The Boston Phoenix

DIRECTED BY: Penelope Spheeris

REVIEWED: 02-23-98

Ever since the second season of In Living Color, the Wayans brothers have been on a losing streak. And Marlon Wayans doesn't break it in Senseless, where he stars as a college senior who participates in a medical experiment that would give him super-senses. He uses these new powers to impress the Wall Street firm he wants to work for, to look at girls' butts, and to eavesdrop on some oh-so-wacky homosexuals, replete with lisps. But then Wayans flubs the dosage and loses control of one of his five senses at any given time. How will he ever get the job now?

The ensuing mishaps are woefully predictable -- while blind, he buys a really ugly suit! -- and Wayans's slapstick gags quickly become repetitive. As the snotty rival, David Spade offers his standard wise-ass delivery but doesn't get any funny lines to work with. There's something hideously wrong when Spade has better material on Just Shoot Me. And there's lots more wrong when a film's best joke involves premature ejaculation -- then again, the two guys in front of me were howling at the rectal-itch scene, and a lot of the audience seemed to find the Tourette's-syndrome jokes hilarious. The best part about Senseless is the soundtrack by Yello (best known for the closing theme to Ferris Bueller's Day Off), who provide a gloriously sinister techno backdrop to a lame comedy that appeals solely to the lowest common denominator.

--Dan Tobin

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Other Films by Penelope Spheeris
Black Sheep
The Decline of Western Civilization III

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