Movies: Death To Smoochy

Directed by Danny DeVito

Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams), the beloved kid-show host, is ruined and then fired when he's caught taking bribes. His re-placement is the title character, a fuchsia-coated rhino under whose skin lurks the politically correct, morally perfect but terminally nerdy Sheldon Mopes (Edward Norton). Naturally, the axed ex-host wants to off his sweet-souled successor. There's probably a tight, funny comedy lurking in that premise. But DeVito has turned the film into an expressionistic epic in murderously bad taste, all frenzy and feckless subplots, mostly involving ghastly gangland figures. A lot of good actors (among them the divine Catherine Keener) are wasted--in both...

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