Ken D. (allthatjazz) from APISON, TN Reviewed on 1/14/2012...
One of the worst films ever, Richard Lewis is anything but funny and neither is the script. This is hardly anything on the scale of Blazing Saddles, it should have been scrapped.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Grace G. from CUBA, NM Reviewed on 4/22/2010...
Really funny movie with good actors. It'll make you laugh.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Myra B. from KELSEYVILLE, CA Reviewed on 9/1/2009...
Anything with John Candy in it has to be funny, and this is hilarious.
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
David M. (daveyboomer) from HENDERSONVLLE, NC Reviewed on 7/9/2009...
This was the last film John Candy did befor passing...Richard lewis is helarious..and the reviewers say: "It's an over-the-top Western spoof in the "Blazing Saddles" tradition, and I agree
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
emmacheyenne | 01/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Now, I'm aware of the fact that there are a multitude of reviewers who called this movie "contrived" and "tiresome," even "lame" in some instances. True it is that the sad event of the death of John Candy during filming does not justify the film as worth your hard-earned American or Canadian dollars. However, there is a light in the movie shining through the dust left by the weak jokes and overdone western hijinx: young Vancouver native Derek Senft in the role of Jeremiah Taylor. Senft delivers a performance on par with those of Anna Paquin in The Piano and Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense. Any child who has lived in the west and is forced to move back east could find inspiration in the young boy's perseverance, wonderful attitude, and love for his family, especially those moving in a horse-drawn wagon or its modern counterpart, the station wagon.In conclusion, I advise you to rent or buy this movie. Put it in your VCR, press play, and then immediately press fast forward. As soon as you see the shining smile and auburn hair of the young actor Senft, however, release the button, and revel in one of the finest acting performances by a Canadian boy from the 20th century."
"Do you have a really big book?"
bernie | Arlington, Texas | 04/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A hand full of citizens of various occupations and orientations realize the west is not all it is cracked up to be. They decide to go back east, but to do this they will need a skilled and knowledgeable wagon master. Who should stumble in but the best wagon master in the west, James H. Harlow (John Candy). Naturally there is a money grubbing cabal apposed to this move and they will stop at nothing to throat the "Wagons East" plan.
Well designed with a select group of actors that never overplayed their parts. The consumes and scenes here exceptionally good for the comedy. The Indians look like Indians and the floozies look floozy. The film is jam packed with one liners. "
B. R. Oberg | Prime Material Plane | 06/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...This is one funny movie. This is not a movie where a sterling acting performance convinces you that an actor is a different person, or where some fundamental truth aboot human nature is revealed. This is a movie where you laugh your [head] off because of dialog about moccasins, quitters, and big. . . fat. . . books. And if the scene with the insanely effiminate bookstore owner is revealed to be a hardcore bad [dude] doesn't just slay you then you have deep issues. This is one of the great sleeper movies of the 90s'."
emmacheyenne | MS | 03/13/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Although I didn't think this movie was as bad as some of the people who reviewed it, I also don't think it's John Candy's best. One thing that might be missed is if you don't know your western history well you won't get some of the jokes!"
The loss of John Candy is made all the more poignant because
emmacheyenne | 05/25/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It is possible he never appeared in a worse one. The producers claim he finished all his key scenes before his unexpected death on the location, but that's hard to believe, because his character is an undefined, vague figure, and isn't even required to be funny most of the time.
That's easy in this film, which is one of the least amusing comedies I've ever seen, right down there with "Clifford." Although it stars the allegedly hip Richard Lewis, its "humor" consists largely of barnyard jokes, kicks in the crotch, hayseeds in love with their cows, jokes about gays and hookers, and a lot of shots where people fall over things, and things fall over them. Everything is punched up by cringe-inducing fiddle music; the score is one of those by-the-numbers jobs where every screen movement is accompanied by a musical note.
It's the kind of movie that begins with a shot of a town, and the subtitle, "Population 67." Then some bad guys shoot up the bank, and a new subtitle says, "Population 62." Har-de-har-har. We're in the old west, a dreadful place that a lot of the locals want to escape - which is why they hire Candy as their wagonmaster, and put together a wagon train to go back east again.
The principal characters include Lewis, as a banker who gets tired of being robbed; John C. McGinley, as a gay bookseller who gives up when a cowboy buys "Pride and Prejudice" to use as toilet paper; Ellen Greene as the local hooker, and Candy as James Harlow, whose dark secret is that he was the wagonmaster for the ill-fated Donner Party, whose winter crossing of the Rockies ended in cannibalism.
Candy seems oddly out of focus in the movie. Hiding behind a big beard, a floppy hat and a big Western jacket, he's hardly visible in some scenes. Nor does he have many big moments, funny speeches, punch lines or things to do. An element of melancholy crept into some of Candy's more recent films, and you can see it here; he seems like a winsome outsider, who for all his bulk and bravado is really very fragile.
The screenplay by Matthew Carlson and direction by Peter Markle are so amateurish I'm surprised they found backing from a major studio. The film has no sense of pacing, excitement, location or humor, and essentially reduces itself to shots of an ill-assorted group of characters awkwardly performing in contrived situations. No opportunity is missed for sticking in something that's supposed to be funny, but isn't - like the sleeping cap with a tassel, which Lewis wears at night.
Many of the action sequences lead up to people falling over cliffs, after which we get a shot of them below, in the mud, and are supposed to laugh. I didn't. I also wasn't amused by a subplot involving hip Indians. And when land speculators decide the wagon train must be stopped, because it's bad publicity for the west, they hire a posse which rides and rides and rides, in shots that are endlessly intercut with the action, before finally arriving at its destination and more or less being forgotten about.
John Candy made some good movies. My favorites are "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" (1987) and "Only the Lonely" (1991). It's a shame, for more reasons than one, that this was his last one."