Movie Details

Brain Donors is a game attempt to redo the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera in a contemporary setting. John Turturro plays the "Groucho" character, a shifty lawyer (he's even given a Grouchoesque three-barrelled moniker). Bob Nelson is the "Harpo" counterpart, a puckish handyman. And Mel Smith completes the trio as a Chico-like cabbie. All three conspire to save a failing ballet company on behalf of dowager Nancy Marchand, who does a film-length impersonation of Margaret Dumont. At times, Pat Proft's script comes off more like a 3 Stooges short than a Marx Brothers romp, but that's not so bad. What hurts the film is its fluctuating pace, which shifts into neutral just when it should go into hyperdrive. Will Vinton's Claymation opening titles supply some of the film's biggest laughs. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi