Picks and Pans Review: Wholly Moses

The plot involves an idol maker who thinks he has been chosen by God when he overhears the burning bush talking to Moses. The cast features Dudley Moore, Laraine Newman and James Coco, with substantial cameos by Richard Pryor, John Ritter, John Houseman, Dom DeLuise, David Lander and Madeline Kahn. The director is Gary Weis, a former Saturday Night Live filmmaker. If it sounds like a satirical promised land, well, thou shalt not take anything for granted when it comes to movies. The script (by Weis’ buddy Guy Thomas) is witless, except for an occasional sight gag such as Coco sweeping up a plague-load of frogs. The pace is tedious, and the actors seem to be waiting to be told what to do next. Newman, particularly, is ill-served, looking gaunt and off her comic rhythm. Next to the pointed, funny Life of Brian, this is absolute sacrilege. (PG)

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