Kuffs: ”Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.”

Year: 1992
Directed by Bruce A. Evans

Produced by Raynold Gideon
Written by Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon

Cast: Christian Slater,Tony Goldwyn,Milla Jovovich, Bruce Boxleitner,Troy Evans,George de la Peña,Leon Rippy and Mary Ellen Trainor

George Kuffs, a bit of a screwup and a young man that never wants to do his responsibilities. But, after his older brother is killed by a mobster, George Kuffs wants to bring his killer to justice and takes up his brother’s position in the San Francisco Patrol Special Police.

Kuffs is might just be another ”middle of the road” action comedy. A genre which dominated a lot of the 80s and 90s. Despite not being the biggest standout of its genre, Kuffs is still a great romp. Kuffs isn’t completely devoid of a personality in spite of its slightly hackneyed setup.

Christian Slater’s performance as George Kuffs could be the best showcase of his comedic chops. Kuffs is a lovable underdog and partly a sleazeball. Kuffs being a sleazeball could have robbed him of likability but Kuffs keeps us amused with his clever wit and his self-deprecating humor. His constant self-awareness of his personal failings does make him come off more vulnerable . And, it is the villains that keep Kuffs constantly on the ropes rather than vice versa. His peers don’t necessarily respect his antics usually. Kuffs is much of a fool to us as he is to the characters of the story. So, him needing to prove he can be a hero is somewhat of a fulfilling character arc. Kuffs is a man always at wit’s end while never losing his sense of fun.

Kuffs does follow the conventions of an action comedy closely. Like its protagonist, George Kuffs, the film itself possesses a high degree of self-awareness. It has an uncanny tendency to break the fourth wall when George just begins voicing his thoughts to the audience. Of course, like all action comedy, it is loaded with heavy slapstick. The slapstick is funny, but more importantly, the slapstick never gets in the way of the main plot. Which keeps the plot stronger. If you consider a tonal whiplash to be an issue then Kuffs will be a problem for you. Kuffs cares little for tonal consistency as it shifts from the serious to the comedic with little care. Though is hardly bothersome considering it features constant fourth wall breaking. The gags and slapstick have a bit of ingenuity as both are used in ways that tend to be unexpected. The rare moments of pure sincere drama can be unexpectedly touching if George Kuffs doesn’t annoy you. If you’re hoping for a lot of action, Kuffs might leave you disappointed.

Kuffs is a half-hearted spoof that delivers on great laughs and fun. It can’t escape its derivative nature, yet, its modest and self-aware aspirations have a special charm of its own. Kuffs is a charming underachiever.

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