Dudley Do-Right

"Terrible"

Dudley Do-Right Review


The essence of Jay Ward's delightfully dolt-driven cartoons like "Rocky and Bullwinkle," "George of the Jungle" and "Dudley Do-Right" was always a resourceful, goofball mix of silliness, self-cognizance and good, dumb laughs -- a combination that might seem difficult to duplicate outside the medium of deliberately dorky animation.

But two years ago, the balance was mimicked surprisingly well in the live-action "George of the Jungle," with a perfectly cast, pratfall-proficient Brendan Fraser in the title role. But that balance is conspicuously absent as Fraser tries to fill the clumsy shoes of another Jay Ward character -- his vapid but lovable, lantern-jawed Canadian Mountie -- in the almost completely giggle-free "Dudley Do-Right."

Not only does the dilly dorkiness turn to idiocy, which in turn runs rings around the infrequent laughs, but just about the only engaging moment in the entire movie isn't even a sight gag or a goof. It's a completely serious stunt.

During the climax, dim-witted Dudley saves the day by galloping his equally dim-witted horse (named Horse) through a barrage of exploding tank shells. Real horse, real explosions, and the studly stallion doesn't even flinch. It just kept on barreling through the bangs.

"Wow," I thought, "well trained horse." Pity about the everything else.

Writer-director Hugh Wilson, who helmed Fraser's passable preceding release, "Blast From the Past," wastes no time making a mess of this beloved 'toon adaptation. Right out of the gate he tosses in an unnecessary and badly-acted prologue, recounting the hitherto untold backstory of Dudley's childhood rivalry with the future mustache-twirling nefarian Snidley Whiplash (flashpoint: the affections of future heroine Nell Fenwick).

The movie then jumps 20 years to find Snidley (Alfred Molina, "The Impostors") taking over Dudley's rustic hometown, the idyllic Semi-Happy Valley, with some inept false gold rush scheme.

Fraser is on prosaic pratfall autopilot through this near-plotless, 78-minute jumble of overworked slapstick (multiple floorboards flip up and smack Fraser in the face) and meagerly strung-together set pieces in which Dudley Do-Right does landscape sculpting, motocross racing and performs "Riverdance" numbers with a troup of Vegas-by-way-of-Brooklyn mock native Americans.

The movie gets a few things right, like the vocal mannerisms of the sing-song announcer (although Fraser fails on this front, only occasionally attempting Dudley's daffy, derring-do diction), and many, many more things wrong (I really could have done without the Regis and Kathie Lee cameos).

Sarah Jessica Parker makes an admirable effort to fold more modern female ambitions into her role as Nell, the traditionally ditzy damsel in distress. Molina really tries to sink his teeth into the underwritten Whiplash, who just isn't given enough meat to be the absurdist amalgam of silent film serial baddies he's supposed to be.

But despite an honest effort here and there, "Dudley Do-Right" has a halted pace and an uninspired, patchwork script with a plethora of plot holes ("Nell will never come back," Dudley laments, when we've never even been told where she's gone), which might not even entertain most little kids, and will surely disappoint the legions of Jay Ward devotees who will likely see this movie hoping for a repeat of the unexpected proficiency of "George of the Jungle."

Unfortunately, this movie has nothing in common with that one outside of its star and its source material. What a let-down.



Dudley Do-Right

Facts and Figures

Run time: 77 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th August 1999

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 16%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 38

IMDB: 3.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Dudley Do-Right, as Nell Fenwick, as Snidely Whiplash, as Prospector, as Inspector Fenwick

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.