22 May 2003 | Micio Nero
They should have known when to stop...
Let's get right to the point: this movie is bad. Okay, the story it's not really important in a Fantozzi movie, so the fact that there isn't one is no big deal. But this movie not only doesn't have a story, it also doesn't have an underlying idea, and this is bad. The previous Fantozzi movies really tried to make a statement, even if for most viewers they were only silly comedies... they are a criticism of capitalism and of modern society in general. In both their form and their statements they are almost a 20th century version of Rabelais' "Gargantua and Pantagruel" stories. They are comedies, but there is always a serious tone at the base of the gags, and each gag criticizes an aspect of our society. The sixth movie of the series ("Fantozzi Va In Pensione") is a clear example of this: the movie handles with Fantozzi's life after his retirement, with him slowly realizing that he has become an 'old man', a socially unimportant and undesired person. This movie really says something to us and in the end it makes us feel sorry for the poor guy.
"Fantozzi Alla Riscossa", on the other side, is only a collection of old, recycled gags, stripped of all the serious tones I was talking about. What remains is a bunch of silly gags that won't make you laugh at all, because you have seen them before in much better Fantozzi movies, and although they 'look' the same, they feel very different, empty. Paolo Villaggio should have known when to stop, "Fantozzi Va In Pensione" was the perfect ending to what is probably the most successful and loved Italian movie series of all time. All the movies after that one are only poor, commercial imitations of the originals.