Disorderlies (1987)

disorderlies

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80’s rap group The Fat Boys take the lead in this hilarious slapstick comedy from the director of The Last Dragon.

Winslow Lowry is a devious gambler who owes over $600,000 to loan shark and gangster Luis Montana. Lowry is hoping his rich uncle, Albert Dennison, will pass away so he can inherit everything. When the orderlies hired to take care of Dennison are doing a great job, Lowry finds himself convinced that the only way to get rid of Dennison is to hire the worst orderlies in the country. On a tip, Lowry and his cohort Miguel head to Brooklyn, New York.

Enter Markie, Kool, and Buff, hailed as the worst orderlies in the city. Lowry hires them right away to move to Palm Springs to take care of Dennison. When Kool decides to leave due to his displeasure of the job, a chance encounter with three women cause Dennison, who Buff brought along for the ride, to have a new life. Soon enough, Dennison has warmed up to the trio and entrusts them with making sure he is okay. When Lowry gets wind of the new friendship, he may have to take extremes to get his way and things are ready to turn upside down.

The days of slapstick comedy, from the Marx Brothers to the Three Stooges, the classic comic genre involving physical skills was always a grand delight to see. Before today’s comedy involving mostly raunchiness and grossout humor came the 80’s, where teen exploitation classics such as Porky’s and Revenge of the Nerds brought a style of having T&A but not use gross-out or anything too raunchy. Then comes this film, which pays homage to the slapstick comedy with just a little dash of “exploitation” but more to a non-nudity kind of manner, except for a small skinny dipping scene in a pool.

By the time of the film’s release, rap music had paved the way thanks to the likes of LL Cool J, The Sugar Hill Gang, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and the stars of this film, The Fat Boys. The trio of Mark Morales, Damon Wimbley, and Darren Robinson not only get a chance to show their rap skills in a highlighted rendition of The Beatles’ “Baby You’re a Rich Man”, but they bring a slapstick style of comedy in the film with multiple slaps and falls. Each has his own trait in the film as Markie, plyed by Morales, is lovestruck with maid Carla, played by actress/filmmaker Troy Beyer; Kool, played by Wimbley, is the hot-headed one who wants to leave at first but decides to go along for the ride; while Buffy, played by the late Robinson is the most calm and smart one of the trio, as he proves to be sympathetic in all situations and tends to find a way out when necessary.

The legendary Ralph Bellamy is at first not a happy camper as millionaire Albert Dennison, but after a fun night at a roller rink with the boys, he joins in on the laughs, telling his nephew to chill out and to step off, hilarious 80’s lingo. An attempt at CPR also shows Bellamy’s chemistry with the rap trio that proves to be funny. Anthony Geary attempts to be more of a goofball than a mastermind as the greedy nephew Winslow Lowry. In one attempt to kill his uncle, an accidental death shows a sad look on Geary that for some reason still looks funny.

Disorderlies is a fun film that is an 80s homage to the slapstick comedy. Legendary rap group The Fat Boys are fun to watch and their chemistry with Ralph Bellamy helps drive the film. If only there was more slapstick comedy in today’s films.

WFG RATING: B+

A Warner Bros. Pictures production. Director: Michael Schultz. Producers: George A. Jackson, Michael Schultz, and Michael Jaffe. Writers: Mark Feldberg and Mitchell Klebanoff. Cinematography: Rolf Kestermann. Editing: Ned Humphries.

Cast: Mark “Prince Markie” Morales, Damon “Kool Rock” Wimbley, Darren “Buffy” Robinson, Ralph Bellamy, Anthony Geary, Tony Plana, Marco Rodriguez, Troy Beyer, Don Hood, Garth Wilton, Ray Parker Jr., Laura Hunter, Tetchie Agbayani.

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