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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

An Update On Three Funny Men

Poor Chevy Chase. While other "Saturday Night Live" veterans like Steve Martin and Bill Murray continue to star in and produce successful, funny movies, the affable Chase had his late night talk show canceled last fall, and he hasn't been in a good picture since "Fletch" in 1985. His cameo in Martin's "L.A. Story" in 1991 doesn't count.


Chase almost makes a comeback in "Memoirs of an Invisible Man," a comic thriller that for the most part fails to tickle or thrill. Chase plays Nick, a securities analyst in San Francisco who leads a fast and loose bachelor life. After a freak accident in a research lab renders him invisible, a sinister CIA agent (Sam Neill) tries to capture him and transform him into the ultimate spy. Nick will have none of it, though, and the rest of the movie is occupied with the invisible man's efforts to elude capture.


"Memoirs" has great comic potential. As Alice (Daryl Hannah) says, an invisible man can go anywhere he wants. One of the movie's best scenes takes place when Nick sits in a room, unseen, while his friends talk about what a rotten guy he is; you are just waiting to see how he will get his revenge.


The comic moments do not last long enough, though, because the movie is also supposed to be a thriller. The CIA pursuit gets predictable and dry fairly fast, and it is hard to figure out whether Sam Neill's character is supposed to be legitimately menacing or just plain nuts.


Director John Carpenter concentrates so much on the remarkable special effects that he ends up having to lean on them to keep the story going. Which is too bad, because the part is perfect for Chase, who is a wonderful physical comic actor. Maybe if he were given a better script and a more compelling villain, "Memoirs" would be a gem. Instead, it is a movie worth renting, but not much more.


Two other "Saturday Night Live" veterans who made good are Dana Carvey and Mike Myers, who have turned their weekly "Wayne's World" skit into motion picture madness.


"Wayne's World" takes us into the lives of Wayne and Garth, two suburban Chicago kids who have their own cable TV show. The fairly anemic plot -- the movie is really a sequence of gags and one-liners -- deals with the machinations of Benjamin (Rob Lowe), who attempts to get the two pals to sell out while pursuing Wayne's girlfriend (Tia Carrere).


"Wayne's World" relies on the floating stupidity school of humor made popular by the "Bill and Ted" movies: lots of "whoa, dude" and talk of "babes." But it works, for the most part, because of the irony and the good soundtrack.


For anyone who grew up in the 1970s, "Wayne's World" has plenty of hilarious touches, from the AMC Pacer that the gang drives to the references to the popular cartoon "Scooby Doo."





"Memoirs of an Invisible Man" is available at the Garden Ring Supermarket, 1 Bolshaya Sadovaya (209-1572). "Wayne's World" is also available at the Garden Ring, and at Video Force in the Mezhdunarodnaya Hotel (253-7708). Other SNL releases: "Caddyshack" at Video Force; "Groundhog Day" at the Garden Ring.