The Man who Knew too Little

Wallace: Please don't call me by my real name, it destroys the reality I'm trying to create.


A 1997 movie starring Bill Murray, directed by Jon Amiel and based on the novel "Watch that Man" by Robert Farrar. The film is a comedy with the main purpose of allowing Bill Murray to act like Bill Murray, and although the humor is shallow at times, there are some hilarious moments that make the movie worth checking out. It is probably not good theatre fare with no scenes that necessitate the big screen, but rented or on TV it allows for good fun foer about one-and-a-half hours.


Wallace: Time out! I got something in my eye!

Bill Murray plays Wallace Richie, who just came from America to England to visit his brother. But, this being a surprise visit, his brother already had other plans, namely a business dinner with his boss and German customers. So he needs something to occupy his - obviously not too bright - brother, and buys him a ticket to the Theatre of Life, an audience participation improvization theatre, that plays in London at the time. So he waits near a phone booth for a call to tell him what to do...


He answers, but instead of the theatre troupe, it is a mysterious man trying to reach a killer. Thinking this is part of the play, Wallace goes along, and so a series of hilarious twists and turns begin to happen. He get's mixed up in a plot to blow up the British and Russian ambassodors before they can sign a peace treaty. With an incredible amount of luck and absolutely no clue on what's going on, he manages to always be at the right point at the right time, blocks attacks on his life, evades bullets, saves the ambassadors, and even get's the girl in the end while never finding out what was going on, not even at the end. For him, it's all an act. But to the men who want a second Cold War, Wallace is public enemy number one.

The plot is very tight and keeps on delivering fresh angles on the situation, giving Murray many chances to show off his comedic talent. Wallace, figuring out more and more of the "play", get's into the role more and more, the way he thinks he it should be played. And it's funny all the way through to the last scene, where he is recruited by "the company" for real, and he promises them to do 5 "hits" every week, but only is he can "do" old folks and children as well. As I said, he never get's a clue...

Murray delivers his part perfectly, but the other characters (especially Boris The Butcher, a notorious russian KGB operative trying to kill Wallace, but finding his master in him) are colorful and believable as well.

The film is not a subtle as Groundhog Day, but never stoops to the lows of a typical Leslie Nielsen flick. The Man who knew too Little is definitely a film to check out!

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