NEW YORK–The South just keeps on rising. Hollywood’s latest rebel yell is TNT’s hilarious road pic “T Bone n Weasel,” in which Gregory Hines and Christopher Lloyd buddy up to make possibly the best TV movie ever with an “n” in the title.
T Bone (Hines) is a freshly “ex” convict. William (Weasel) Weasler (Lloyd) is the first guy he meets out of the slammer. They hit the road in a stolen Chrysler ragtop, crank up the Creedence Clearwater and drive deep into Backwater , S.C.
After a failed hold-up, the hapless partners in crime get ripped off by a ruthless used-car dealer (Rip Torn), shaken down by a crooked sheriff (Wayne Knight), robbed with their own gun by a nut preacher (Larry Hankin), molested by a fat lady (Rusty Schwimmer), and taken in by an unctuous local pol (Ned Beatty).
Every time they try to break the law, the law breaks them. It’s a tale of two idiots, smartly told by playwright Jon Klein, who adapted his stage piece for the screen, and dryly directed by Lewis Teague, who keeps this shaggy-dog on its feet.
Lloyd is a perfect Weasel, the dope who’s all heart. Hines is as relaxed as his down-home drawl. Torn and Beatty are their usual brilliant selves. And the always-funky music of Steve Tyrell scores Klein’s crackerjack book.
“Racism is bad,” is the movie’s life-lesson 101. T Bone is a black man in white-trash country and Weasel is color-blind. Klein’s hand never gets too heavy , though. Most philosophical question posed is T Bone’s “You ever see a possum squashed by a semi?”
“T Bone n Weasel” is kind of like a good road-kill: it’s funny, gross and makes a lasting impression.