Nicholas "Oz" Oseransky is a nice dentist living in suburban Montreal. His new next door neighbor, Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski, is a hit man hiding out from a dangerous Chicago crime family. Despite their differences, Oz and Jimmy have one thing in common: someone's trying to kill them both. For Jimmy, avoiding a couple of hired killers is child's play. But for Oz, it's a whole new ball game. To stay alive, they're going to have to stick together - Jimmy with his cunning and cold-blooded accuracy and Oz with his dental tools.
Oz (Matthew Perry) is a nice-guy dentist beaten down by his bored wife. When the confident Jimmy (Bruce Willis) breezes into the house next door, Oz's anxieties are ratcheted up several points on the Richter scale. It turns out that Jimmy is a former Chicago organized-crime figure who ratted out his associates. The movie has an intricate plot, with hit men, love interests, large sums of money and allegiances constantly in motion. But the film is missing the verve of someone who can take a simple idea to the extreme; it must have been directed by a sleepwalker. Despite Mr. Perry's plucky slapstick and the treacherous gunplay that accounts for the second half of the movie, "Yards" is underwhelming, amusing only in fits and starts. — Elvis Mitchell
2000-02-18 | Elvis Mitchell | Read the New York Times Review of The Whole Nine Yards