The Pest


September 12, 2019
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(The Channel Awesome logo is shown, followed by the intro)

NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. The career of John Leguizamo has been an interesting one, to say the least.

(Stills of John Leguizamo are shown, including his roles in movies like The Happening and Super Mario Bros.)

NC (vo): Nowadays, he's respected as a very versatile actor. Even when he's in a bad film, chances are he's at least earning in a good performance. But for a while, he was that guy nobody knew what to think of or do with.

NC: He...seemed to be pushing himself as a funny man.

NC (vo): With roles like To Wong Foo, Spawn, and even the most 90s-titled sketch show of all time, House of Buggin. Why don't you just have a show called...

(A photo of a blonde man in sunglasses holding a huge phone is shown with the title...)

NC (vo; in a "cool" voice): Big Phones are Wack, Jack!

(Back to shots of Leguizamo)

NC (vo): You can't argue this guy was, and even still is, a workhorse, turning in tons of performances a year. But it still took people a while to accept him as a high-caliber actor.

NC: And maybe movies like The Pest could be the reason why.

(The title for the film is shown, followed by clips)

NC (vo): A retelling of "The Most Dangerous Game", if you want to call it that...I don't...I've been getting requests for years to review this one, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intrigued why. From the trailers, it just seems like a run-of-the-mill forgettable bomb, but something about it rubbed people a certain way that apparently deserves to be talked about. So, what is it that propelled this box-office disappointment into the realms of cinematic infamy? (sighs) Sadly, there's only one way to tell.

NC: (puts his hands to the cheeks) Let's take a look at the highly requested and sure to be highly regretted...The Pest.

(The logo of the studio that made this movie, "The Bubble Factory", is shown. FUCKING BUBBLES!)

NC (vo): Ooh! From the studio that brought us such quality entertainment as (posters of...) Flipper, A Simple Wish, and Slappy and the Stinkers!

NC: I haven't seen that last one; I just love saying "Slappy and the Stinkers"!

(The opening credits start rolling as the R&B music begins kicking in)

NC (vo): This has to be a movie that has a record scratch in it.

(Just as said, a record scratch marks the cut to action)

NC: Twelve seconds in! I choose not to celebrate that.

(The title character, Pestario Vargas, or Pest for short, is first shown showering and singing multiple songs close to the camera)

NC (vo): As the credits roll, we see Leguizamo playing a man named Pestario...

NC: (looking glum) You know, like when Steve Martin played J. Erk... (The poster for the 1979 movie The Jerk is shown, featuring Martin's character, Navin R. Johnson)

NC (vo): ...doing his best impression of Carrot Top from Chairman of the Board.

(Pest is imitating an Egyptian while vocalizing a song heard in multiple cartoons that feature Egypt. Then cut to him imitating a Japanese person wearing glasses)

Pest: (as a Japanese person) Nice lady, I'm hurting, I'm hurting. I'm sexy, but I'm hurting.

NC: (adjusts glasses, as the shot of I. Y. Yunioshi from Breakfast at Tiffany's is shown) On behalf of Mickey Rooney, I am very offended right now.

Pest: (now wearing a vampire cloak and teeth) One stinky-dinky, ha!

NC: Who showers with all this shit?!

NC (vo): And I don't know what camera you're singing to, but can it electrocute you already?

(Pest spits out some water, and cut to...three people's legs dancing in unison in the same shower)

NC: (smiles) Okay, that's a bit funny.

Pest: (crossing eyes, high-pitched voice) I'm in the mood to scam / Simply because I can!

NC: (shakes head) I'll give the movie this: it has the fastest turnaround time for emptying a built theater.

(A photo of an empty cinema is shown)

NC: And that was at its premiere.

Pest: (walking comically to his room) Get stupid, get retarded, / 'Cause Pest'll get the party started!

NC: (hand on cheek) I don't think that Asian stereotype was offensive enough. Let's make Sean Connery blush! (James Bond as an Asian man from You Only Live Twice is shown)

(Pest is shown wearing...buck teeth, glasses with narrow eyes and huge ears)

Pest: I'm as crazy as they make 'em, shake 'em...

NC: (bemused) Connery-Schmonnery, even John Wayne would be like...

(A shot from The Conqueror is shown, with Wayne as Genghis Khan)

NC (vo; as Wayne): I don't know this guy.

(Pest appears in the living room, where his family is having breakfast)

Pest: Did somebody summon me?

NC (vo): He greets his family, who, surprisingly, find him a little annoying.

Father: I'm so proud. My son, the delivery boy. You know, your mom's birthday is coming up, huh? What are you gonna steal for her this year?

NC: Ah, Dad in his morning expositions. Couldn't we have another song and dance number--

(Pest resumes dancing and singing)

NC: (surprised) I was totally kidding!

(Pest's mother actually joins him in dancing)

NC (vo): This has to be a record for the most annoyance squeezed in its opening four minutes! (as Pest) Wait, this feels wrong. I'm sure I have some blackface to balance out the shocking with the awful!

Pest: That was nasty. I have to go to work. (makes a V sign) Love, peace and chicken grease. (leaves the house)

NC: (as a mother) Every day, I pray a bus hits him.

(We're introduced to a German hunter Gustav Shank and his accomplice Leo, played by Jeffrey Jones and Tom McCleister, riding in a car, with Gustav's head close to the camera)

NC (vo): Here's a nicely framed shot. It looks like Jeffrey Jones is about to "Pac-Man" eat a smaller clone of himself.

NC: Who am I kidding? It's probably the happy ending somehow!

Shank: The most challenging prey is often the most difficult to find. (takes out binoculars to look, and the final credit for the director Paul Miller is shown inside them)

NC (vo; as Shank): Ah-ha! Paul Miller will be our next target! I'll show him for directing (poster of...) Wizard of Oz on Ice...that was a thing? Wow.

(Pest meets up with a gang of boys on street and decides to play basketball with them)

NC (vo): Leguizamo goes searching for a plot, when he comes across a group of boys, who randomly invite him to play hoops for their lunches.

(Cut to a clip from True Lies)

Spencer Trilby (Charlton Heston): Why?

NC: Probably so the film has a motion picture running time.

(Pest wins the match)

NC (vo): He beats them and takes their lunches.

Pest: (takes some doggie bags for himself) Give me your lunches. That'll teach you a lesson, bub!

NC (vo; as Pest): Score! These Dunkaroos will constipate me for a week!

(Pest comes to his friends, Chubby and Ninja, to plan another scam at a festival)

NC (vo): He meets up with two of his friends, played by Aries Spears and Freddy Rodriguez, who apparently pull off a ton of cons together.

Pest: The key for this scam is to convince that I am (takes off sunglasses) blaaaack!

NC: (grinning) Well, I certainly believe you'll have trouble seeing good scripts.

(Pest goes to the festival and sees his girlfriend Xantha Kent there)

NC (vo): He meets up with his girlfriend, played by Tammy Townsend, who's angry he missed dinner with her folks last night.

Pest: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. There's nothing more I want to do than be with my girlfriend's parents.

NC: (puts up both hands) Trust me, if you want to keep your foot down, you keep him away from those meals.

Pest: (as both he and Xantha dance to samba music) I-I-I'll skip my previous commitment, aye?

Xantha: Really? Will you come to dinner?

Pest: Abso-freaking-lutely.

NC: Even as 90s dances go, that's very Nick Jr.

(Shank shows up at the carnival as well and searches for an athlete he needs, but Leo sees Pest, who is imitating a blind person presenting a shell game, and mistakenly believes he's the one Shank needs)

NC (vo): A German named Gustav Shank, played by Jeffrey Jones, finds the specimen he wants, but his accomplice confuses him for Pest pulling off a scam. (Zoom in to a tag "I Am Blind" that Pest is wearing) And again, I'll give credit, this did get a laugh out of me.

(Two men wearing kilts come to Pest, knocking down the table. Pest is forced to escape to the place where he works as a delivery man, "Fat Wong Foo" restaurant)

NC (vo): Pest gets caught, though, and hides at his job at an in-joke restaurant.

NC: Well, given our track record, I see this ending spectacularly.

(Pest is shown explaining himself to his boss, now dressed as a Chinese person)

Pest: (with a thick accent) Me love you long time. Me so horny to you-you-you.

(NC squints his eyes, feeling uncomfortable)

Pest: (with a thick accent) I'm from far, far, far, far south. It's a goodsio? Okay, okay, okay.

NC: A baptism from Mother Teresa couldn't clean how dirty I feel!

Pest: (with a thick accent) I'm from south. He's a demon daddy, right? And I know that. Different dialect.

(Zoom in to another employee looking down)

NC (vo): This guy's wondering how Krusty the Clown's Chinese is somehow less insulting.

(Cut to a clip from The Simpsons Season 9 episode "The Last Temptation of Krust", showing Krusty imitating a Chinese with buck teeth)

Krusty: (speaking with an accent) Me like the fried rice!

NC (vo): All that's missing is a gong sound effect--

NC: Do I even need to show you this happening?

(Cut to Pest rushing from his boss' office, accompanied by a gong hit, to call somebody)

NC: (sarcastically) The critics were right. (poster of...) Sticks and Stones really is the most insulting thing we've ever seen.

(The call reveals Pest owes $50,000 to the Scottish mob, who want revenge against Pest so they can be feared again)

NC (vo): He makes a call to a gang he apparently owes a lot of money to, the Scottish mafia. It's like we're leapfrogging from one insulted ethnicity to another!

Angus: You know what day it is today?

Pest: (in a Scottish accent) Sean Connery's birthday?

Scotsman: (in the background) Sean Connery's birthday? (He crosses his heart as the musician next to him plays bagpipe)

NC: It's pretty bad when they're thinking, "Maybe we should call Michael Bay to make things more PC."

(Pest rides down the road in a small delivery cart)

NC: (hand on cheek) How would you like to be driving down the road, see a film crew shooting this and be like, (smiles) "That's gonna be a hit!"

(It's revealed that it was Leo who made the call for delivery. After first seeing him, Shank decides to keep him anyway due to how irritating he is so he'll be more satisfying to kill after)

NC (vo): He makes a delivery at Gustav's house, as his accomplice realizes he's made a mistake, choosing the wrong guy. But he sees the desperation in him, as anyone would have in Leguizamo at this point in his career, and decides he's perfect. Gustav says he saw him pretending to be blind, and... what a shock... he decides to keep it up.

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