They thought he was dead– but he turned out to be Canadian!
A man who neglects his family gets a second chance when his soul enters the body of a petty criminal. While this theme offers interesting possibilities, none of them are realized here. Between death and reincarnation, Nick (Sam Roberts) stands around wearing a cheap suit, hiking boots, a bad haircut, and an expression which says, 'I can't understand why Canadian films are so boring.'
'Fish story' takes no chances. It gets nothing really wrong, but nothing is really right, either. It's almost as if the director were aiming at mediocrity. The contrived plot, two dimensional characters, awkward sentimentality, and utter lack of ambiguity are reminiscent of a 1940s radio play.
Fritz Lang's 1934 'Liliom' deals with a related theme and was filmed on a similarly low budget. It's thoroughly wonderful. 'Fish story' is closer to 'The Talking Cat', but without Eric Roberts' warmth and charm.
In 'Fish story's' surprise ending, Eddie (Eddie McClintock) returns to a life of crime. He breaks into the Possum Lodge, where Red's nerdy nephew Harold has constructed a burglar trap made entirely of duck tape. (OK. I made this up, but it would have improved the movie immensely.) Otherwise, the only reason to recommend this film is its soporific value.
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