Rock Slyde
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There’s just something irresistible about Patrick Warburton. Whether playing Elaine’s lovable boyfriend Puddy on Seinfeld or wearing a goofy blue suit on the live-action version of The Tick (or even hosting rides at Disney World), his deep voice and innocently bumbling behavior make him a comedy standby. Unfortunately, though, Warburton alone can’t carry the low-budget gumshoe caper, Rock Slyde.

Warburton stars as the title character, a hard-boiled private investigator whose entire office building has been overrun by The House of Bartology, a creepy cult that’s run by mind-controlling leader Bart (Andy Dick). Bart and his followers are eager to take over the last office space in the building, but Rock refuses to leave—even after Bart threatens to expose his past in gay pirate porn musicals.

Meanwhile, as Rock continues to battle Bart and his mindless minions, he’s also working on a new case. His client, Sara (Rena Sofer), is convinced that she’s being followed—and she wants Rock to protect her while figuring out who’s following her and why. It may be a simple case for a skilled detective—but, for the earnestly clueless Rock Slyde, it’s a monumental challenge.

If you love Patrick Warburton, you might be tempted to check out this comedic mystery. After all, as a lovably oblivious character actor, Warburton is often pure comedy genius. In supporting roles, he’s absolutely hilarious. But in large doses—like this starring role as the clueless detective—his usual shtick eventually loses its charm. After a while, his character becomes less adorably dim-witted and more irritatingly dense.

Of course, an actor is only as good as his script—and this one (written by director Chris Dowling) is a meandering mess. There isn’t much of a story, and any attempts at a plot are random and haphazard. Without one solid plotline to focus on, it skips around to a bunch of smaller storylines: Sara’s case, Rock’s missing assistant, the strange happenings at the House of Bartology. And although it promises to be an old-school whodunit, the tone isn’t consistent—and Rock’s ‘40s gumshoe style just doesn’t blend well with his kooky modern-day surroundings.

At times, Rock Slyde is quirky and fun. Warburton’s undeniably likable persona will keep you watching—and even Andy Dick has some memorable moments as the creepy cult leader. And once you watch it, you’ll never be able to get the Jolly Roger song out of your head. But, in the end, the unfocused storytelling, the goofy dialogue, and the overabundance of moronic characters make it a movie that only Warburton’s most devoted fans will love.

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