Jimmy the Tulip (Willis) is a famous gangster for having "popped' 22 people and not getting caught. Jimmy now lives in blissful retirement in Mexico, and has discovered his softer, more feminine side. He has become a gourmet cook, an excellent gardener and is very house proud. He gets around in his apron and slippers attending to a thousand domestic details. Jimmy's wife Jill, however, has not given up her life of crime and successfully keeps her hand in the death-dealing business. Their former, goofy colleague Nicholas 'Oz' Oseransky (Perry) turns up and pleads for help in capturing back his wife Cynthia (Natasha Oseransky) from the Hungarian mob in Los Angeles. Reluctantly, Jimmy comes of retirement to help Oz out. He lives to regret it.
Unfortunately Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry are going to draw a decent younger crowd to The Whole Ten Yards. It doesn't deserve it. Not only because its premises are so amoral, and it's not funny, but also because it fails as the parody on the gangster genre, in general, and this film's predecessor, The Whole Nine Yards, in particular.
The slapstick routines wear thin very quickly and the double cross story is unnecessarily complex. Bruce Willis is horribly miscast at the comic, hard-man-gone-soft hero, and Matthew Perry works hard to make something out of a thankless role.
The Whole Ten Yards is repeatedly crude, with sexual references and innuendoes that many people will find offensive.
Go further than ten yards if you have to, but avoid this silly film.
Fr Richard Leonard SJ is the Director of the Australian Catholic Film Office.