Wrongfully Accused

1998, Movie, PG-13, 85 mins

Review

WRONGFULLY ACCUSED
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Have you been on tenterhooks, anticipating another of those Leslie Nielsen movie-parody pictures? Then this may be just what you need, even though here's something tired and rotten about this FUGITIVE send-up right from the start. Nielsen is back as the Lord of the Violin, Ryan Harrison. Women find him irresistible, notably the wife (Kelly Le Brock) of patron Hubbing Goodhue (Michael York), and her long-lost sister Cass Lake (Melinda McGraw). When Mr. Goodhue turns up dead, Harrison becomes the prime suspect. THE FUGITIVE is the barn-sized target at which most of this picture's gags are lobbed, and whenever Nielsen is confronted with his alleged crimes, he assumes his gravest demeanor and intones, "I have been wrongfully accused." No, you're not the only one who doesn't find that one of the funniest lines ever, regardless of the delivery. Harrison knows that a one-armed, one-legged, one-eyed Irish guy was the real killer, and sets out to find him with Tommy Lee Jones-impersonator Fergus Falls (Richard Crenna) close on his heels. As is always the case with movie spoofs, there's considerable lag time between the subject and the send-up: That's not such a bad thing if you're making fun of a whole genre, but if you're mocking a single film the joke is tired before you even get started. Perhaps that's why writer-director Pat Proft sees fit to toss in gags at the expense of NORTH BY NORTHWEST, ANACONDA, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, THE USUAL SUSPECTS, E.R. and Charlie's Angels, among many other movies and TV shows. But it doesn't help: The end result is strictly by the numbers, held together by a rubber band and altogether without entertainment value. leave a comment --Sandra Contreras

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