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Article

Senseless

Posted on

Senseless

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
performer:
David Spade, Marlon Wayans, Matthew Lillard, Rip Torn
director:
Penelope Spheeris

We gave it a C-

As a comic, Marlon Wayans, with his ordinary-Joe handsomeness and eager-to-please attitude, has far less personality than his brothers — he’s the Daniel Baldwin of the Wayans clan — but it was shrewd to cast him in as a financially strapped college student who, for cash, agrees to participate in a research experiment that dramatically heightens his senses. Confronted with smells he can’t abide, noises he can’t handle, and tastes he can’t get enough of, Wayans spends the film contorting his face with rubbery abandon. Depending on the scene, he looks as if he’s either experiencing the orgasm of a lifetime or suffering the aftereffects of a septic-tank explosion. All of this wears very thin very fast. Senseless was directed by Penelope Spheeris, who showed a sly touch in Wayne’s World but proved, in the Chris Farley-David Spade vehicle Black Sheep, that she’s more than willing to descend into bang-your-head overkill. Her setups here are so witless and pedestrian that there’s no imagination to the crude slapstick punchlines; we’re just watching a bland jester pantomime sensory overload. There is one truly funny bit: Wayans’ rag-doll body language when he loses control of his muscles — including, most spectacularly, his tongue. C-