Give credit to the makers of ''Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo" for stopping short of having Rob Schneider turn tricks in Anne Frank's old attic. That's maybe the only way this wretched sequel could've been more tasteless, and it probably would've been a step up in terms of comedy. Sorry, Deuce fans, but Schneider's faux-sexy alter ego is back with a thud, not a bang, this time stirring up trouble in Amsterdam, where he's aged about as attractively as a two-dollar hooker.
In 1999's ''Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo," ''Saturday Night Live" veteran Schneider and co-writer Harris Goldberg actually managed some laughs and genuinely sweet moments in the course of their thin-stretched sketch about a hapless Malibu aquarium cleaner who stumbles into a brief flirtation with prostitution. Sure, the humor was crass and the ''Risky Business"-style plot insipid, but with the bar set very low, director Mike Mitchell at least delivered a fish story that didn't completely stink.
This time the director is Mike Bigelow, an unknown whose only asset seems to be his close-enough last name, and the brain trust of toilet-trained writers includes ''Corky Romano" authors David Garrett and Jason Ward.
As you probably don't remember, the first movie ended with word that Deuce married his one-legged sweetheart, Kate (Arija Bareikis), after which the two started a ''radical anti-sushi resistance movement" and lived ''happily ever after." But that was before anyone knew Deuce would be sequel material. In ''European Gigolo," we're informed that Kate was actually killed in a shark attack during the honeymoon, and all Deuce has left is the prosthetic leg he carts around for companionship.
When a mishap again lands him in hot water, Deuce flees to Amsterdam to reunite with T.J. (Eddie Griffin), the jive-talking pimp from the first movie, who these days lives on a leaky houseboat that's tricked out like a Cadillac. Deuce learns that someone's knocking off the great gigolos of Europe, and when T.J. stands accused, he must come out of retirement to find the real killer.
If all the first ''Deuce" had going for it was a regular-guy approach to over-the-top humor, that's completely absent in this follow-up. Now everything's been amped up and dumbed down (yes, it's possible) to where the standout performance is Norm Macdonald's cameo.
Macdonald is just one of many partially recycled elements: The sequel amply revisits the mock slanguage of pimps and ''prostidudes," and Deuce again gets paired with women who are giant, deformed, or have behavioral ticks. He falls for a nymph with obsessive-compulsive disorder (Hanna Verboom), which oddly means he's passing on the gal who spews red wine out of her tracheotomy hole, as well as the veiled Chernobyl victim whose nose is a functioning penis.
And here you thought ''tasteless" was just a word.
Not even Schneider's ''SNL" career, his Adam Sandler connections (this is another Happy Madison Production), or his motley catalog of previous films (''The Animal," ''The Hot Chick") prepares a viewer for the lengths to which ''Deuce 2" will go to get no laugh. Griffin is reduced to eating fries out of a toilet (a step down from T.J.'s earlier hot-tub buffets) and prying a cat off his private parts. Heaven knows what possessed respected actor Jeroen Krabbe (''Soldier of Orange") to take on the role of a Dutch detective.
Is it too late to redefine ''Eurotrash"?
Janice Page can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.