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senseless is a prime example of what can happen when you try to push a one-joke concept a bit too far .
director penelope spheeris is no stranger to this , having subjected audiences before to such tortures as the beverly hillbillies .
marlon wayans stars as darryl witherspoon , a college senior vying for a lucrative job at a prominent brokerage .
however , he lacks the advantages of his chief opposition , scott thorpe ( david spade , in the smarmy sort of role he can deliver in his sleep ) : an athletic record , sponsorship by a fraternity , and , most of all , a wealthy family to back him up .
in fact , darryl has to work at four jobs simply to make ends meet .
but there may be a light at the end of that tunnel .
he signs up as a human guinea pig in a neurological experiment run by the university's dr . wheedon ( brad dourif ) .
as a result , his senses are magnified tenfold .
using his newfound abilities , he sets himself in complete pursuit of the job ( unaware that there may be some disadvantageous side-effects to having super senses ) .
naturally , marlon wayans plays this comedy at full throttle , giving jim carrey-ish amounts of physical humor .
the problem is , aside from a few genuinely inspired bits , there's not much that's funny here .
the film has it's one central gag , and pads out the rest of its length with rather obvious lowbrow humor .
there obviously wasn't much thought put into the plot .
the entire job selection process is completely ridiculous .
i mean , why the emphasis on extra-curricular activities if the entire job is going to come down to a single-elimination quiz anyhow ?
and is this the only job being offered to economics majors this semester ?
to give it credit , senseless does try to create a secondary joke with darryl's roommate , tim laflour ( matthew lillard ) .
apparently , he is supposed to be faddish , but the film never does anything with him , leaving him in a piercing phase throughout the movie .
his " intervention " scenes with darryl , however , do provide a rare , and welcome , laugh .
and then there's the love interest which is always pathetically tacked onto comedies like this one .
in this case , the object of darryl's amor is janice ( tamara taylor ) , a fellow student who won't have anything to do with darryl until he gains his super-senses .
needless to say , the romance is completely extraneous , and adds little to the film .
this is a film that desperately needed something else .
be that a good plot , more jokes ( or simply funnier ones ) , or a strong character or two , anything would have helped senseless get off the ground .
as it is , all the manic exuberant mugging in the world can't help marlon wayans get this one off the ground .