The only thing more depressing than the idea that someone thought there was an audience for "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector" is that there may actually be an audience for "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector." Hereafter to be referred to as "Larry" (he'd like it that way), the film makes brutal fun of the very people it seems to be aimed at. But no one, we hope, will be thinking about it all that deeply.
Sometimes known as Dan Whitney, Larry the Cable Guy is a comic well known to fans of "Blue Collar TV" and a character grounded in the nonregion-specific comedy tradition of Al Bundy and Homer Simpson — albeit with the gross-out aspects taken to new heights. Or, rather, depths.
"He's gross, he's rude," says his long-suffering and unfortunately named partner, Amy Butlin (Iris Bahr), "and he urinated in a Thermos on the way to an inspection." Offered sushi in a Japanese restaurant, our public servant says, "I'd rather dip french fries in my grandmother's bed sores." After that, even Larry's kidney-rattling flatulence seems merciful.
"Larry" isn't an evil movie, but it is a symptom of the problems inherent in gross-out humor. As with the horror genre — which has become reliant largely on people figuratively jumping out of closets — films such as "Larry" have to continually raise the ante, lest they risk being considered tame. At the same time, you have to be a bit of an arrested adolescent to think "Larry" is funny, because there's really nothing new about jokes of the fart, boob or crotch variety.
What "Larry" is, in a sense, is a reworking of the old "Pink Panther" routine, with Larry the Cable Guy as a smarter (really) Inspector Clouseau. When someone is suspected of poisoning local restaurants, only Larry can solve the case, even by accident. His quick-to-boil-over boss, Tatlock (Thomas F. Wilson), plays the Herbert Lom role quite well, and Megyn Price plays the love interest, Jane, who seems to be a woman of many fine qualities. All of which are rendered null and void by her attraction to our hero.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times