A Fish Called Wanda 1988 (1988) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, then try to doublecross each other for the loot. Runtime: 108 mins Release Date: 05 Aug 1988
One of the best and most underrated comedies of all time (by Cpartak)
Before I review this film, I want to mention that I've seen it about ten times and have yet to stop laughing at any of the jokes. This is one of the best written and acted comedies that I've ever seen. The plot is airtight, and the jokes are perfectly timed and delivered. This is due in large part to the spectacular cast of the film. Jamie Lee Curtis, Johh Cleese, Michael Palin, and my personal favorite Kevin Kline as Otto the moronic ex-CIA agent who's too stupid to realize that he's stupid. The film centers around the four aforementioned actors who are involved in a bank <more>
robbery, and the conniving and backstabbing by each that takes place afterwards. A large portion of the comedic material in this film comes from the mixture, or more precisely clash, of British and American cultures. Kevin Kline's portrayal of Otto the red-blooded American with entirely too much ego and confidence is contrasted perfectly by John Cleese's reserved and in Otto's words "sexually repressed" English gentleman who is too scared to go out and live his life. Jamie Lee Curtis is also great as the title character who is determined to back-stab and cross anyone and everyone in order to get what she wants. Finally, there's Michael Palin as Ken the hit-man/animal lover/severe stutterer who must kill a key witness in order to protect his boss. If there are any funnier scenes than the ones where Ken must kill this witness, I haven't seen them. Palin is absolutely brilliant, easily one of the best comedic performances ever. The film is close to 2 hours long, but the plot is so clever and well structured that it's over before you know it. To me, that is one of the trademarks of a great film. You don't want this movie to end, and you're disappointed when it does. Do yourself a favor and watch A Fish Called Wanda and you will wonder why you haven't seen or in many cases even heard of this film before.
This is the only film I ever paid to see two days in a row. I missed too much of it the first time because of my own hysterical snorting laughter.This is a work of comic genius. And, like any good film, the screenplay is at the heart of the belly laughs. Every character is given a detailed personality quirk or two, and then it is shamefully exploited for laugh after laugh. Note for example, John Cleese's speech to Jamie Lee Curtis about how awful it is to be British - the eternal fear of embarrassment. Moments later, he is caught buck naked in a marital tryst in some else's flat by <more>
the people to used to live in his own home. Also, the funny-offensive envelope is pushed to the limit when K-K-K-Ken Michael Palin , the passionate animal lover inadvertently kills three innocent dogs in his attempt to murder an old woman who would otherwise be a prosecution witness. Now that's funny!Cleese's character, Archie Leach Carey Grant's real name is a likable buffoon of a lawyer, happy in his banal existence until he meets the sexy American, Wanda Jamie Lee . I cannot even being to describe the plot beyond that point without doing it a grave disservice. It twists and dangles about in a world of double-cross and goldfish-eating for no other reason than to set up a joke.You cannot speak of this film without mention of Kevin Kline as Otto, a role that won him a richly-deserved Oscar. Otto is the ex-CIA "weapons man" who makes it his business to read philosophy but would be more at home with Curious George. An obsessive, self-indulgent, painfully stupid, violent, deceitful, gullible egomaniac, the character of Otto is amongst the best comedic performances ever delivered.The film's funniest scene takes place at Leach's Cleese house. In a scene that rivals anything that has ever hit the screen for laughs, the film and its scripts looks deep enough into itself to even give Cleese's dry-as-toast wife a laugh or two. Then, later on, this scene proves to be the set up for even more jokes. A Fish Called Wanda is pure comedy and every scene either provides a laugh or sets one up - it graciously does not waste our time trying to be moral or turning into a formula car-chase flick.My comments are choppy but so is this movie. If you see it and don't laugh, check your pulse. We have only been given a handful of good comedies in the last decade. A Fish Called Wanda is a treasure. **** out of ****.NOTE: TBS and some other TV networks show this film with the "offensive language" edited out. It kills the movie - if you can't hack the language, pass this one over.
This is one of the funniest films I have ever seen. The film is so well put together that time flew on by and I was sitting there wanting more. This movie is perfectly cast and well directed. There is no real style to the direction, but when you have a script like this all you need to do is point the camera and let it rip. I would like to point out that if you haven't seen this movie yet, check it out for Kevin Kline's performance alone. It is one of the best comedic performances you will ever witness. Great movie.
The Kevin Kline Show! (by Coventry)
Brief and simple: this movie is terrific entertainment! With its uniquely eccentric characters and delightfully absurd storyline, 'A Fish Called Wanda" unquestionably is one of the funniest films ever made. The exhilarating screenplay works on so many level a diamond heist gone wrong, Brits vs. Americans, romantic comedy... and the top-notch cast obviously had an excellent time doing this film-job. There's not a dull moment throughout the entire movie and every sequence contains at least two or three hilarious moments. The humor is very over-the-top at times but, what the hell, <more>
it remains a joy to behold. The cast is nearly perfect with John Cleese, Michael Palin and Jamie Lee Curtis at their absolute best. Still, there's one actor who deserves extra praise for his role here and that's Kevin Kline. His hyperactive, deranged and extravagant character Otto is one of the most brilliant roles in comedy cinema ever! His moves, grimaces and monologues will make you fall off your seat laughing. Kline won an Oscar for his role and, everybody who has seen "A Fish Called Wanda" will agree on the fact that this was a well-deserved price.
Excellent caper comedy with a perfect cast (by funkyfry)
This is one of the best, if not THE best, caper comedies of the modern era. The writing is very witty and at the same time sometimes turgid. The cast is absolutely perfect; Cleese makes a great subdued lawyer who wants to be a bad boy, Curtis is wonderful and just keeps you guessing as perhaps her own character is guessing, as to what it is SHE wants , and Kline is perfectly annoying as the Nietzsche-quoting American. This movie has strong shades of "The Big Sleep" and other Howard Hawks comedies, even going so far as to name Cleese's character "Leach" in honor of <more>
Cary Grant. This film should appeal to those with no classic movie knowledge, but for those who have seen "To Catch a Thief" and other caper classics, this is even more of a treat. Romantic, funny, and slick. Also big ups to Michael Palin for another memorable supporting performance.
When four people team up for armed robbery then all try to keep the whole lot for themselves, hilarity follows. The humor in this film is clever and constant, never letting up for a minute. Watch especially for Kevin Kline's performance of Otto, it's one you'll remember for years to come. His attitude and his character suit him so well. His contrast with John Cleese's Archie Leach is phenomenal. A must see for all. Brilliant film.
Not a moment wasted ... (by Vic_max)
This movie is worth watching. Its humor seems timeless. 20 years after it was made I found it hilarious. Just about every scene is written with some clever gag or dialog involved.Although it has some notable names in the cast, 10 years from now it will be Kevin Kline's performance that I remember. I've never seen a character and performance that was so brilliantly nutty and hilarious.It's not surprising that two major talents of the Monty Python troupe are involved. If you happen to like witty and intelligent comedies - you'll have a blast.
What comedy always needs to be. (by KnightsofNi11)
A Fish Called Wanda is a hilarious tale of deceit, lies, and sex. It tells the story of four people who attempt to pull off a massive diamond heist. Things are going well until the foursome's leader, George, gets arrested and refuses to reveal the location of the stolen diamonds. The group tries to convince George's lawyer to retrieve the information from George and tell them but this only sets off a nutty chain of events as everyone attempts to double cross the other. This is pure comedy done right. The film is hilarious, while also telling a story that is more fleshed out than the <more>
average heist film. It is situational comedy meets crime film and it all is pulled off excellently.The only way to correctly start off a review of this film would be to mention just how great the main four characters are and how amazing the actors portraying them are. John Cleese, Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Michale Palin could not have been cast in their roles more perfectly. All four of them are so incredibly fitting and they do such fantastic jobs in their roles. Plus, these characters are so much fun. John Cleese plays the lawyer defending the mastermind behind the diamond heist. Jamie Lee Curtis is the lover of said mastermind who is actually going behind her lover's back to steal the diamonds from him and flee the country with her other love Otto. In order to do this she has to get information from Cleese, making Otto jealous. One hysterical thing leads to another and the whole film is fueled by lies and misunderstandings that build on one another throughout the whole film, making for such an outrageously funny movie.This kind of talent in comedic writing is just too rare. Too often do comedies miss out on a good story in order to jam pack the film with jokes. A Fish Called Wanda manages to balance the two and actually tell a story that is fueled by jokes. Unlike other comedies, the jokes tell the story in A Fish Called Wanda, creating an even blend between comedy and story that all meld seamlessly into each other. It is just what this genre is all about. It goes to show that you can tell a story through a comedic medium that is just as good if not better than a story written through a serious medium.The other great thing about this film is that it never forgets it is a comedy. It never forgets to make us laugh and it always refrains from getting sentimental or sappy. It is all about making us laugh keeping us interested through hilarious situations that stretch out through the entire film. The jokes in this film don't just show up and then leave immediately. They stick around and they just get funnier and funnier, always keeping your attention and always leaving you in anticipation of what these characters will get themselves into next. Watching a movie like this is just insanely fun when there is never a dull moment. It really is just what every comedy needs to be.A Fish Called Wanda is a classic slice of comedic filmmaking. It is a film that defines what comedy can be and it exemplifies the level of quality comedy can reach. Even when the film gets a little too silly or something a little too outrageous occurs, you still enjoy the film and there seems to be nothing in here that can drag down my opinion that this is a great film. Comedy isn't my favorite genre of all time, but movies like A Fish Called Wanda make me remember the good the genre brings us and why I continue to watch these films.
What was the middle thing? (by TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews)
This is an incredibly hilarious, screwball, caper romp. With only two of the Pythons and a director who, I understand, had not done comedy before, you might be worried that it leaves something to be desired, but I can assure you, it is a sharply written masterpiece. A lot of the humor is pitch black, there is cleverness and silliness, vaudeville and sit-com-like sequences, this insists on not being politically correct, and almost no joke or gag falls flat or feels forced. There is a ton of energy in it, and the pace is spot-on. It does not run out of steam at any point, and it doesn't end <more>
abruptly. The plot is engaging and very nicely put together; detailed without being convoluted. Editing and cinematography are great, they don't call too much attention to themselves. It all adds up to making this a classic of its genre. This may be the first time Kline behaves like an ass in a role, which has since become his schtick. Jamie Lee Curtis is at her most seductive and sexy in this. The characters are well-written, fleshed out and credible if not necessarily mentally stable . I was laughing throughout the entirety of this, and would agree that it is definitely one of the funniest films ever. There is plentiful strong language, a bit of sex that isn't graphic in its depiction, a little over the top violence, and it can be rather tasteless for anyone bothered by that . The Special Edition DVD contains two additional tracks an interesting commentary by John and a good and amusing factoid one , a handful of well-done, informative featurettes, numerous deleted and alternate scenes with Cleese introducing every single one of them, and some photo galleries. I recommend this to anyone that can imagine enjoying this. 8/10