I feel it’s a crime that Patrick Warburton isn’t more popular. Seriously. The guy is not only a handsome man, but he’s truly hilarious. And he raises the caliber of everything he’s been in, like a better looking and less bizarre Christopher Walken. Most folks seem to only remember him from Seinfeld (a show I didn’t watch) or that dude on Family Guy (another show I don’t watch), but I’m a big fan of his brilliant work on NewsRadio, The Tick and currently as the voice of Brock Samson on The Venture Brothers. He’s definitely one of those “you know him if you see him” or in his case “know him if you hear him” kind of guys.
And it’s a shame that this film isn’t going to do anything to help raise his profile. Not that the movie is bad, just that it got lost. And there’s honestly not a lot about the movie to make it rise above the glut of direct to DVD comedies out there either. Sure it’s got a solid comedic cast in Warburton and Andy Dick. Sure it’s got an array of odd cameos by Jason Alexander, Tom Bergeron, Lea Thompson, Brian Bosworth, Jerry Cantrell and Eric Roberts. But there’s something that just doesn’t mesh and it’s more than just half the jokes. The problem is that the movie is amusing, but not necessarily funny. Some of the supporting characters are really annoying. And a lot of the plot doesn’t necessarily make a lot of sense. It just feels like a bunch of random ideas were forced together to make a feature length film. Personally, this almost felt like I was watching a failed TV pilot for ABC Family or something.
The plot is simple. Patrick Warburton is Rock Slyde. He’s a private detective because that’s his only career option when you have a name like that. Well that or a porn star, which happens to be a running gag throughout the film. He’s not particularly smart or a particularly good detective, but at times he has savant like observational skills. He’s also the sworn enemy of Andy Dick’s church of Bartology, a religious group with overtones to one created by a sci-fi writer (if you know of what I mean). There’s no obvious conflict between them other than Rock Slyde won’t give over the lease of his office so the church can have the run of the entire building. He then gets hired by Rena Sofer to uncover the mysterious person who’s stalking her. Rock Slyde then stumbles through the next 90 minutes trying to solve the case and keep his office intact. And the overall problem with a hard boiled detective parody like this is that there aren’t really any hard boiled detectives TO parody. The genre is essentially over, other than what you might see on Turner Classic Movies.
However, Patrick Warburton made it worth watching. Rock Slyde reminded me a lot of his work on The Tick, same kind of voice overs, similar sort of dim witted demeanor, just a different costume. So if you’ve got an extra spot on your Netflix queue, go ahead and toss it on there and enjoy it with a Digiorno. The extra cheese will go nicely with the movie.
And maybe, just maybe someone will give Patrick Warburton a role that will take him out of the “oh, that guy” circle of Hell. Too bad it won’t be Rock Slyde.