In the not so distant past Senseless would have been prohibited from the BMT treatment. I distinctly remember watching this film when it came out. Probably perusing the aisles of Ye Olde Hollywood Video, Patrick and I saw the dope orange DVD case (VHS box? This landed right on the boundary) and were like “We gotta see the new David Spade joint, we loved him in PCU.” And boy would we have been right (because David Spade essentially plays the same character as he did in PCU). But even that vague recollection would have been enough for us to say, ‘No BMT Allowed!’ Good thing that rule is gonzo..
To recap, Marlon Wayans is a college student working numerous jobs to pay his way through school and support his mother and siblings. He has staked everything on getting a big junior analyst job, but with only one spot (and wealthy financier’s son, David Spade, in the competition) it would seem he’s out of luck. But oh ho ho, what’s this? An experimental drug that will enhance your senses? How fortunate for Wayans (and the audience, for surely hilarity will ensue). Soon he is hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, and seeing his way into the lead (not to mention a new hot GF). Still worried about his chances, though, Wayans takes a double dose of the drug and hears, smells, tastes… you get it, right out of the competition again. Off the drug for good, Wayans studies his butt off for the final event and manages to win, but ultimately confesses that he got a leg up in the previous events. He loses the position, but the head of the company likes his spunk and gives him a job in the mail room anyway. Ultimately he gets the job and the girl. THE END.
From the description you’re probably like ‘sounds dumb, probably BMT will rake this film over the coals. Let me get my popcorn ready with my special popcorn spices. Hopefully I can find the special popcorn spices because I so rarely use them since they are special spices and not everyday spices. That would be expensive if I used my special popcorn spices for any old event. Better be special.’ But stop! Don’t pour all those special popcorn spices down your gullet just yet. That’s because (could it be?) maybe this film wasn’t so bad? I won’t go so far as to say that it was not so bad, not so bad, but there were a lot of pleasant things about it. Matthew Lillard was fun and sweet as Wayans’ BFF, the message of the film was good, and David Spade played his character as an aloof nemesis in a pleasing way. The biggest issue is a classic 90’s treatment of the 2D love interest and the fact that the premise of the film is complete nonsense. It’s like a child wrote up what they thought the process of getting an internship was like… why do they care how good Wayans is at hockey? What does that have to do with anything? Why would there be so many different events? It’s wild.
That gets me to my Hot Take Clam Bake… is this a better way for hiring? Should all talent searches be run this way? The one thing it certainly did was separate the wheat from the chaff. Who has time for a Billy Madison-esque academic decathlon to get a junior analyst position? People who are going to be great junior analysts, that’s who. And as a bonus, the competition is such a roller coaster of emotions that even those that dare to cheat the integrity of the decathlon are so physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually spent that they immediately confess and become a better person (and thus a better employee). Hot Take Temperature: Buffalo Wild Wings. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Senseless? More like … Senseless, but like, more pejorative. Remember the year 1998, when gas was 25 cents, living was easy, and Marlon Wayans was a star? Those were the days. Let’s go!
- I’ve seen this film before, but the only thing I really remembered from it was that he takes too much of the drug and his senses go all crazy. That was it.
- David Spade though is shockingly good. A really interesting character as well. Usually in a film like this his character would be an irredeemable piece of shit. Like the bad guy in Van Wilder. A guy who gleefully ruins the main character’s life (or tries to) because he’s rich and wants to (? That seems like the motivation sometimes). David Spade’s character might be rich, but he just kind of knows he’s the best. He just knows that it is very unlikely that Marlon Waynes will defeat him to get the internship. And so he ultimately is snarky but cordial to Waynes, because why not? Waynes really just doesn’t seem like a threat. It is an interestingly pleasant part of the film.
- Fine, Spade humiliating Wayans at the frat is rough, but Wayans shouldn’t even have to try to be in a frat to get the internship in the first place.
- The not so pleasant bits are things like the fact that Marlon Waynes definitely cheats on his girlfriend, and lacks any sort of genuine remorse about it, and ultimately she forgives him for basically no reason.
- Lillard is a funny character, but feels out of place in the film. He appears to be there solely to make jokes about masturbation and to teach people what a Prince Albert piercing is.
- Other than that the film is mostly notable for its ludicrous premise. An internship finally determined by a quiz show format oral exam which depends on you playing sports and being in a fraternity? Seems unlikely.
- Some good Product Placement (What?) with Coca Cola products in general. And also a pretty rough Worst Twist (How?) in that I legitimately predicted that Waynes wouldn’t get the job and would instead get a job specifically in the mail room at the end, and then it happened. It was inevitable. The film is, again, closest to Good in that there is some pretty funny stuff in it in the end.
I’ll write about the sequel which will be called Senseless 2: Protectors Assemble! That’s right, Senseless is a true blue superhero now! Cheerios,