Pest, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +1

Content: -2

Certain people want to kill the title character in this comedy, and after about five minutes you find yourself wishing that they would so the misery will end. John Leguizamo plays an exceedingly annoying "hero," Pestario "Pest" Vargas, a con artist working Miami Beach. But he attempts just one scam, as a blind man playing the shell game, before the pathetic plot kicks in. Sinister neo-Nazi Gustav Shank (Jeffrey Jones) enjoys hunting human prey and mounting his victims' heads on the wall. Since he wants to add a Latino specimen to his collection, he lures Pest to his private island by promising a $50,000 scholarship. Pest is eager to collect, since he owes that exact figure to a Scottish crime syndicate, until he finds out why he's been chosen. Shank's homosexual son Himmel (Edoardo Ballerini), who despises his father's hobby, is an unlikely ally and helps Pest get off the island. The chase resumes back in Miami, however. With Shank still on his tail, Pest assumes various disguises in order to stay alive. This film is dead on arrival, however. Its overly aggressive and frantic pace is painful to the senses, and there's no humor in scenes that include flatulence and vomiting. The Pest should have been exterminated before it made its way into movie theaters.

Pest is supposedly a master of disguise, meaning that Leguizamo belittles various cultures with his unfunny impersonations. Chinese and Japanese characterizations are interchangeably insulting, and he and a cohort try to pass themselves off as Jewish rabbis to hide out in a synagogue. Although the dialogue is often unintelligible, there are enough recognizable crude words and profanities to offend. Rear male nudity is present when Pest sheds some burning clothes, and there's one instance of female rear nudity at a pool party. Himmel's homosexuality is merely a set-up for some off-color jokes, as no homosexual behavior is actually shown. The Pest is not overwhelmingly offensive, but there's something in this movie to disgust just about everyone.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
TriStar Pictures, 10202 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (14) times - Mild 4, Moderate 10

Obscene Language: Few (3) times - (other 3)

Profanity: Many (21) times - Regular 6 (G 3, G-d 1, for G sake 2), Exclamatory 15

Violence: Several times - Moderate (punches and slaps to face, man hit by squash balls, gunshots, man hit by log, mortar explosion, shootings with tranquilizer darts)

Sex: None, but lions shown mating

Nudity: Rear male nudity once, rear female nudity once; male near nudity in shower

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Few times - alcohol

Other: Character urinates in pants, sounds of flatulence, two scenes of vomiting; derogatory portrayal of rabbi

Running Time: 82 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and young adults

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