Life Without Dick (1999) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

When I tell you about this movie it's going to sound a lot funnier than it was.

It is the story of an Irish mobster who really bugged his "godfather" to get out of the accounting department and into field operations. So his padrone promotes him to hit man, but he has no talent for it at all. He has never actually killed anyone. The capo offers to send him back to accounting, but he says he can do it, and asks for another chance.



The boss assigns him to kill a private detective who is not only a private dick, but is also named Dick. He is an arrogant schlub who advertises on TV. (And the guy who plays this part should be a Razzie "worst actor" nominee. What prompted this man to seek an acting career? More important, why did someone hire him? His entire schtick consisted of looking into the camera at extreme close-up range. Fortunately, he was killed about a minute into the movie.) Before the hit man can get to Dick, the targeted detective is blown away by his own girlfriend, who was just waving a gun around to scare him.

When the hit man and the girlfriend meet, rockets go off. It's a match made in heaven. He's a hitman with no talent for killing, and she is a natural at it. She even kills people when she doesn't mean to. He has the girl do all of his contracts for him, and soon he's one of the top hit men in the business. But he's ashamed that they weren't really his kills. The girl empathizes with him, "Just because you can't kill anyone doesn't make you a bad person".

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • no meaningful features

Ah, well, you get the idea. I guess it's kind of a black absurdist comedy. Some of the performers are OK, others are very weak. The script is completely cobbled together. Here's an example. Because the Irish accountant-turned-hitman is played by Harry Connick Jr, they make his real career goal to be a singer. In fact, even the targeted hits from rival gangs ask him for a song as their last request before being killed.

Actually, although the singing premise was pretty lame, and many gags kept going after they were worn out, I thought that some of the black humor about murderers and their victims was cruelly funny, and the movie looks great in a sharp DVD transfer, so I think it may appeal to some of you who think the premise sounds oddly pleasurable.

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDB readers say 5.9 of 10, based on only 16 votes.
  • with their dollars ... never released theatrically in the USA


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. Not a winner, but oddly entertaining in stretches.

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