Corner Gas: The Movie (2014)
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As a fan of the show, I'll admit that some of the episodes, while always entertaining, only really became funny to me once I watched the episode a second time.
Much like the show, the movie has no laugh track, but the jokes were very funny, consistent in their pacing, and a bit less subtle than the TV show. The whole theatre (which was completely sold out) was in stitches the entire film. All of the actors did a stand up job reprising their roles, and it felt like the same old crew even years after the series ended.
The plot line was good, and in true Corner Gas fashion, all of the wild tangents that each character went on tied together in the end. Also, as a special surprise, Lorne Cardinal was at the theatre and introduced the movie in person. Over all, a great time! Maybe we will be lucky enough for a second movie sometime in the future.
*Minor Spoilers Ahead* Brent (Brent Butt), Wanda (Nancy Robertson) and Hank (Fred Ewanuick) are all in their usual spots at the Corner Gas Station in Dog River, Saskatchewan. Hank asks how long it's been and Brent tells him April 13, 2009 (the exact date the final episode of the show). All of a sudden, an armed robber breaks into Corner Gas, demanding the money from the register. He shoots Brent in the arm and is attacked by Hank and Wanda. The robber rips of Wanda's face and under it is a robotic exoskeleton. Brent has also revealed that he has a robot arm. The robber than transforms into a werewolf and begins to attack Wanda. Hank then wakes up at the airport muttering "lazerfur." He's there to pickup a journalist who's judging a contest Dog River has entered.
Hank attempts to shoot the breeze with Tina (Karen Holness) but she's put off by his rusting truck and his country attitude. They get to Dog River expecting a peaceful atmosphere but the town is chaotic. There are fires, fights and utter chaos. Hank decides to explain the chain of events leading up to what has happened.
The plot of the Corner Gas movie is pretty simple and formulaic. It's the "save the rec-centre" story re-done. But the way the movie handles it is just so perfect for a continuation of the show. The mayor of Dog River Fitzy (Cavan Cunningham) lost the town's money investing in Detroit real estate and they need to win this contest to just keep things running. So the point I'm trying to make is that yes, you've seen several aspects of this movie's story before but it's the same writers from the show and they know just how to spin it to bring the laughter. The show never re-wrote the book with it's creativity so it was almost fitting to be honest.
The whole cast returned for the movie and they performed just as if the show had been going the whole time. Brent is just as sarcastic and clever, Lacey (Gabrielle Miller) is well-meaning yet neurotic behaviour. Hank has that crusty idiot personality and Oscar (Eric Peterson) is still fly-off-the-handle crank he always was. The entire cast is consistent and on point, it's cool they all came back. The movie also has some cool lower-key cameos (a couple of the on camera sports casters from TSN).
The most important part is that the movie retained the shows sense of humour and the movie was hilarious. They did a good job giving each character a chance to contribute (Karen got the short shrift if I had to pick one of the central cast). They even did some things that the fans had been waiting for like Brent and Lacey finally getting together.
I'll admit that this review isn't completely objective. I honestly loved the show and I'll admit that bias. But I do genuinely think this movie did an excellent job putting on one last show for it's audience. It came across as very genuine, like they knew how much the show meant to some people. I would recommend this to Corner Gas fans wholeheartedly. To the cast and crew, thanks for the memories, this was a fitting finish for the residents of the fictional town of Dog River, Saskatchewan.
Once upon a time, deep in the bowels of the Canuck entertainment industry (an industry which owes its very existence to the exchange rate with the US dollar; and which can claim to have spawned over 90% of all the bad sequels made in the last 30 years) a fairly unknown but undeniably clever comic pitched an idea for a Canadian-ish Seinfeld ("Seinfeld without the nasty edge") and not only was it accepted, it was an international hit.
Even as you read these words, on some comedy channel somewhere in the digital world, Corner Gas is running, and, like Lucy, may run long after the rest of us have shuffled off this mortal coil.
The team behind GAS left the party while the getting was good, and tried a bunch of spinoffs. The fact that you never heard of the spinoffs pretty much answers your next 2 questions.
Which left only one option -- recapture the glory days by bringing the whole team back into harness for a feature.
And here we are.
It's actually hard to review because -- and this is fatal for a critic -- I know the series too well, and that means I am reacting to my memory of the characters as much as the characters themselves, in the movie.
So, bottom line, if you are fan of the original, there are worse ways to spend a rainy afternoon than with Brent and boys. And the incredibly photogenic Gabrielle Miller doesn't hurt either.
However, as raw entertainment, there are problems. The script is massively overwritten. You get the feeling that every time writer A noticed a problem, writer B would try to plaster over it with a clever pun or a segue. With the expected result.
None of which changes the fact that it is meandering, overlong, uneven, and poorly meshed to the feature-length format.
That's my view as a critic.
As a fan, however, it was great fun to see the gang back in action again!
I watched the series and fell in love with the character then, and even though I hadn't thought of the show in a very long time, I found myself instantly recalling the names of the characters as they showed up in the movie.
If you've loved the series then this will be a treat for you as it was for me.
I found the town on Google Maps and the grain silo is even still painted 'Dog River'. https://email@example.com,-104.9050114,998m/data=!3m1! 1e3
If you loved the show, you'll love the movie!
The TV show was always a bit about nothing. So the town going bankrupt is a big something. However, it's handled with the show's usual lightness. All the main characters are back and that's a great thing. Nobody is missing. It is just as charming as the show. It's not so complicated that even people who are not familiar with the TV show will easily get into this.
This show begins with what appears to be an apocalypse in Dog River, as a reporter and Hank enter town to see utter chaos and horrors everywhere. The story then jumps back in time and you learn what led to things becoming so god-awful. It seems that the town is totally bankrupt....power has been shut off and folks are considering moving. What are Brent and the others to do?!
While this is a good film and does end happily, it also is pretty depressing and serious...far more than the TV show ever was. Because of that, the formula is a bit odd...but still, I did enjoy it and think it's worth seeing. Just remember that it is a bit depressing...but it will turn out okay...trust me on this!
Five years after the series finale, Fitzy has blown the town's money on a bad real estate investment in Detroit, leaving the town without electricity or water.After realizing that the crisis won't blow over and Lacey will move away if Dog River goes bankrupt, Brent buys the closed town bar and enters Dog River into a "Quaintest Town in Canada" competition, hoping that the $75,000 prize can save the town.Brent and Lacey then rally the town to prepare for the "Quaintest Town in Canada" contest judge, Tina Fuller, to enter Dog River, but a series of mishaps create the appearance of a riot in the middle of town. ...
Any fans of the show were dying to see the cast again so to them it was going to be funny no matter how bad the movie was. In actual fact, it's unlikely this movie would be funny to many outsiders.
I know that no one will agree with anyone who writes anything critical about their beloved Corner Gas but those are the facts. I'm glad to see that so many people liked the movie because being Canadian, I always hoped for it to succeed.
Corner Gas The Movie falls into the above mentioned dilemma. It relied too much of past fan experiences to carry the characters, the humor, and the story line. If you were to come into this movie without prior knowledge of the television series, you would be left feeling as if something is lacking.
The humor was predictable, flat, and had the feeling of a Nickelodeon after school special. The music or lack of, made the film seem small budgeted, and when there was music, it sounded very much like a B class TV show. .
The movie does have its charm, and I am sure if you were a fan of the TV series, you will get enjoyment from the movie. Other wise, the overacting, plane writing, predictable humor, and flat plot will leave you running on empty.