Picks and Pans Review: Senseless

updated 03/02/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/02/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

Marlon Wayans, David Spade

At the recent Sundance Film Festival during a Q&A session that followed a screening of director Penelope Spheeris's heartbreaking documentary about troubled runaway teens, The Decline of Western Civilization, Part III, Spheeris said that she preferred making documentaries to "fluff studio comedies."

Senseless is Spheeris's latest fluff studio comedy. While not registering as high up on the please-o-meter as her earlier Wayne's World, the movie is brainless, harmless fun (excepting a few dubious jokes at the expense of Asians and gays). It's about a hardworking, ambitious college student (Wayans) whose senses of taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing go kerflooey after he injects himself with an experimental potion. The change proves first a boon and later a hindrance to his romance and career ambitions. Senseless's plot is as shaggy as the carpet in a bachelor's apartment, circa 1962, but the movie does deliver a decent number of dumb, raunchy laughs, and Wayans (youngest brother to talented siblings Keenen, Damon, Kim and Shawn) is an appealing, if broad, performer. (R)

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