After their extremely funny and very successful comedy smash TOMMY BOY, Chris Farley and David Spade joined forces again and came up with BLACK SHEEP, a movie that can almost best be described as a TOMMY BOY wanna-be. In BLACK SHEEP Chris Farley plays Mike Donnelly, a simple-minded, klutzy, and sometimes off-the-handle troubled youth worker who is an embarrassment to his older brother Al (Tim Matheson) who is running for the governor of Washington. Mike really wants his brother to win and does everything he can to campaign for him, but his best intentions always seem to bring about disastrous results. In an attempt to keep Mike in check, Al's campaign managers assign aide Steve Dodds (David Spade) to take Mike to a cabin in the mountains and keep him from causing any trouble. This proves impossible to do, and Mike continues to get into trouble. However, along the way Steve and Mike uncover evidence of a fixed election and set out to bring justice.
BLACK SHEEP is a water-downed version of TOMMY BOY. Chris Farley plays the dufus relative of a person of power. David Spade plays the person assigned to watch over him. The family's power is lost and Chris and Dave go on a road trip to re-establish the family's position. There are some funny moments in BLACK SHEEP, but some of them are direct copies of jokes from TOMMY BOY, while most of the others just aren't all that funny. The similarities between the two movies don't stop there. Farley plays the same football play with his youth center kids as he does while cow-tipping in TOMMY BOY and the car that Farley and Spade's characters drove in TOMMY BOY can be seen parked in front of the youth center that Mike Donnelly works at. There are even a couple of times in the movie where Farley almost refers to Spade's character as "Richard" (the character Spade played in TOMMY BOY).
I'm a fan of Chris Farley. I think he was a comic genius that never achieved his full potential. He lost his life because of an addiction to drugs and that addiction affected much of his later work, including BLACK SHEEP.
I'm not as big a fan of David Spade's, but I do enjoy many of his characters. He is at his best when he's going off on a witty, biting sarcastic rant or when he is playing over-the-top characters (e.g. MEET JOE DIRT). Unfortunately in BLACK SHEEP he really doesn't get to do either and it affects the quality of the movie.
Overall, BLACK SHEEP is just an average comedy that borders on below average. The presence of Farley and Spade keep it from falling below the brink, but just barely. It's a far lesser movie than TOMMY BOY, but it is a film that illustrates the decline and fall of Farley as both a comedian and a person struggling with addiction.
I never knew quite what to say about this movie, but then I remember that this movie is so much like Tommy Boy-and then it hit me. It's a sequel but with different plots. Tommy Boy was about a well meaning fat college kid having to take on responsibilities and keep his deceased dad's auto parts store running. Black Sheep was about a fat guy taking on responsibilities and to keep his brother's political career going. It's not QUITE as transparent as Hangover … more
Bumbling brother can't help but continue to impair his brothers chances at being Governer, so brother has a smarmy aide babysit him in the middle of nowhere while putting up flyers and getting into trouble. Not awful, but if you saw Tommy Boy, it's nothing really new.
Chris Farley plays the disaster-prone brother of a gubernatorial candidate in Washington State. Though he is well meaning, the havoc he creates on the campaign trail is drawing press attention, so a snotty aide (David Spade) to the politician is dispatched to keep the big lug under control. Spade's character initially insults his charge as often as possible, but over time, the two bond and end up becoming a part of the final election push. Farley and Spade have some very funny moments, but overall the film feels rushed and poorly planned. Constant changes in character and script happen recklessly and randomly so that nothing ever really makes sense; the film keeps changing the rules by which it plays.--Tom Keogh