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'Commando' a Weak Effort

October 07, 1991|MICHAEL WILMINGTON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Hulk Hogan, that Viking-maned behemoth of wrestling, is a likable actor and Burt Kennedy ("Support Your Local Sheriff") a likable director. Likable, too, in a more eccentric and astringent way, are wild-eyed Christopher Lloyd and loopy-Kewpie doll Shelley Duvall. But all that likability combined, or even cubed, doesn't create any pressing reason to pay admission to "Suburban Commando" (citywide)--unless you're an obsessed movie completist or a sudden cloudburst drives you to shelter.

It's a mostly frowzy, thick-waisted action comedy/fantasy about a repressed architect (Lloyd), his smiley wife (Duvall) and a Han Solo-style outer space adventurer (Hogan), who rents their suburban apartment and promptly demolishes every bully or nuisance in Lloyd's suburban neighborhood. The jokes are scattershot and sometimes in dubious taste: Starman Hulk beats up on muggers and bullies, but he also takes on skateboard kids and street mimes and pitches one treed cat into the stratosphere.

Kennedy and writer Frank Cappello sometimes have a better sense of whom to put in their satirical sights: investment bankers, S&Ls. And Kennedy has gathered together some amusing actors: Jack Elam pops up as a deranged vet and Larry Miller as an unctuous boss. But "Suburban Commando" (MPAA rated PG) never rises above it's slap-happy premise.

'Suburban Commando'

Hulk Hogan: Commando

Christopher Lloyd: Husband

Shelley Duvall: Wife

A New Line Cinema presentation of a New Line/Howard Gottfried production. Director Burt Kennedy. Producer Howard Gottfried. Executive producers Hogan, Kevin Moretorn, Deborah Moore. Screenplay by Frank Cappello. Music David Michael Frank. Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes.

MPAA-rated PG

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