Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Captain Ron (1992) Review:

Kurt Russell is a very competent actor. He has been in the Hollywood business since his childhood. Honestly, he should be able to see what movies would do well and what wouldn't. And like any other actor, he has made his fair share of mistakes; Soldier (1998) is one of those mistakes. However, I can not excuse him for (pardon the pun) missing the boat on this stinker. At least in Soldier (1998) Russell had a reason for not giving his character a lot of charm. Here, Russell is given a chance, but doesn't look like he put in a lot of effort. Perhaps he thought that what he was giving, was enough. I don't know.

The Harvey parents
The plot is about a family who learns they have inherited a valuable boat and decide to take it upon themselves to sail it back to the US so they can get their money’s worth. Low and behold, they end up being stuck with a native, Captain Ron (Russell), to lead them back to the US. The thing is, it's never specified if Captain Ron IS a captain. He's more like a klutzy half drunken sailor. This is the whole joke of the movie, and it falls flat right when Kurt Russell enters the frame. It just doesn't work. There's no charm or a spark of inventiveness. Nothing.

Unfortunately, the other characters aren't any better either. Co-starring with Russell is Martin Short, another veteran actor. Ask me why he chose this movie, I couldn't say. Short plays the father, Mr. Harvey, and originally he doesn't mind Captain Ron but gradually begins to see that he isn't really qualified for the job. This kind of friction isn't really a recipe for comedy. As I sat through this, I just became frustrated with how dysfunctional the Harvey family and Captain Ron was. Just utter chaos. I'm surprised any of them were able to make it back to the US in one piece.

Kurt Russell as Captain Ron
The comedy aspect of this movie is extremely weak as well. Nothing is funny here at all. The gags are actually more obvious in a literal sense; you can see actors preparing on screen for an upcoming gag! Even weirder was how bad of a role model Captain Ron was to the children of the Harvey family. Not to mention that the parents barely objected to anything he did. Great parenting. Which brings me to another point - the rating. I understand this movie was rated R for language and some nudity but really? I honestly think it would have been funnier without it. I mean, what purpose does a child actor have in a movie if the age restriction is only for adults 17 and up? There's no connection with the audience. This is why the screenwriter, John Dwyer, has only this movie to his credit. It is by no means well written at all.

As for the music...what music? The composer, Nicholas Pike, who has done a large number of scores, provided barely anything for this movie. No theme, no emotion, nothing. All the audience gets, is native music. Fine, but it is at the most random of times and doesn't lighten up the mood of the movie much, if at all. The only saving grace in this movie is Kurt Russell as bad as he is. The scenery is nice, as well as the native cultures displayed throughout, but that's it. This boat is a sinker to the bottom.

By far, this is Kurt Russell's worst movie. The music is barely there, the humor is sorely unfunny and the characters have no charm.

Points Earned --> 2:10

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