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Dudley Do-Right

Re-teaming with writer/director Hugh Wilson after the modest success of Blast From The Past, Brendan Fraser stars in this live-action update of Jay Ward's popular children's cartoon. All of the standard introductions are taken care of right away — Dudley Do-Right is a well-meaning, clumsy, nearly incompetent Canadian Mountie who must battle Snidely Whiplash (Alfred Molina) after the black-garbed bad guy has masterminded a gold rush in his town of Near-Happy Valley, driving up property values and casting innocent residents on to the street. The broad, slapstick nature of this G-rated excursion will delight young children, but Wilson includes some amusing non-sequiturs for the grown-ups, including a local tribe of Indians who all have Brooklyn accents and stage massive Vegas-style productions for tourists (one of their members is known as "Standing Room Only"). Eric Idle earns some of the best gags as a washed-out prospector who takes the bumbling Do-Right under his wing, delivering bits with such dry understatement that the film occasionally resembles something from his Monty Python days (his Ninja training with Fraser, which results in some injury to the younger man, shows that Idle simply can't help but be funny, no matter what movie he's in). And, as with Blast From The Past, Wilson throws in a big-band dance number for Fraser, who is joined by the nefarious Molina and Sarah Jessica Parker as damsel-in-distress Nell Fenwick. Good transfer, DD 5.1, trailer. Includes a short "Fractured Fairy Tales" cartoon.

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