of them are, they can’t squeeze comedy blood from a stone of a screenplay.

The film isn’t putrid, but it’s still a big disappointment. If you come across Brewster’s Millions on Comedy Central on a Saturday afternoon, maybe you’ll find a laugh or two in it.

I’m just kidding, of course. Office Space will be on in that time slot. I guarantee it.

– Lonette McKee’s character has a bangin’ haircut.

– Oh, come on, this is ANOTHER Hill/Cooder collaboration? I could understand it in the previous films, but Brewster’s Millions seems like the kinda a movie for which a mid-80s Hans Zimmer would compose the score.
Next up in the Hillmography: Crossroads.

(Seen and originally written on 2013-01- 30)