‘Leonard Part 6’ Review: Clever, but Dumb

Posted in The Screening Room by - December 06, 2015

When I found out that my first review for So Bad They’re Still Bad month was a movie starring Bill Cosby, I wanted it to be good. The film is called Leonard Part 6, and I wanted to use this review to talk about how, after everything he’s been accused of, regardless of your opinion about him, it was still completely acceptable to enjoy works that he took part in. I wanted to use it to connect to the issue of how the talented people he’s worked with have been effected by his misdeeds and the public perception of his body of work. Unfortunately I can’t, because Leonard Part 6 is not good.

The film follows Bill Cosby as he plays Leonard on his sixth mission for what I guess is the CIA. As Leonard’s British butler explains in his narration, the previous five missions are all still classified, but rest assured, Leonard is the best spy in the western world. When a villainous vegetarian begins mind controlling animals to kill secret agents, the CIA looks to Leonard, but he’s been retired for seven years, ever since he wife caught him taking a birch switch to a naked nineteen year old in a hot tub. Leonard refuses to go back to work as an agent, hoping his wife will forgive him, but after a disastrous dinner date, he takes the job out of spite. While all of this is going on, Leonard must also deal with the fact that his young daughter is dating the sixty six year old director of the play in which she strips nude on stage. It’s a pretty insane flick.

At first I felt the feature was similar to Naked Gun, as it opens with a rainbow trout pausing to look at a Playboy magazine on its way to eat a man alive in his swimming pool. An agent sent to kill Cosby at a restaurant uses four different guns, all the bullets of which only serve to help the chefs prepare the meals that they continue to cook without flinching. Unfortunately the movie begins to drag relatively early. The scene in which Leonard suits up for his mission is far too long. The training montage showing Leonard preparing for his date with his wife is incredibly bland. Leonard spends roughly four minutes ineffectually throwing explosives at a door. The series of shots that make up the fight between a ballet dancing Leonard and thirteen vegetarians performing interpretive dance routines is nonsensical. The feature also suffers from a lack of material. Its eighty five minute run time feels far longer thanks to a rehashing of several jokes that simply weren’t very funny to begin with.

The movie was directed by Paul Weiland, best known for directing City Slickers 2 and Made of Honor, but Cosby produced, starred in, and has a story writer’s credit for the piece, so it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that he held most of the creative control. What is interesting to note is that, despite all his involvement, Cosby publicly urged movie going audiences not to see the film, and purchased the television rights to make sure it was never aired on TV.

When all is said and done, Leonard Part 6 is a boring and bland feature, with forced bits, an uneven and poorly paced sense of timing, an almost astounding lack of talent, and mostly uninspired humor. Unfortunately it isn’t such unadulterated puke as to be at least enjoyable as a drinks with friends flick, and should simply be avoided at all costs.

Final Say: Skip It

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Born in Arizona, he currently resides in Denton, Texas. When he isn't watching movies he's playing board games and drinking whatever he can get his hands on. John watches Djimon Honsou movies because he likes Spawn, which had Michael Jai White.
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