Review by Derrick Carter
Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for Crude and Sexual Humor
Directed by: C.B. Harding
Written by: Bear Aderhold, Tom Sullivan
Starring: Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall, DJ Qualls, Keith David, Danny Trejo, Marisol Nichols
You might be wondering why I’m even bothering to review DELTA FARCE. The reason is simple. I actually have a little nostalgia set around this flick’s 2007 theatrical run. I was working at a movie theater (my first job) and on breaks/after work, employees would kill time by sitting in on whatever movie we fancied walking into. At the time, I was a big fan of Blue Collar Comedy tour and this film featured two of those comedians (Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy). I wasn’t expecting much out of DELTA FARCE and was pleasantly surprised into thinking it was a passable comedy. Years have gone by and my cinematic taste has evolved. I wondered how the film might look upon viewing it now. In short, I don’t know what I ever saw in this steaming pile of cinematic crap. This is a terrible excuse for a comedy that didn’t get a single chuckle out of me.
A trio of rednecks use being Army Reserves as an excuse for a monthly guy’s weekend at the base. Unfortunately for them, things are about to change. The unsuspecting white trash idiots have just been thrown into duty. After being put through two days of boot camp, they find themselves being shipped off to Iraq, but things don’t go quite as planned. Through a mishap, the three awake in Mexico, believing it to be the Middle East. They act like idiots, get on the bad side of a local gang leader, and wacky hijinks ensue. There’s admittedly possible potential in the plot, but the film is a barren laugh-free wasteland of the comedy. Not a single joke worked for me and I can’t imagine them working for most audiences, with the exception of two groups.
I really don’t mean for this to sound offensive (though it might). DELTA FARCE is a movie that will entertain junior high age kids and rednecks. That’s the demographic this movie is clearly aiming towards. When I relatively enjoyed this movie, I was making that awkward transition from junior high to high school. That’s my lone defense for me once not thinking that DELTA FARCE was dogshit. The humor frequently resorts to racial stereotypes and farts. I know this movie was made in 2007, but there’s an inordinate homophobic tendency around it too and the word “retard” is thrown around every other sentence. That word might be offensive to some, but I feel that it can be used well in comedy (like every controversial topic thrown into satire). For a funny use of the word, watch TROPIC THUNDER (a far superior comedy that has a similar premise to DELTA FARCE). The word is excessively thrown in though, as if the mere inclusion will get a laugh. Though judging from the trailer trash demographic this movie is squarely aiming at, it wouldn’t surprise me if a bunch of hillbillies were cracking up at this film. Every punch line feels obvious and cheap. You can see each one coming from a million miles away and nothing works.
Speaking of cheap, the production values feel like they were thrown together at the last possible minute for release. Some of the dialogue doesn’t feel like it was in the script, but improvised by the comedians on the spot as an excuse to bring some of their stand-up comedy bits to the big-screen. The scene transitions are usually swiping across the screen, the kind of effect that can be found in any older version of PowerPoint. There’s no real budget on display to think of. This feels like a movie that should have gone direct to DVD and not have been released in Summer 2007. It appropriately tanked, but also made 8 million dollars too many at the box office.
Bill Engvall is a funny comedian. I still enjoy listening to his stand-up, though I thought it was much funnier when I was younger. Jeff Dunham (making a brief cameo) can be funny on occasion, but is annoying here. Keith David is a good actor in the right roles, but seems to pretty much take anything he’s offered (which might be the case here). Danny Trejo is a formidable presence in anything, but comes off as wasted in the role of typical bad guy. Meanwhile, DJ Qualls and Larry The Cable have never really been funny for my taste. They still aren’t here. If the rest of the cast had included Jeff Foxworthy and Ron White (the rest of the Blue Collar group) and they had been in charge of the script, then things might have been slightly different. As it stands, DELTA FARCE is offensively bad and insults the intelligence of the audience at every possible turn.
DELTA FARCE comes off as a cheap direct-to-DVD flick that somehow made it onto screens across the nation. Some scenes feel like an outlet for Larry the Cable Guy to unleash some of his stand-up bits on-screen. They’re just as unfunny visually as they are when he’s reciting them on stage. Bill Engvall is a funny comedian, but not as a comic actor. The rest of the Blue Collar boys are missing in action. The fan base of this movie should strictly be rednecks (not surprisingly) and Junior High age teens (again, not surprisingly). If there’s anything that the complete and utter failure that is DELTA FARCE taught me, it’s that there’s a “comedy” filmmaking crew worse than Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison. Indeed, that’s no small feat.