Almost Heroes
Rating -

Comedy (US); 1998; Rated PG-13; 90 Minutes

Chris Farley: Bartholomew Hunt
Matthew Perry: Leslie Edwards
Eugene Levy: Guy Fontenot
Kevin Dunn: Hidalgo
Lisa Barbuscia: Shaquinna
Bokeem Woodbine: Jonah

Produced by Denise Di Novi and Mary Kane; Directed by Christopher Guest; Screenwritten by Mark Nutter, Tom Wolfe and Boyd Hale

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Written by DAVID KEYES

Isnít it ironic when a movie comedian dies and his last movie is his worst? I donít know how many times I pondered that belief at Almost Heroes, and Iím not sure if I could even keep track of the times when it was called to my attention. Every scene and every moment of Chris Farleyís last film is done in absolutely inept taste. The movie is so unlaughable and so corny that urges to rip the film to shreds came across me as it reached the height of its introduction. Oh yes, itís bad right from the start, and it continues to the point where we are no longer watching a movie with Chris Farley in it. We are watching a movie with total moronic background in it, from the way the camera moves to the way the script unleashes the pathetic jokes. No one could have saved it--no one. It is one of the most phony excuses for comedy ever made.

Believe me, itís not Farleyís fault. He was one of the funniest and intelligent men of his time, and it was a shame to all of us that he died last year. But why do these comedians always die before their last movie is unleashed, and why is the movie always rotten? Do the producers feel it necessary to remove all the filmís decency after its star has been laid to rest? Do the comedians realize their mistakes and die on purpose before the world bashes them for it? Maybe itís a coincidence, but if it is, the coincidence seems rather bizarre, because itís occurred more than once.

Who could forget John Candyís last? Wagons East was one of the most criticized films of the 1990s, and was brought to theaters just shortly after he passed away on its set. There are many arguments to debate this notion that death comes from bad comedies, but if I didnít know any better, Iíd say that this is some sort of supernatural twist of fate.

Almost Heroes sabotages history and brings us two dimwitted men named Bartholomew Hunt and Leslie Edwards, who wish to discover the northwest before Lewis and Clark do. They sail on a ship full of pesky and rude crew mates, including one who is in love with straw dolls. On their journey, which from the very first minute is almost doomed to failure, they encounter the occasional comedy bad guy, and here, we have Hidalgo (Kevin Dunn), a Spanish explorer who has a fetish for his own hair. The swashbuckling idiots trade off battles with him and with others, all to the point where Almost Heroes seems like a parody on Revolutionary wars.

In between scenes of battle and wrong-way journeys, the crew offers us the comedy routine more than Farley does. Most of the jokes are those youíd expect from an episode of Beavis And Butthead, but here, they arenít funny, because they are toned down by excess claptrap of boring camera shots and pointless subplots, all of which end in some sort of lame-brained joke that only perverts could appreciate.

I imagine that these stories can make great movies, but thereís nothing great about them here, because of incompetent dialogue, stupid setups, and simply unfunny wisecracks. Thatís all there is to it--itís not funny here because all the other elements of the movie are bad as well.

Almost Heroes has nothing good about it other than its title. It is like a moment of embarrassment in a humanís life--foolish and very forgettable. If itís some small consolation, at least Farley didnít stick around long enough to see the audience reaction to this movie.

© 1998, David Keyes, Please e-mail the author here if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.
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