Hey folks, Valkor here. Back in January I reviewed a film called "Date For Hire", which centered on a guy trying to score with a chick who said she was a high class prostitute… instead it turned into a film about a guy trying to kick start his rap career. Don't ask me how or why it went that way... it just does. Overall it was a mess of a film that shouldn't have happened. With this next film, Venus and Vegas, it would appear we're treading the same waters. And I don't tread this type of water so easily.
Venus and Vegas revolve around three Vegas buddies – Eric (Eddie Guerra), Stu (Donald Faison – Scrubs fame), and Alex (Eddie Kaye Thomas), who double up as thieves. When they get a tip on the score of a lifetime - a warehouse full of counterfeit casino chips that belongs to mobster Frank Santino (Jon Polito), they decide it's too good to pass up. However the plan doesn't go off without a hitch and both sides lose a member to the other; on the side of the thieves is Alex and on the side of the mobsters is Bruno (Abe BenRubi), who's also Frank's nephew. Now both sides want their member back, but in order for things to go down smoothly, Eric and Stu are given an offer they can't refuse.
Now you'd think the plot would be as simple as that right? WRONG! Because through it all we have relationship issues that must be dealt with. I mean the film is called "Venus and Vegas" right? Emphasis "Venus. So here is where the Venus part kicks in. First we have Stu, who just broke up with his girlfriend Tara (Jaime Pressley) and now he desperately wants her back. Next is Eric, who's thinking of marrying his girlfriend Kristen (Roselyn Sanchez), plus she reveals that she's pregnant. Next is Alex, who lives with his grandma (played by Florence Henderson), so of course he's having troubles getting girls, period. Finally we have Bruno, who suddenly befriends the guys, even though they've beaten and kidnapped him. He's the one seeing Tara (Eric's girl) on the side, so you would think that'd complicate matters even further, but really it doesn't.
So what does it all mean and how does it all come together? I haven't a clue! If none of what I've explained made any sense, imagine actually watching this film. But let's save that for the TOV Breakdown!
Venus and Vegas does one thing right – it's funny! There's a reason why I compared it to "Date for Hire" because just as in that film, the three guys mesh together perfectly. Their timing is spot on and there's a real sense of camaraderie. Most of the jokes are verbal with some visual sight gags; a horse getting a cellphone set on vibrate, shoved up its keister to make it run faster is funny no matter how you look at it. It's not a constant flow of funny, but there's a definite balance of laugh and story to make this pill easier to swallow. And though her onscreen time is short, kudos for having Florence "Mama Brady" Henderson in the picture. She's not given too much to do, but what she does do is completely unBrady-like and I loved it! PerfectView Bonus: Roselyn Sanchez! If you've seen her in Rush Hour 2 (chick with snoopy on her butt) then you know what I'm talkin about!
For starters, let's take a look at the plot; what the hell, the shit is all over the place! And what's the focus supposed to be, I don't get it! I'm guessing it's a mix of the boys performing their final heist mixed with their relationship troubles, but the two really don't mix all that well. It throws the film completely off leaving you to wonder just what the hell are you watching. The overall pacing of the film isn't bad, but if you were to cut out a lot of the relationshipy shit plus tighten up other scenes, then this would probably make for a much better picture. Thumbs down for having less Flo Henderson in the pic; she's a total freak in this one and there's so much more that could have been done with that. Finally I thought the ending was a big letdown. Sure all the loose ends were tied up neat and tidy, but it could have ended way better. Plus the whole Tara/Eric/Bruno triangle… man I thought we'd get some confrontation with that one, but nope nothin doin.
Watchin Alex preparing to shove a phone up a horse's ass; when he took out that condom, my mind went in an entirely different direction.
Sure the plot to Venus and Vegas is all over the map, but it does have some laughs. So it's a toss up - you can either watch it, try to make sense of the plot while laughing all the way through, or simply give it a pass. I'd say it makes for a great time waster if you should happen to catch it on cable or looking for a quick funny fix from Netflix. So out of TOV 5 stars, I'm gonna meet Venus and Vegas halfway and give it a 2.5.
You know what, rather than watch the film, just watch the trailer. It's all there minus all the relationship stuff.