|One of the truest laws of comedy is you can't push it. You can't add a silly noise to something and automatically make it funny. We hate to admit it, but even adding a moose head to a scene doesn't necessarily make it funny. You might giggle a little bit, but that's just an involuntary reaction to anything moose-related.
Bless its stupid heart, Dudley Do-Right pushes it. There are some genuine laughs, but they're accompanied by a fair amount of strained semi-humor. Worse, the occasional patches of dreary pacing (whenever an actual conversation occurred) left the 12,000 kids in our audience squirming and whining and generally annoying the living shit out of us.
If you were a fan of the Rocky and Bullwinkle series, you remember Dudley as the Mountie with a single-digit IQ. Often dependent on the brain power of his horse, Horse, and frequently beset by Snidely Whiplash, Dudley would somehow save the day and earn some batted eyelashes from his sweetie Nell. As TV-to-movie candidates go, it's not too bad, but that's like saying that as pretty-eunuch bands go, N*Sync is okay. It's a moot achievement; the entire category is crap.
We're not sure what to make of the fact that Brendan Fraser has now played Dudley as well as George of the Jungle (another Rocky & Bullwinkle feature), another nice big dumb lug. We'll say this: no one plays a sweet-natured grinning idiot half as well as Brendan Fraser. We'd like to add that no one looks half as good in a loincloth, but that's neither here nor there.
Rounding out the cast are Alfred Molina, chomping scenery like it was peanut brittle as Snidely Whiplash, and Sarah Jessica Parker, doing reaction shot after reaction shot as Nell. We had to wonder why writer/director Hugh Wilson went to the trouble of giving Nell an impressive resume (Ph.D from Harvard, ambassador to Guam) if all she was going to do was gasp, cringe or swoon. Hell, even Jennifer Love Hewitt could do that, and she isn't saddled with Parker's unfortunate nose.
There are some sequences that make Dudley Do-Right perfectly tolerable, if not quite worthwhile. Several elaborate dance numbers break up the gags, and the final action scene is genuinely impressive. Yes, we know it was all done on computers but it still looks good, dammit.
If you see Dudley Do-Right, we give you the same advice we did for Muppets From Space: go late at night. The only thing worse than watching a grown man get hit on the head by a loose floorboard for the tenth time is if it's accompanied by squeals of, "Moose head! More moose head!!".