Artists and Models Reviews
The film begins with a gag showcasing the duo's comedic abilities and landing them unemployed again followed by a rather depressing musical number 'If you pretend' proclaiming that in times of hardship its easier to drift into fantasy. This dynamic sets the tone for the rest of the film, Peter Bogdonavich said Tashlin directed the only two solid Martin and Lewis films because of elements like that dynamic. That Tashlin being one of the most inventive comedians of he seems to be able to still add an element of social commentary amongst over the top cartoon humor. We see this in the film particularly in the references to the cold war and in a sadistic child who's mind has been corrupted by comic books tosses a letter opener like a throwing knife.
The film is interesting in how well it holds, especially in today's cinema dominated by comic book movies. The irony though is that Tashlin wrote comic strips himself and perhaps only someone with that insight could bring the film to life being a film that invokes the style of comics in form but satirizes it in content. This is best demonstrated in the final act where the film becomes an over the top espionge thriller.
What make the film so ambitious and so successful is how thorough the film eaxmines the industry; elements of the film conatin biting criticsm towards them and their rise in violence, even Jerry Lewis' character ends up speaking out against and we see Dorthy Malone's work is looked down upon for its lack of violence. However at the same time its a source of succes for Martin and Lewis which they celebrate with treffic a musical number and by the end of the film by the time the communists get involved the film is invoking those very elements.