Pryor does the Full Monty
For me comedies usually fall into two clear categories, they either make you laugh through clever humour or by just being plain stupid. "Brewster's Millions" falls into the latter, with not only the concept behind the story being pretty stupid, but also most of the humour comes from ridiculous situations. "Brewster's Millions" from 1985 is actually just one in a long line of remakes of a 1914 film called "Brewster's Millions", and although I have not seen them all, the ones that I have seen do not seem to be as entertaining as this version. Most of this can be put down to having the comic talents of Richard Pryor in the title role, along with John Candy as his best friend.
In order to inherit a vast fortune from a relative he never knew existed, Monty Brewster (Richard Pryor - Superman III) must first spend 30 million dollars in thirty days. But he can't give it away or tell anyone why he is wasting so much money, and at the end of the thirty days he can not own anything except the shirt on his back.
As I have already mentioned, "Brewster's Millions" is a remake of a very old movie but the concept behind the story, although pretty stupid, is still pretty good. I say stupid as the likelihood of ever finding yourself in the situation where you need to basically blow $30 million dollars before you get 10 times that amount is seriously far fetched, especially seeing that you are inheriting the money from a relative you have never even met. But it is highly entertaining, especially as you watch Monty come up with some inventive ways of spending the money with nothing to show for it. Two of my favourites include buying a very rare postage stamp and then using it to send a letter to someone and then the ingenious campaign to become mayor, where he urged everyone to vote for none of the above.
Of course watching a man come up with inventive ways of blowing a considerable amount of money is not enough to make even a semi decent story line and so to add to this you have the villainous side of the plot alongside a mildly amusing romantic storyline which are entwined together. Basically the law firm who are set to profit if Monty fails in his task, assign an attractive accountant to follow Monty around and track all his spending, whilst at the same time they offer her fiancee the opportunity of a partnership if he finds a way of stopping Monty from succeeding. These two elements add some decent substance to the storyline and also allow for more amusing scenes as Monty tries to woo the accountant.
To be honest, the story line is not the most complex or engrossing I have ever seen, but you would not really expect it to be from what is a light hearted and very entertaining comedy. But saying that, you do find yourself getting involved as you really start to urge Monty on, especially when he actually starts to make money from some ludicrous investments rather than wasting it.
The main star of "Brewster's Millions" is Richard Pryor who brings his own energetic, nervy style of acting to the role of unlucky Montgomery 'Monty' Brewster. To be honest Pryor's performance, although very enjoyable, is no different to any of his other roles in movies such as "Stir Crazy" and "See No Evil, Hear No Evil". The same can be said for the character of Monty Brewster, who is your typical unlucky, slightly nervous guy, which Pryor seemed to play so well. Saying that, even though both the character and performance are the same as many of his others, he is still a joy to watch.
Alongside Pryor is another very funny man, John Candy, who plays Monty's best friend and fellow baseball player, Spike Nolan. Although his performance is not as funny as that of Pryor, it is still highly entertaining and the pairing of these two comics works brilliantly. It is a shame that these two comedians are no longer with us.
Making up the cast you have a fine selection of actors from the 80s including Jerry Orbach, Pat Hingle, Lonette McKee and Hume Cronyn who all put in adequate and enjoyable performances. To be honest, there is nothing over memorable about any of the performances or indeed any of the characters but they are all enjoyable and work well within the confines of this movie.
Brewster's Millions is directed by Walter Hill, who also directed the very funny "48hrs" which starred Eddie Murphy. Although this may not be the funniest movie ever made, Hill has done a very good job of keeping the film moving along at a very good pace with a few laughs every few minutes. My only criticism comes from it being similar in style to so many other films and that it doesn't bring anything new to the scene. But then again for a film which was released back in the 80s it gives what the audiences wanted.
What this all boils down to is that even though "Brewster's Millions" is over 20 years old and feels seriously dated, I can't but help loving it. Not because it has an amazing plot, humour that gives you the hysterics or stunning acting, as it is far from being the best film ever made. But because it is the style of comedy that I grew up with through out the 80s and still appeals to me today. Compared to some of the more outrageous humour in modern comedies, some people may find it a bit boring, but then in some ways it is a much cleaner, simplistic humour. I would of course recommend this, but I doubt it would have the same appeal to anyone who did not experience this sort of film when it was first released back in the 80s or who enjoy the comedy of Richard Pryor.
Tags: Baseball Movies