Rude, crude and, uh, cosmopolitan, “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” waves the flag for R-rated politically incorrect studio comedy but doesn’t top the laugh ratio of the first Deuce misadventure. It’s taken a full six years for the reappearance of Rob Schneider’s utterly incongruous, dunder-headed stud from “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” so references to the previous pic hardly strike a chord. Mid-August opening slot looks prime for at least a few weeks’ worth of customers before college terms begin, while vid could be orgasmic.
New “Deuce” was developed by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison shingle, and it can now be said that there’s a quintessentially Happy Madison kind of movie. It features dumb, young white Americans and their even dumber if well-intentioned pals in situations far over their heads, who cross paths with enormous women, over-confident male villains and, almost always, someone peeing in public.
All are on ample display here, starting with fish-loving Deuce, who tries to send a sonar warning to fend off sharks at the Malibu shoreline and manages instead to make the dolphins go berserk and munch on unsuspecting retirees. An APB is put out on him just as homophobic pimp and buddy T.J. (Eddie Griffin) phones to invite him to Amsterdam.
With the artificial leg of his dead g.f. Kate under his arm, Deuce flees to the land (as depicted here) of hookers-in-red-lit-windows, canals and unrestricted pot smoking. Though it provides one funny visual joke, pic’s obsession with pot smoking is strange for a film set in the present as Dutch libertarianism is hardly a hot pop culture topic anymore. But at least it serves the franchise’s best side, which is a yen for gag — and gag-worthy — scenes and plot be damned.
But, a plot does surface. Unfortunately, it makes the whole movie go limp. Euro gigolo deluxe Heinz Hummer (fine thesp Til Schweiger, slumming it big time) is found murdered in an alley, setting off a dreary narrative in which T.J. deduces that he’ll find the killer by using Deuce as bait. This means that Deuce must resume his gigolo act with a string of dates, each one grosser than the last.
Meanwhile, arrogant Amsterdam cop Gaspar Voorsboch (Jeroen Krabbe) predictably concludes that Deuce is a nuisance. What he doesn’t know is that Deuce has the eye of his pretty but insanely obsessive-compulsive niece Eva (Hanna Verboom).
During the many dull moments under director Mike Bigelow’s sloppy direction, Deuce-o-philes can ponder if the giant woman pestering our hero in the first film was more horrifically funny than the new model, a behemoth customer who makes Deuce wear an adult diaper.
With its few funny highs, pic stumbles along, finally deflating even the shock of its obnoxious skewering of a myriad of groups, ranging from pro-Iraq war supporters to the French, from Canadians to little people. It’s exactly when “European Gigolo” is sloppiest, most random and freely rude that it feels most in touch with its Happy Madison side, which will be comfort to some.
Schneider has come a long way from yelling “You can DO it!!” in every Sandler movie, but he still can’t act and has two basic expressions: Wide eyes in a dull haze, or a slightly charming smile.
Griffin, piling on the verbal energy, is a fair contrast and good foil for Schneider, but they hardly rank with the best comic teams. Verboom contributes some cutes, while Krabbe, Schweiger and Douglas Sills as topper of the Euro gigolo org bring some savoir faire.
Pic, made with largely Dutch crew in primarily Dutch and other Continental locales, is extremely low budget. Oded Fehr appears too briefly reprising his gigolo persona from first pic, while Norm Macdonald makes his usual uncredited, and amusing, cameo bow. Along with late “SNL” writer Drake Sather, murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh receives an unlikely but nice dedication in closing credits.