THE PEST Add To My Top 10
In Need of Extermination
Release Date: February 06, 1997
Runtime: 82 minutes
Distributor: TriStar Pictures
Director: Paul Miller
Executive Producer: Robert A. Papazain
Writer: David Bar Katz
Address Comments To:Mark Canton, Chairman
(a Sony Pictures Entertainment company)
10202 West Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
From the start, Leguizamoas PestarioVargasstruts, impersonates celebrities and acts crazy doing a rap number in the shower in his Miami home. He is loud-mouthed and loudly dressed, as he looks forward to a full day of cheating others out of their money at the beach. While he steals dollars performing as a blind man, he is noticed by a German named GustavShank (Jeffrey Jones). Shank and his henchmen decide to perform their own scam on the Pest by offering him $50,000 for a scholarship. (The $50,000 is actually prize money if he survives a personal manhunt on their private island.) The Pest is enticed by this offer because, for unexplained reasons, he owes $50,000 to the Scottish Mafia.
On the island, Pest discovers this evil plot and tries his best to escape, while dodging bullets. He is aided by Gustav’seffeminate son Himmel, an offensive homosexual stereotype with come-hither behaviors. On an escape boat, Pest and Himmeltake turns vomiting over the side and then vomiting on each other. Back on home turf, Pest evades and eventually outwits Gustavby impersonating a Chinese delivery boy, an Orthodox rabbi and a Japanese businessman. All of these characterizations are performed with offensiveness and insult.
This movie is only for very limited tastes. Most will find the 82 minutes running time too long. There is no question that Leguizamohas energy and a showman’s heart. He puts his all into this role. However, he is clearly a Jim Carrey rip-off and a derivative, unoriginal comedian. Unlike Jim Carrey, we never get the impression that he is a master at physical comedy. We do get the impression that he doesn’t know how to exercise taste and restraint when characterizing people groups. We also find the plot a little too unsavory to swallow – a manhunt. (One time, there is a brief image of human heads collected by Gustav.) The pest is so irritating, that some viewers may want to see him bumped off.
All of the focus of this movie is on Leguizamowith a very shallow supporting cast. If Leguizamois looking for a franchise vehicle, he probably won’t find it here. Jeff Jones has performed best as a vindictive high school principal in FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF. Here, he fakes a German accent and acts as a genuine psychopath. All in all, THE PEST is a very flimsy comedy, only pleasing the most juvenile of audiences. In fact, most people may want THE PEST to be exterminated.
This movie is only for very limited tastes. Most will find the 82 minutes running time too long. Leguizamohas energy, but he is a Jim Carrey rip-off and a unoriginal comedian. Containing gross and obscene behavior such as vomiting and flatulence, it has many offensive, racist representations. Though not appropriate for the young, this movie will only amuse the very juvenile and immature. Most people may want THE PEST to be exterminated.