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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Mr. Magoo (1997)



Reviews and Comments

Leslie Nielsen plays the title character in this live-action version of the cartoon of the same name. It doesn't work. There isn't nearly enough genuine comedy; instead, the focus is on the unfunny villains and clumsy pratfalls. The director is, strangely enough, Stanley Tong, who directed some of Jackie Chan's movies. That may explain the nods to martial arts, but it doesn't make them any less out of place.

To his credit, Nielsen gets the voice and mannerisms of the cartoon Mr. Magoo down fairly well, but the movie uses his character in a context that makes them annoying rather than endearing. The worst mistake was animating the opening credits like the old cartoons. It's funny. It's a big flashing announcement: "Look at how funny this movie isn't!" Not even the outtakes at the end elicit much of a laugh.