Posing the question “Who is Corky?” in huge block letters, the promotional campaign for “Corky Romano” not merely tempts but invites the easy, smart-a*s retort of “Who cares?”–or, perhaps more accurately, “Who the f**k cares,” for the only image running with said query is the disembodied head of “Saturday Night Live” player Chris Kattan sporting an especially toothy, especially goofy smile. Surprising it is, then, that some of the silliness actually elicits laughter. Not terribly surprising, however, is that there’s not enough of that laughter.
Kattan plays Corky, the black sheep son of mob boss “Pops” Romano (Peter Falk). The paper-thin plot has Pops enlisting Corky to infiltrate the FBI to destroy incriminating evidence, thus setting the stage for this flamboyant assistant veterinarian to bumble his way through fed headquarters and stumble his way through crime scenes. Seeing Kattan knock over numerous props on each set is as unfunny as it sounds, but every now and again pops up a scene good for some giggle-worthy stupidity, such as when Corky, accidentally tweaked on cocaine (don’t ask), has to give a speech to a room full of elementary school children. While Kattan is a nimble enough comedian to pull off some moments of amusing idiocy, thankfully director Rob Pritts has surrounded him with a cast of reliable pros, which in addition to Falk includes Richard Roundtree as Corky’s FBI superior and Chris Penn and Peter Berg as Corky’s far-tougher (at least on the outside) brothers.
“Corky Romano” isn’t based on a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, but it might as well as been, considering how quickly the energy peters out before the sub-90-minute run time has expired. A subplot involving a FBI agent (Matthew Glave) jealous of the attention lavished on Corky is predictable and tiresome, and the film succumbs to the usual third act pitfalls of idiot comedies: the goofy hero somehow grows some brains in the final stretch, where some completely unearned attempts at heartstring-yanking take place. Some light amusements make “Corky” hardly the ordeal it appears to be, but that’s not exactly the most glowing of praise, now is it?