Dirty Work Blu-ray Review
If you were lucky enough to have witnessed the “dream cast” on Saturday Night Live in the early 90’s, then you probably followed them to the theater since virtually every cast member got a shot on the big screen. Some of them were huge successes and lead to long careers for their stars (BILLY MADISON with Adam Sandler) while others went nowhere and their stars kind of flamed out (CLEAN SLATE with Dana Carvey). One film that has been forgotten during the onslaught of SNL cast member movies was the surprisingly funny DIRTY WORK with Norm MacDonald. But here’s the thing about Norm MacDonald; he’s not for everyone. I think his style of comedy and sense of humor is hilarious and I’ve loved him in everything he’s done. His show was criminally underrated and his work as the host of Weekend Update was never appreciated. So although I laughed hysterically throughout DIRTY WORK, I realize this isn’t going to connect for all viewers.
Norm MacDonald is Mitch; a down and out loser that can’t hold a job or keep a girlfriend and has no real prospects to speak of. But while out one night with his buddy Sam (Lange), they realize that the one thing Mitch is good at is revenge. Around the same time, they learn that Sam’s father is dying, but if they get $50 thousand to his doctor (Chase), he can get a lifesaving transplant. This leads them to open up their own revenge-for-hire business where they do the dirty deeds for people that can’t or won’t do it themselves.
Yes, the premise is ridiculous and no, it doesn’t always make sense. So if you require well thought out plots and details in your comedies, then you’re going to be out of luck. But the thing about these early 90’s comedies is that most of them didn’t have much of a plot (see any Adam Sandler movie for reference). Instead, they’re really a movie written around a bunch of jokes and skits, which puts the pressure on those scenes to deliver the laughs. In this case, there were three instances in DIRTY WORK that made me literally laugh out loud and pause the movie while I caught my breath. DIRTY WORK was light on the consistent laughs, but it hit some big home runs, which more than made up for it.
DIRTY WORK is greatly aided by two hysterical featured cameo roles. The first is from Chris Farley, who plays a town drunk that got his nose bit off by a hooker from Shanghai. I had forgotten he was in this and so when I saw him, it was like getting a little more Farley that I thought was gone forever. He’s great here, as usual, and made me laugh every time he was on screen. The other fun cameo came from Chevy Chase, who played Sam’s father’s doctor. Chase was his usual bumbling self, but he owned every scene he was in and made the film that much funnier.
If it has been a while since you’ve seen DIRTY WORK, or if you’re a fan of Norm MacDonald and missed it the first time around, I highly recommend picking up a copy. If you’re unsure or if you don’t care for Norm, you might want to pass on this one.
Video: I love that Olive Films is releasing these forgotten films on Blu-ray, but the video quality leaves a lot to be desired.
Audio: The audio was fine.
There are no special features.