Picks and Pans Review: Buddy Buddy

updated 01/11/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/11/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

Cruddy cruddy! Billy Wilder directing everybody's favorite odd couple, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, conjures up happy memories of The Fortune Cookie and The Front Page. For those who like it hot, though, this go-round is barely tepid. Matthau plays a gruff professional hit man, while Lemmon is a whining would-be suicide who inadvertently interferes with a contract. The dreary sets have the look of a small-budget TV sitcom, the plot is predictable and the script insistently resorts to profanity in a vain attempt to provoke laughter. In the movie's best moment, Matthau, disguised as a priest, reels off an unlikely string of Latin phrases (e pluribus unum, nolo contendere) when he is drafted by the police to administer last rites. As for the rest of this disappointing picture, may it requiescat in pace. (R)

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