Picks and Pans Review: Doctor Detroit

UPDATED 05/23/1983 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/23/1983 at 01:00 AM EDT

Here are some of the people to blame for this insulting, childish, unprofessional comedy film: actors Dan Aykroyd, Howard (WKRP) Hesseman and Donna (Bosom Buddies) Dixon; director Michael (Some Kind of Hero) Pressman; screenwriters Bruce Jay (Stir Crazy) Friedman, Carl (Jaws) Gottlieb and Robert Boris, who wrote the novel Blood Feud and the TV miniseries derived from it. The film stars Aykroyd as a Milquetoasty Chicago college professor who gets involved with a pimp (Hesseman) and his stable of hookers (one of whom is Dixon). To make a very long 90-minute story short, in a battle for turf with a mob leader Aykroyd assumes the identity of an eccentric gangster from Michigan. And then nothing funny happens. It's a tip-off to everyone's desperation that so much footage is devoted to scenes of people walking, running or driving. These aren't even chase scenes, just tedious travelogues of Chicago streets. Obscenities are liberally sprinkled through the script, as if they are by themselves funny or as if the audience is stupid enough to think so. Aykroyd seems out of shape both physically and comedically; the only time he ever hints at using his talent is a party scene in which he does one of those funky mechanical-man dances. The movie does accomplish one thing: It makes Jerry Lewis' The Nutty Professor, which had a similar theme, seem like the masterpiece some Lewis partisans have long claimed it to be. (R)

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