As a portrait of a man barely qualifying for a cinematic portrait, Benjamin Smoke is a trifle, but when Sillen and Cohen turn their cameras on the weedy, workaday, hellhole America that Benjamin calls home, the movie comes alive.
Given a decent script, they might make a fun summer movie. Given the script for Shanghai Noon, they've come up with a middling Old West oater that falls flat at least as often as it finds the funny bone.
Only Elaine May shines, in a weird and wonderful turn. Her loopy character has such a struck-by-lightning demeanor that she's always delightfully off in her own comic orbit even in the tritest of scenes.