Have a little patience with The Whole Nine Yards
, an agreeably convoluted caper, and in the end you'll find it a modestly entertaining yarn. But forbearance is necessary because, truthfully, the first half-hour of the movie promises a train wreck of epic proportions.
Matthew Perry stars as a mild-mannered Montreal dentist, married to a French-Canadian shrew (Rosanna Arquette), whose new next-door neighbour (Bruce Willis) just happens to be a notorious mob hit-man out on parole. The wife, catching the whiff of easy money and probably just hoping to put hubby in harms way, orders her hen pecked spouse to rat out the gunman to his former employers, who have many compelling reasons to want him dead. Needless to say, complications--and plenty of them--ensue.
Perry is serviceably harried as the beleaguered Everyman whom, as nice as everyone around him agrees that he is the person, just about everyone, wants to kill. Willis, much as he did in The Sixth Sense, gets better mileage out of not trying so hard; his irksome smirk is almost held in check. Amanda Peet has some funny scenes as a hit-man groupieit's when her true role in the proceedings is revealed that the film finally kicks into comic gear. Michael Clarke Duncan is fine as yet another hit man to cross Perry's path; however, Arquette seems to be in a contest with Kevin Pollak (playing a mob boss) to see who can uncork both the most ludicrous accent and the most obvious performance. That kind of unevenness ensures that the pleasures that do exist within The Whole Nine Yards remain fairly minor. --David Kronke, Amazon.com