Shamelessness isn't just a major weapon in Rob Schneider's comic arsenal, it's pretty much his only weapon, which helps explain some of his lowbrow allure. There's something appealingly disreputable about him: It's easy to imagine him as a third-rate silent comedian cranking out mildly ribald Poverty Row one-reelers as "Slappy" Schneider, Madcap Man-Whore. Schneider's target demographic seems to be young boys who aspire to become sophisticated enough to properly appreciate Adam Sandler comedies, which helps explains why Sandler produces his pal's movies under his "Happy Madison" banner. Compared to Schneider, Sandler can't help but look like a class act.
By all rights, the sequel to 1999's Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo should have been shot quickly and cheaply while the original was still making an unexpected killing at the box office. But Schneider had other stories to tell, timeless narratives like The Animal and The Hot Chick. So audiences had to wait an astonishing six years before the saga of a hapless male gigolo and his even more hapless clients could roar back to life on the silver screen. Picking up where the original left off, European Gigolo sends Schneider to Amsterdam to clear the name of "He-Madam" Eddie Griffin, who's been framed in a series of brutal man-whore murders. Just who is killing the great man-whores of Europe? Schneider is determined to find out.
There's a fair amount of linguistic invention in European Gigolo, which, like its predecessor, gets a surprising amount of mileage out of concocting endless convoluted synonyms for "male prostitute." (The most winning is probably "prostidude.") In a weird way, the series' gender-based verbal riffing seems like an extended goof on the phallocentric nature of the English language. The movie also scores some laughs off Europe's permissiveness, as when a Bush-basher accuses America of trying to take wine away from his children. For its first 20 minutes, Gigolo earns some guilty laughs, but they don't last. One of the original's central conceits involved Schneider servicing women with ostensibly comic disabilities, a bit it took as far as it could, then farther still. The sequel is driven to surreal measures in its bid to top the comic queasiness of Schneider's clients, most indelibly with a character with a penis for a nose, which is more creepy than funny. What's perhaps most surprising about European Gigolo is its reactionary streak, exemplified by knee-jerk attacks on Europe's equally knee-jerk anti-Americanism. Then again, that seems fitting. The sequel functions as the ultimate Ugly American, good for a few cheap, vulgar laughs and nothing else.