July 23, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

Writer-director E. Max Frye would dearly love to be a Preston Sturges for the ’90s. He surrounds a prissy black intellectual (Jackson) and the white-trash loser (Cage) who takes him hostage with a host of dimwit small-town authority figures in the manner of Sturges’ ’40s stock company. But Frye doesn’t have Sturges’ twisted love of worldplay, and without it, Amos & Andrew quickly topples off the high wire of inspired tastelessness into the sump of plain old Bad Taste. Rent some real Sturges like The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek or Sullivan’s Travels instead. D+

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