The Man Who Knew Too Little

Readers of Mike D’Angelo’s reappraisal of The Game in our Jan. 23 issue got quite a charge out of his calling the Michael Douglas suspense flick his favorite movie of 1997. One wrote to say we should dump D’Angelo, pronto; seven said they were grateful that some critic finally understands. What that response bodes for the following is anybody’s guess: Bill Murray’s The Man Who Knew Too Little qualifies as The Game‘s comic doppeläanger, the improbable tale of a lonely guy who gets an unusual birthday gift from his younger brother — a chance to role-play in the ”Theatre of Life” — and has numerous scrapes with death as a result. But where The Game shakes Douglas’ millionaire from his emotional shell, Murray’s vacationing video clerk from Des Moines fairly bursts to embrace what turns out to be a real spy caper being played out on the streets of London. Man makes for satisfying farce with a Pink Panther patina, and though not the best comedy of 1997, it is Murray at his irresistible best, in his most confident outing since Groundhog Day. B+

The Man Who Knew Too Little
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