Corky Romano

Chris Kattan joins the ranks of so many who have gone before him as someone who is funny on “Saturday Night Live” but not in movies.

Maybe some people just can’t make the transition from video to film. Maybe there’s a filter in the film stock that weeds out semi-humor, a filter not found in the more-forgiving medium of videotape.

Maybe some people need to choose their scripts more wisely, too. This one, by TV writers David Garrett and Jason Ward, has as its primary attribute the fact that it doesn’t reek of desperation like so many bad comedies do these days. The guys aren’t earning many laughs, but they don’t seem to be trying very hard, either.

Kattan plays Corky Romano, a soft-headed animal-lover who listens to ’80s pop songs and has a bumper sticker reading, “Free Hugs: One Size Fits All.” Were it not for a love interest he develops later, we’d be pretty sure he’s gay. (Even so, I’m not convinced.)

Unbeknownst to him, his estranged father (Peter Falk) and brothers (Peter Berg, Chris Penn) are in the Mafia, and they need him now to infiltrate the FBI and see what the Feds know about them. They create a fake FBI identity for him and send him into the lions’ den, where he promptly becomes a favorite among fellow agents and a curse to his supervisors. Oh, and he gets the hots for a female agent (Vinessa Shaw).

The movie, directed by first-timer Rob Pritts, does some serious weaselling to get around the uncomfortable fact that Corky is protecting his family, and his family is full of murderers and outlaws.

But that’s beside the main point, which is that the film doesn’t make a lot of sense and isn’t really very funny. There’s an amusing recurring joke where Corky thinks he has to speak directly into his crotch to be heard through the microphone that’s been planted on him, and I like that, in order to go undercover as a neo-Nazi skinhead, he gets a fake tattoo of a menorah with a line through it. Aside from that, there’s not much to recommend this bland and forgettable comedy.

D+ (; PG-13, some profanity, a little sexuality.)