Almost Heroes (1998)
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humor relies on the audience being aware of this. If you don't buy
that the movie is SUPPOSED to be ridiculous and nonsensical,
then you're not going to like it. Otherwise, it is a great Chris
Farley/Christopher Guest vehicle with abundant laughs, often at
the absurd crudity of its humor. There are scenes and dialogue
that come off as cheap attempts at lowbrow humor, when in fact
the real punchline is that you, the viewer, even acknowleged the
humor when it is so utterly tasteless. I, for one, laughed my @$$
off and got overdue fees at my video store because I couldn't stop
The second thing keeping this movie from being perfect is just like with OLD SCHOOL, there are some attempts at humor in the movie that seem out of place in a movie like this. Sadly, this was Chris Farley's last movie. Nearly seven years after his death, it is still hard to believe he's gone. He was in my opinion, the funniest guy ever!
Leslie Edwards (Matthew Perry) is the organizer of the alternate expedition, and seems the brightest of the bunch. At least until you realize that he thinks good choices for his team include Bartholomew Hunt (Chris Farley) as their wilderness-hardened guide with experience and Guy Fontenot (Eugene Levy) as the team's translator. Hunt is basically Farley playing himself, which is both hilariously funny and profoundly tragic at the same time, and Fontenot makes it clear that he doesn't know much about other languages. At first we give Edwards kudos for deselecting him, but when Fontenot lets it be known that he'll only join the expedition if his hot Indian woman (she's not a spouse or girlfriend to him, but property), Shaquinna (Lisa Barbuscia), can also come along, Edwards figures that they probably won't need a translator's services that badly anyway, so brings him on the journey.
Levy is great at playing an attractive dunderhead. But we already knew that. That's what he's been doing since his early days on "Second City TV" (SCTV) (1976). What's more surprising is that Perry can so effectively come across as a sophisticated halfwit. Perry's performance is so dryly funny that during his scenes it can be easy to mistake Almost Heroes for a much more serious endeavor than the Mel Brooks-styled farce that it is. Farley has no such subtle complexities in his performance, but he's none the worse for that. He just acts natural, aside from feigning idiocy, as an extremely self-indulgent, substance-abusing boor. That may not sound funny, but in the context of the film, it is--Farley was as good at this stuff as was his idol, John Belushi. It's only made tragic by the knowledge that similar behavior off-camera led to his premature death shortly after making this film. The rest of the cast tends to be just as funny, if a bit underused. For that matter, though, even Levy is a bit underused.
What brought my score for Almost Heroes down slightly was the fact that it may be a bit too episodic. The episodes are all like very good to excellent skits on "Saturday Night Live" (1975) or SCTV, but they didn't necessarily flow together as a film. Taken separately, many of the skits are worthy of a 10--the IMDb message boards are full of threads with viewers citing their favorite moments. Reading through those after watching the film, just thinking about many of them again made me laugh out loud. But as a whole, Almost Heroes seems a bit underdeveloped from what it might have been. This may not be Christopher Guest's best work as a director, but it's worth watching and definitely deserves a DVD release.
Please give this movie a chance. You might like it.
I watched it the first time and giggle a bit, I watched it the second time and laughed here and there, I watched it for the third time and laughed nearly all the way through! This film is like an acquired taste and just gets better with watching.
I still laugh the most at the eagle scenes. That is just pure lame comedy at it's best. That scene and the rest of the movie never get old after watching it numerous times.
We saw it opening weekend, Saturday night, and the theater had already split up the movie (and even cut the poster in half! Jerks) with another in the same part of the theater because no-one was showing up. The audience was us and maybe a dozen other Farley fans who sat silently when he wasn't onscreen, then you'd hear us all laugh at the top of our lungs scattered from various parts of the mostly empty auditorium (the laughs were scattered, not our lungs, sorry for the bad grammar) when he did or said something funny. This is not his best movie (he was obviously and sadly on his last legs, but doing his best to give his fans their money's worth)but not his worst. If you're a Farley fan, don't be scared away by the bad reviews, rent it or buy it! The scene where he has to go find an eagle's egg in the wilderness to cure his sick friend is priceless, and so is his comment when he finally brings it back and finds out which part of the egg they needed. Every single review in the media I read said something along the lines of "this is a sad legacy to be Farley's last movie, with this weak performance, blah blah" but I think he could have done a lot worse.
RIP big guy, your fans miss you.
Among these less well-known explorers was Leslie Edwards, who seemed too much of a spoiled rich kid to spend time in the untamed wilderness--which is why he tried at first to take all the comforts of home with him, including a slave. He needed an expert tracker, but for some reason he had to settle for a man who was in the process of being hanged for drunk and disorderly conduct that included forcing a military officer to waltz. Supposedly, President Jefferson had commuted that sentence, but the signature could have been forged.
The rest of the crew was nothing to brag about. In fact, a number of them, after hearing they would have to travel upstream, wanted to take the easy way out and go to New Orleans instead. One old geezer simply wanted to see the Pacific but got out of doing any work because he was ... well, old. Guy Fontenot claimed to know all the languages of the Indian tribes the group would encounter. But the first time he was called on to translate, he explained that the language was one he didn't know. He brought along the Indian maiden Shaquinna and was insanely jealous whenever anyone would even look at her.
Along the way to the Pacific, our heroes encountered a number of strange Indians and even stranger villains such as Hidalgo. They also visited a full-fledged community established by whites--highly unlikely, but then, this wasn't supposed to be historically accurate.
This was a very funny movie, but whether it was quality depends on one's interpretation. For me, this was quite entertaining. Some examples: Bidwell loses an ear, and Pratt picks it up and speaks into it--for the rest of the movie--believing Bidwell will be able to hear him. And Hunt climbed a tree to get an eagle's egg--three times. I won't say why it had to be three times, or why he really regretted the second and third trips. But it was the highlight of the whole movie. There was also a scene where an Indian kept slapping the white men because they did not respect his customs. Or was that the real reason? And the entire movie was filled with physical comedy such as falling off cliffs.
One criticism--if Matthew Perry was supposed to have a British accent, or at least the accent of New England aristocracy, he seemed to forget in the more strenuous scenes.
The objective was to get to the Pacific before Lewis and Clark. Did they? Of course I can't say. I can say that from a distance in several scenes, we could see what appeared to be two men and an Indian woman, and a dog. Whether they made it or not, the effort was certainly one to be enjoyed.
The movie is about a bunch of people who will try to reach the coast of the pacific ocean before Lewis and Clark. Of course the entire expedition consists of lunatics, idiots and fools, but that won't keep them from trying to win the race anyway.
The tag line already said everything you need to know: Almost History... Almost Legends... Mostly Ridiculous. I couldn't agree more or have you ever thought to see the conquistadors fighting some 19th century colonists? Neither did I, but here they are. 'Almost legends'? True, this movie is already legendary because of its stupidity and bad taste and 'mostly ridiculous', I don't even bother to explain that one.
I'm not saying that everything in the movie is bad, but it just tries to be too much and ends up being nothing at all. It is some kind of spoof, an adventure movie, a historical movie (although far from correct, but that's probably where the humor should be in),... all in one. I'm not saying that the combination has to be a guarantee for failure, but than you'll need much better direction and a better script. This time it isn't worth much. I give it a 4/10.
its about 2 explorers who are racing lewis and clark to the pacific. the main characters are supposed to be just like the people from the lewis and clark expedition. (lesie edwards is meriweather lewis, hunt is clark, etc.)
its really funny and it has some "chris farley getting hurt" in it. i saw it on comedy central and then i rented it and forced my family to watch it.
6 out of 10
This is the story of two men who are trying to race Lewis and Clark to the Pacific Ocean in 1804. Although, this is only the background to a film about Perry trying to steal another man's wife and an ongoing battle against a Spaniard obsessed with his hair.
The film is not really very funny (especially after you write off Farley) and seemed to me to be in a similar vein to "Cannibal the Musical", except being that Cannibal was infinitely funnier and relied on no name actors and no budget. So, thank you Hollywood for blowing millions on a film that was poorly made and not very special... I'm sure Farley wanted this to be his swan song.
I have nothing really great to say about this film, but I don't want to keep tearing it a new one because I already know people stand against me on this. Well, they can have this movie and watch it until their DVD player starts smoking. I hope I never see this film ever again. (Although, I guess after recently seeing "The Ringer" I could have done worse.)
I've never found Farley funny but this movie is okay. It's got some funny scenes. It's original and has some clever puns on the whole Lewis and Clark adventure - it's essentially about two guys (Matthew Perry and Farley) who decide to "beat" Lewis and Clark by "getting there first." Christopher Guest receives directorial credit, which is surprising considering this isn't a "mockumentary." The direction overall isn't too great and I would never guess it was one of his films if I didn't know any better.
Farley is annoying as usual, and Perry is doing his Chandler routine - could he BE any more predictable? (Wink, wink.) There's a lot of crude humor and some stupid childish gags that embarrass rather than entertain (such as Farley's fight with the eagle).
To be perfectly honest this isn't a "terrible" film. I've seen worse, and at least it made me laugh, which is more than can be said for Farley's other film, "Beverly Hills Ninja." But at the end of the day it's still just okay and not good enough to warrant a good review.
5 Word Summary
Explorers race Louis and Clark
In early American history two explorers named Louis and Clark attempt to be the first to map a route to the Pacific Ocean. However, Bartholomew Hunt and Leslie Edwards are on their tail. Hunt (Farley), Edwards (Perry) and their men race their way to beat Louis and Clarke. Even squirrels, waterfalls, bears and crazy Spaniards cant stop them.
Honestly I'm at a loss of words with the rating of the film. This is probably my favorite Chris Farley film, even over Tommy Boy (though I've seen Tommy Boy tons of times, that might be why.) Now I know its not necessarily well made but its not poorly made by any means. The Performances are hilarious, at least from Farley and Levy and some of the other men, Matthew Perry wasn't at his best by far but held in there.
Its just one of those adventure comedies that have been done plenty of times but this is just a new version of it. With any film like that (Vacation, Harold and Kumar, Detroit Rock City, ETC) you know its going to be ridiculous and completely unrealistic but that just adds to the humor in my opinion.
It also is one of my favorite movies to quote. There is so many hilarious lines that you can pretty much quote it for as long as the film is itself. "White water in the morning," "Bent Twig," "Pittsburg Nellie," "why don't you get your own bottle" these are just a few of my favorite lines/scenes, (if you haven't seen it yet these wont make sense obviously.)
It is for sure a "dumb" comedy for the most part but sometimes that's more fun.
Id recommend this film to anyone that needs an easy laugh, and of course anyone who loves Chris Farley
This was Chris Farley's final and it was too bad that he died so suddenly because this was his best film performance ever. It showed how he dominates the film by his brand of physical, in your face comedy. The script was hokey at best, meaning it wasn't trying to be the best movie; if it did that task failed.
Based upon the story of Lewis and Clark's expedition, Chris Farley and Matthew Perry embark on a journey to do the same as Lewis and Clark did, but beat him to it. Perry and Farley play Edwards and Hunt a fumbling pair of wannabe explorers that want to make a profitable discovery.
"Almost Heroes" is a fun movie to watch and a pure delight for everyone wanting stressless viewing.