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February 5, 2013

Movie Review: Harland Williams: A Force Of Nature (2012, DVD)

Review By: Rob Sibley
The Setup... Harland Williams performs in the middle of the desert. No stage and no audience who are conditioned to laugh at anything due to the two drink minimum comedy club rule. It's a clever “experiment,” and at the end of the day this was an experiment. I'm sure Harland thought he had a breakthrough concept here, but sadly, this is not the case. He takes a solid set up for some original comedy and drowns it in pathetic jokes.

Harland Williams is a love him or hate him type of comic who has a tendency to pop up all over the place. Easily stealing his scenes as the serial killer hitch hiker in There's Something About Mary with his infamous “7 minute abs” bit “7's the key number here. Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 doors. 7, man, that's the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin' on a branch, eatin' lots of sunflowers on my uncle's ranch. You know that old children's tale from the sea. It's like you're dreamin' about Gorgonzola cheese when it's clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office. Why? Because your fucking fired!”

That was a classic bit... but the Farrelly brothers are nowhere to been seen. They could have helped Williams out on this one. Williams I've always enjoyed. He had the classic “fruit cup” bit from Half Baked as Kenny. So it's a shame to see him the bottom of his game here. “Force of Nature” is a failed experiment. Williams was so into the concept he forgot that he needed to be funny.

He comes off more as your annoying friend on a road trip who won't shut the fuck up. That kid at school who always tried to be funny and liked but failed miserably and usually he had his face (rightfully so) pushed into the toilet.

But that's giving this special too much credit. It's an annoying diatribe of endless amounts of uninspired comedy. I assume Harland's proof of concept here was to show that you don't need a crowd to be funny. This is true... but for Harland Williams this guy needs a crowd to play off of. He needs the energy and alcohol fused laughter. He doesn't have that this time around, he's got the occasional low flying plane and a turtle to deliver his lines to. I feel bad for the poor turtle who they plopped down in front of him. Sadly I doubt this turtle was paid enough to sit through this lame stand up special.

I could start quoting Harland's bits... like “You ever leave the house one day and all of a sudden you realize you left your cell phone at home? Then you put out an Amber alert for your cellphone?”. I can't quote anymore, it is seriously too painful. The best part is Williams talking to a low flying crow.

The editing is also annoying, they had to jazz things up a bit. I mean we got one unfunny dude in a desert so what do we do? Lets get creative in the editing room and try to save this. It didn't work, nothing about this special works. The humor is dull and lifeless, the jokes are about 5 years to old to be funny.

Williams is usually a funny guy and I usually enjoy his work but this is just bottom of the barrel. You'll likely find this at Walmart in the $5.00 bin... skip it and pick up something better. What's that? Snow Shark is in the five dollar bin as well? Yeah that's right, buy Snow Shark instead... hell buy anything instead of this dreck.

The DVD is alright. The 1.78:1 widescreen image looks okay. It's clear for the most part and the colors of Harland's Sponge Bob T-shirt pop so yeah...

The audio is decent as well, you can really focus in on the wind in the background to zone out the painful attempts at humor.

Extras are just a 2 minute interview with Williams where talks about the “Concept” for the gig.

This was a painful 53 minutes and 57 second watch. It wasn't funny and the most it got out of me was a smirk. Even if your a Harland fan your going to want to avoid this one. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR ANYONE.


  1. You should try working on "your" spelling and punctuation before you try to publicly critique names larger than your own. Just a thought, being that you have such high expectations of experts in their fields ;) With that being said, what DOES it take to get a job with cinemaheadcheese? We know grammar and punctuation have nothing to do with the requirements on this bomb of journalism. Hire me cheese!

    1. you pretty much said everything that needed to be said. Except that this special is really funny and totally worth buying.