Witless Protection is a 2008 comedy crime film from Lionsgate, starring Daniel Lawrence Whitney, better known as Larry the Cable Guy and Jenny McCarthy written and directed by Chicago native Charles Robert Carner. Whitney plays Larry Stalder, a small-town deputy in Mississippi. Many parts of the film were filmed in Plano, Illinois and Virgil, Illinois (train depot, farms, gas station and a few downtown restaurants). Filming also took place in numerous towns in Illinois including Elmhurst, Lombard, Lemont, Sugar Grove, Glen Ellyn, Vernon Hills, Westmont and Yorkville. The film was released in theatres on February 22, 2008 and was released for DVD on June 10, 2008.
The story centers on Larry Stalder, a small-town deputy who dreams of becoming an FBI agent. He then witnesses what he believes is a kidnapping and rushes to rescue a woman named Madeleine. The "kidnappers" turn out to be FBI agents assigned to protect her and deliver her to a big Enron-type corruption trial in Chicago.
After the misunderstanding is cleared, Larry attempts to deliver Madeleine to the agents and get a commendation letter from them until he discovers that they're corrupted. It's later revealed that they work for Arthur Grimsley, the criminal whom Madeleine is going to testify against, who also dumped her. While spending the night at a motel, Larry and Madeleine are found by the agents and escape. During their journey, they discover that the evidence against Arthur, contained within a disc, was stolen and is inside a safe in Arthur's mansion. After evading capture from Wilford Duvall, Arthur's head of security, they manage to keep the villains off track by faking Madeleine's death. Arriving in Chicago, Larry enters a charity polo match to get invited to a ball at Arthur's mansion. He manages to beat Arthur, who at first denies to invite him to the ball until Larry convinces him otherwise.
At the ball, Larry searches for the disc while Madeleine dances with Arthur to distract him. During the search, Larry encounters and defeats Wilford in the display room of the mansion. He then bargains with one of the corrupted FBI agents to let him go, in exchange for the money in the safe. After getting the disc, Larry and Madeleine manage to escape after Arthur easily deduces her identity and holds her hostage, forcing Larry to give him the disc to save Madeleine. It is later revealed that the disc Larry gave to Arthur was a video of him singing his favorite country song.
After sending Arthur to prison, Larry is offered to join the FBI but he turns it down. He and Madeleine say goodbye and part ways. Upon returning home, Larry becomes the new town sheriff and celebrates with his girlfriend Connie.Daniel Lawrence Whitney (Larry the Cable Guy) as Deputy Larry Stalder
Jenny McCarthy as Connie
Ivana Miličević as Madeleine
Joe Mantegna as Dr. Rondog "Doc" Savage
Yaphet Kotto as Ricardo Bodi (alias Alonzo Mosley)
Richard Bull as Sheriff Smoot
Eric Roberts as Wilford Duvall
Peter Stormare as Arthur Grimsley
J David Moeller as Elmer
Sean Bridgers as Norm
This film received near unanimously negative reviews from critics. As of December 19, 2010, the review website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 3% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 29 reviews. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 17 out of 100, based on 6 reviews.
Witless Protection was nominated for three Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Actor for Larry the Cable Guy (who lost to Mike Myers for The Love Guru), Worst Supporting Actress for Jenny McCarthy (who lost to Paris Hilton for Repo! The Genetic Opera) and Worst Screen Couple for Larry the Cable Guy and Jenny McCarthy (they lost to Paris Hilton and either Christine Lakin or Joel David Moore for The Hottie and the Nottie).