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A Hulking great Nanny
By BRUCE KIRKLAND - Toronto Sun
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Madelaine Zima, Hulk Hogan and Robert Gorman

Hulk Hogan, a big galoot if there ever was one, does what big galoots always do in movies with bratty little kids and big bad villains.

At incredible risk, he saves the kids from the villains and transforms them into sugar and spice and everything nice.

Sounds like a tired old formula movie. Sounds like the brand spanking new Mr. Nanny.

The Hulkster plays a professional wrassler (now that's a stretch) whose career is washed up. So he reluctantly hires on as a bodyguard to a rich computer wizard who is being threatened by a psycho who wants to steal a revolutionary computer chip. Movies like this always have idiotic plots.

Hogan is assigned to look after the rich guy's obnoxious, unloved, motherless kids. Since their nannies have all run away, the Hulkster ends up as the nursemaid too.

He carries out his mercy mission, at first with anger, then with empathy, getting emotionally involved in the bratty kids' mixed-up lives. Along the way, he body slams slobs, pulverizes brains, twists arms, smashes faces and sings nursery rhymes to a little girl.

Oh yeah, and he dances a mean ballet in a pink leotard and tutu. Too, too much.

Pedestrian director Michael Gottleib's movie is populated with the usual workmanlike cast that these things attract. Chief among them is Austin Pendleton (memorable as the stuttering defence attorney in My Cousin Vinny). He plays the rich dad too busy to love his kids. Robert Gorman and the adorable Madeline Zima play the kids; an insufferable David Johansen is the slathering villain; and Sherman Hemsley is Hogan's pal.

Special kudos go to comedienne Mother Love, who is brassy and absolutely beautiful as Pendleton's cook. Without her, the movie dies.

Of course, nobody but Love's loved ones are going to see Mr. Nanny just to see her (although I'd pay to see the Mother in her own movie). It's obvious that Hulkamania is supposed to be the attraction.

And he is one. The big slab of beef has no acting technique whatsoever. Incredibly, he doesn't need any. It would actually ruin his screen charisma if he learned anything that actors are supposed to do.

What he does have is a genuine likeability factor. Despite that awesome physique (which looks as toned, buffed and polished as it ever did), Hogan projects sensitivity. Sweetness. Gentleness. A marked contrast to the numbing violence in Mr. Nanny.

Some day, someone will put him into a real movie that's worthy of his strange qualities.

SUN RATING: 2 OUT OF 5

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