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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 11 March 2002
The Farelly brothers actually went for a degree of subtlety in the the midst of goodness knows how much daftness - and have been slated by many a reviewer who just doesn't get it. The rubber hand gags are seriously bad taste, and thus funny: as is the sex scene with Harrelson's landlady.
Rany Quaid plays.....well a mormon Randy Quaid really, and that does let things down a little - but he means well and one forgives his flaws. The woman (sorry name escapes me) is a decent "straight" actress, and is certainly pleasant enough to watch! Bill Murray however, is truly a revelation, he plays someone who you love to hate. He apparently insisted on buying his own costumes for the role. The comb-over hairstyle is superb - and makes the film for me. Don't pay any attention to lukewarm reviews....this film should be viewed as a great critique on a certain type of mid-west culture, with lots of poo, sick, wee, and goolies jokes thown in for good measure.
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on 23 May 2003
I don't know which film the amazon reviewer was watching but it couldn't have been this masterpiece, surely?
Kingpin is fantastic. A true classic. When I saw it the first time I laughed so hard at the farm scenes that I woke my girlfriend up with the noise and I just couldn't pull myself together to tell her what was so funny - I can't remember any other film in years that had that effect on me
Woody Harrelson is fantastic and Bill Murray is just perfect as usual. The cast is great.
Kingpin IS sick - but I never imagined that anyone would find it offensive until I read some of the reviews here. It's safe to say that there are "gross out" scenes - but they add significantly to the comedic experience
If only P.G. Wodehouse will do then you should perhaps look elsewhere, but if you enjoy your comedy a little "broad" you will find something wonderful here.
A gem!
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on 9 August 2015
This is a little known and very underrated film by Farrelly Brothers. TO me is one of their best, much more than popular hits like Something crazy about Mary or Dumb and Dumber. You find the same reckless and anarchic humor, often meant to disturb and destroy clichè, politically correctness and middle-class standards and way of laughing. But here it's all more surreal and realistic at the same time. Because we talk about feasible situations and people, just that we think it's comedy because they are just strange weirdos, outsider acting out of their head. But the background and the motifs are totally realistic and the whole film turns out to be a tracic-comic and bittersweet depiction of human misery, betrayal and lies.
So you find yourself laughing and suddenly disoriented by the twist of the plot and of the choices made by the characters. It's hilarious but it's not a carefree entertainment. If you want to look between the lines...
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on 26 February 2004
Before I start the review I MUST point out that the British Region 2 DVD is inferior to the US Region 1 DVD. This is one of Entertainment In Video's early DVD releases and it shows.
For a start, it is in the WRONG picture ratio. On the back, it is listed as "Widescreen 16:9 Anamorphic" and plays in a 1.85:1 ratio. The ORIGINAL cinema ratio and Region 1 DVD picture ratio IS at 2.35:1, so I don't how EIV came up with the other ratio. It means if you watch the UK disc you're missing some of the original image on either sides (a similar mistake with EIV's release of Gosford Park). Also, the UK R2 disc doesn't carry the Audio commentary provided by the Farrelly brothers or the additional scenes (seen in the US trailer) from the Director's Cut. Finally, the sound is in basic Dolby Pro Logic but the R1 version is in full 5.1 sound.
I found the film itself funny and defintely for fans of Dumb and Dumber, Basketball (starring the South Park creators) and There's Something About Mary. It's not for everyone, though.
I would personally recommend buying the Region 1 version for the reasons stated above and ONLY watch it with a LOT of friends!
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on 13 November 2001
I aproached this film with caution. I had no idea what to expect. But as the film progresed, I started to feel a certain love for it. It's hard to describe. And I knew this was the best farrelly brothers movie ever. Who would of thought, A movie about a one-time champ bowler with a rubber hand, who finds a stupid yet talented amish guy could be so good. This is the greatest movie ever. The musics wicked too. 100%.
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In a rare instance of the UK getting a movie before the US, Kingpin was a surprisingly pleasant discovery on a Saturday afternoon back in the sunny July of 1996. It has since gone on to be one of my favorite comedies and showcases Bill Murray's evil, sarcastic humor at it's finest.

Woody Harrelson is Roy Munson a young, up-and-coming bowler who falls foul of 'Big' Ern McCracken (simply by beating him). Ern executes a cunning revenge on Roy which results in the loss of his precious bowling hand. Flash-forward 17 years and Roy is living a truly grotty life and is a complete and utter loser. His hustling attempts fall flat and it looks like he's destined for a future of failure until he meets naive Amish 'boy' Ishmael, who just so happens to be a bowling prodigy. Roy and Ishmael team-up and head to Reno, Nevada for a big bowling showdown with the diabolical 'Big' Ern.

Part road movie, part profound life journey, Kingpin is probably the most mature Farrelly Brothers movie and certainly their best effort so far. The script is just jam-packed with brilliant dialogue and gags, and Ishmael (or 'the kid' as they keep calling him despite the fact that Randy Quaid was 45 at the time of filming) may just be the sweetest character of all time and may even rival Cousin Eddie as Quaid's funniest role. But it is Bill Murray as 'Big' Ern who steals the movie and runs away with it. Apparently he just threw the script away and decided to ad-lib, and you can tell. He keeps the rest of the cast on their toes and enjoys himself way too much. His Unified Fund TV commercial is comedy gold.

It may well be one of the most underrated comedies of all time, but Kingpin is a far superior film to the likes of There's Something About Mary or Me, Myself & Irene. It's lack of success or popularity is not a reflection on its brilliance.

The Blu-ray looks good in 2.35:1 1080p but it could a helluva lot better. The DTS HD-MA sound is good but nothing special. A commentary and a new featurette are included. Watch the R-rated version.
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on 10 December 2000
Every time I watch this film I find it funnier .Something about mary was good but king pin is in a class of its own.Maybe it does appeal to a certain sense of humour,but at my work this film is a cult , we even have our own loser nicknamed munson.
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on 16 December 2013
This has to be one of the funniest films ive seen,it would be in my top 20 of funniest ever from the beginning of time to date.Im not going to spoil the laughs,but basically,an ex ten pin bowler after losing an arm finds an Amish player who doesnt realise his potential and takes him on the road trip to comedy oblivian.Woody Harellson is side splittingly funny as the ex professional,but,Randy Quaid steals the movie as the innocent Hamish Bowler.A great turn also from Bill Murray as Harrelsons old nemesis.A must watch.
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on 30 April 2014
As soon as I saw this for sale it had to be purchased. Great comedy. Fact: Bill Murray actually scored 3 strikes in a row during filming and is included in the actual cut. Great price and quick delivery!
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on 9 December 2003
"Kingpin" has quickly become a cult-classic, and it is easy to see how it became that. The Farrelly have created a comedic masterpiece with this movie. There are so many funny lines and so many memorable moments. Vulgar, disgusting... and hilarious all the way through, "Kingpin" is a comedy treat that stands out from most of the comedies of today.
Roy Munson was a bowling legend until a hustling gig gone wrong ended up taking his right hand. Now, Munson is an alcoholic mess who can't even afford his rent. Everything seems to be a giant downward spiral for him until he sees somebody who has the potential of becoming the next great bowler that he could've been. That person he sees is Ishmael; a person of Amish decent that secretly goes bowling without his family's knowledge. Munson knows that with this Amish bowler under his watch that they can turn the bowling world upside down...or at least do their best not to "Munson" it all up!
I absolutely love this movie. It is hilarious and clever at the same time. There are sick and vulgar gags, to be sure, but I don't see them as overly gratuitous or annoying. They work for what the film is trying to accomplish. There are many, MANY moments were I am laughing out loud hysterically. Woody Harrelson is terrific as the alcoholic mess, "Roy." Randy Quaid is also a joy to watch, as he always is. Yet, I must admit that the man who simply steals the show without breaking a sweat is Bill Murray. He is brilliantly funny and outrageous in the most subtle of ways. He's always the showstopper without trying too hard. I loved everybody in this movie, but I have to admit that Bill was the one who I was the most impressed with, and he makes the movie what it is. The script is extremely funny and takes the comedy to a different level.
The DVD is poor when it comes to special features. It'd be great if they would releases a special edition of this movie, as it is extremely popular. The great thing about this movie is that it's not PG-13 anymore and now has an R-rating, which includes footage that was not included in the original theatrical version. The picture and sound quality is more than satisfactory. The DVD includes both widescreen and fullscreen versions. Commentary from the Farrelly Brothers and the original theatrical trailer are included as well. I wished more was included, but hopefully a fully-loaded special edition will come out sometime in the near future.
"Kingpin" rolls strikes every single time when it comes to delivering laughs and a great script. While the gags can be a bit disgusting and vulgar at times, they are not gratuitous and they end up working in the movie. If you're looking for a comic gem that is unlike any other comedy that is out there, this may be the one for you. A five-star movie all the way!
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