Duct Tape Forever
Reviewed by Jeff DeLuzio
Rating: 1 Beans
ook. I enjoy the odd episode of Red Green as much as the next Canadian male. The concept is funny. Steve Smith and the Lodge Brothers make it work more often than it should. Heck, I once joined a guy's "Red Green" roadtrip. We wore plaid, drove to Toronto, drank at Gretzky's, and attended a taping of the show. We even got selected to join the obligatory "meeting" scene at the end. Yeah, I actually appear in an episode. All right, my hat appears. For a portion of a second. Still, it's my hat.
So I really wanted to like this movie.
But Possum Lodge (whose members strive for third place in a Duct Tape sculpture contest in this film's small plot) doesn't have what it takes to fill ninety minutes of screen time.
The Canadian icon/ PBS mainstay/ NASA favourite works best in small doses, as an amusing parody of male culture and Canadiana. All of the expected elements appear in the movie, and they're occasionally funny. Patrick McKenna manages some laughs as Harold, but a little of Harold goes a long way, and we're given too much of what is essentially a one-joke character. The emotionally warped Ranger and the pyrotechnically obsessed Edgar receive more appropriate, stringent time limits for their respective shticks. And Smith has a very stupid but rather funny moment with a vibrating bed.
But at ninety minutes, "Duct Tape Forever" drags like Chretien's final term in office.*
The script also features a bewildering anomaly. Understand how stereotypically Canadian this flick is. Filming took place almost exclusively on location in rural Ontario. Several Canuck icons makes cameos: Dave Broadfoot as an RCMP agent, Ronnie Hawkins as a gas station attendant.
Why then, does the villain send a corrupt sheriff and a sexy deputy, straight out of an American road movie, after Red? This is just wrong.
Fans (who have seen or will see this thing no matter how bad it is) will get some laughs. "Duct Tape Forever" has a somewhat better script then any number of over-produced, over-budgeted, over-hyped Hollywood summer comedies, but out-scripting "Scooby-Doo" isn't much of an achievement. The finale, the film's strongest moment, will warm the hearts of Red Green fans at home and on board the International Space Station.
But, if the classic ep where we see how real men cook dinner-- with power tools-- is Red Green at his best, this movie finds itself at the other end of the scale. If Red's your thing, you're better off watching reruns of the show.
*Which might be funny if you're a Canadian reading this review at the time it was first posted, but will make absolutely no sense if you're, say, an Estonian who has surfed onto the site in 2004.
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