Ruthless People (1986)

Feature Film | Crime Comedy | USA | English | 1h33m
Dir: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, & Jerry Zucker | Scr: Dale Launer | Story: O. Henry | Ph: Jan de Bont | Prod: Michael Peyser | Mus: Michel Colombier | Ed: Gib Jaffe & Arthur Schmidt | AD: Donald Woodruff | Snd: Charles L. Campbell & Louis L. Edemann | Cast: Danny DeVito, Bette Midler, Judge Reinhold, Helen Slater, Anita Morris, Bill Pullman, William G. Schilling, Art Evans, Clarence Felder, J.E. Freeman

When his wealthy wife is kidnapped by a pair of wronged-by-him ne’er-do-wells, an obnoxious businessman, the spandex miniskirt king, is not only not worried by developments, but is actually really rather pleased, as he was just about to carry out a plan to murder her. His mistress, believing him to have done so and believing her young toy boy to have captured the grisly act on video, sets out to blackmail him over it. Alas, the brainless himbo had only managed to unknowingly capture the chief of police indulging in a bit of extramarital rumpy-pumpy instead. The kidnappers, an impossibly nice young married couple, don’t find the going any easier – not only do they have a victim for whom no one will pay the ransom, but she also turns out to be almost as obnoxious as her husband. And to complicate matters further, there is also a serial killer on the loose in their neighbourhood. The intricate but well-worn plot – familiar to fans of the Terry-Thomas vehicle Too Many Crooks (1959) – is given life anew here by the brilliantly assembled cast of comic talent, who all prove good value. However, familiarity and predictability do begin to take their toll a little towards the end. For the most part, though, it proves thoroughly entertaining.