From the producing team that brought you Deuce Bigalow and Big Daddy. David Spade plays Joe, whose search for his family has him hittin' the road and keepin' it real with every lowlife he meets, including a sweet hottie (Brittany Daniel), a janitor (Christopher Walken), and a psychotic cannibal (Brian Thompson) with whom he has a brief interlude. Through it all, Joe keeps on trucking all the way to L.A., where a shock jock DJ (Dennis Miller) targets Joe as the butt of his show. But Joe's plucky spirit encourages listeners to cheer him on and help him find a better family than the one he thought he wanted. Rock on!
The eponymous hero of Joe Dirt
is full of "uncomplicated goodness", which is a polite way of saying he's your archetypal dim bulb trailer trash. Sporting a mullet that makes him look like a chipmunk Billy Rae Cyrus, Dirt loves Lynyrd Skynyrd, greaser burgers, Auto Trader
magazine and tying fireworks to cows. He is, as LA shock DJ Zander Kelly declares, "an underachievement nexus". Nonetheless, Dirt's quest to find the parents that abandoned him when he was eight years old captures the heart of Kelly's listeners and the hapless Dirt is cheered on as his stumbles from mishap to embarrassment. Cue an endearing but not entirely successful blend of fart gags and feelgood sentimentality. Saturday Night Live
comedian David Spade captures the drawling dumbness of Dirt perfectly and Kid Rock puts in a star turn as Dirt's rival for the heart of Brandy (Brittany Daniel), but there's little here that hasn't been seen before. Dirt gets covered in "poop", Dirt is nearly eaten by a crocodile, Dirt becomes an unlikely hero of the people. With a sharper script and a slightly more adventurous bent, this could have been a 21st century Wayne's World
. As it is, file under "bad hair, dude".
On the DVD: As well as the usual array of outtakes, bloopers and deleted scenes, there are telling commentaries from both director Dennie Gordon and star David Spade. The latter is particularly revealing as it consists mainly of Spade saying "well, this scene used to be funny, but we had to cut this bit to get the PG-13 rating". A basic filmography for each of the main actors and the theatrical trailer rounds off the package. --Ian Watson