'Witless' is a kind way to describe 'Protection'

Special to Newsday

Making "Delta Farce" seem like Restoration comedy, "Witless Protection" brings back Larry the Cable Guy for what one can only hope is a last hurrah.

Given the dwindling White House approval numbers, the Obama-fication of the country (regardless of the election outcome) and what seems to be a growing atmosphere of intolerance for intolerance, there would seem to be a corresponding evaporation of audience for a movie so intent on appealing to people's worst instincts.

Of course, if it were actually funny we wouldn't be so quick to say this, but "Witless Protection" fails the Three Stooges test of finding hilarity in imbecility. When Deputy Larry Stalder spots federal witness Madeleine Dimkowski (Ivana Milicevic) being escorted through his one-gas station town by FBI agent Alonzo Mosely (Yaphet Kotto, who must have lost a bet), he immediately jumps to the inane conclusion that she's a hostage.

So he kidnaps her himself and spends the rest of the movie grossing her out, grossing us out, and somehow being proven right -- because, after all, anyone who uses the "Green Acres" theme as his cellphone's ring tone obviously can't be wrong.

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"Witless Protection." MPAA rating: PG-13 (vulgarity, flatulence, misogyny, racism, sexism, excrement jokes). Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes. In general release.

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