A nostalgic guilty pleasure
There's a part of me that knows what a godawful, scattershot mess Mr. Magoo is. That part of me begs reason, implores myself to recognize the boldfaced stupidity and flagrant dips into shameless, moronic lowbrow humour barely worthy of a troupe of chimps. There's also another part of me that absolutely loves the movie for all of the reasons just outlined. OK, so I watched it a lot as a kid, and have that nostalgia for it that one can only have with a fond childhood memory of something. But even so, all ridiculousness taken into account, it's a silly bit of fun that doesn't quite capture the tone of the famous cartoon, but fires away on its own whacko cylinders for ninety minutes of eyebrow raising, idiotic bliss. Leslie Nielsen, who has made a career of playing disastrous buffoons, portrays Mr. Magoo, a near sighted elderly gent whose visual impairment leads him on all sorts of adventures and odd situations, which the movie doesn't hesitate to illustrate in bold, silly fashion that gives the animated source material a run for its money. When a valuable foreign jewel which his charitable foundation is tasked with presenting is stolen, he and his asinine nephew Waldo (terminally awkward Matt Keesler) are led on a goose chase to find the two thieves, laughably sultry Kelly Lynch and dimbulb Nick Chinlund. That's about as far as plot goes, and it's all the blueprint you need for the cascade of slapstick muck that bombards your good taste for the better part of an hour and a half. One has to give credit to the stunt crew, who create scene after scene of madness for Nielsen and crew to parade through, from a snow chase on an ironing board, to a South American waterfall derby and all kinds of messiness in between. Some truly talented people got dragged into this, including Jennifer Garner as an Eastern European (HA!), Stephen Tobolowsky as an overzealous, bumbling fed who borders on certifiable, beloved Ernie Hudson as another law enforcement stooge, Miguel Ferrer as a Peruvian drug lord, and the one and only Malcolm McDowell as a sinister crime boss (who else?). The Vancouver locations are cool, especially an over the top Grouse Mountain set showdown. Like I said, it's a whole lot of dumb dumb, and don't say I didn't warn you. But it's also so much Fricken fun, man.
- Feb 3, 2016
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content