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Movie Review

Mr. Magoo

MPAA Rating: PG for mild language and action sequences

Reviewed by: Debi King
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
6 to 13
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
87 min.
Year of Release:
1998
PG

Starring: Leslie Nielsen, Kelly Lynch, Matthew Keeslar, Ernie Hudson, Stephen Tobolowsky, Nick Chinlund, / Director: Stanley Tong / Released by: Walt Disney Pictures

“Mr. Magoo” is a cartoon character better left on the silver screen (TV). Leslie Nielson (Magoo) certainly does not act “out of character”—as Magoo, he is his typical bumbling-idiot self. In a theater packed with children and parents, don’t be suprised at the missing sound of laughter. The jokes, essentially dead-on-arrival, went over the children’s heads and the adults didn’t seem to find much humor in them.

Magoo, a retired millionaire, is on hand at the Museum of Natural History for the unveiling of the fist-size Star of Kuristan ruby. Suprise of suprises—the ruby is stolen by international jewel thieves (one happens to be a sensuous woman) and another a bumbling mobster’s son. The prized jewel ends up unknowingly in Magoo’s posession. Now the two thieves are after Magoo in attempt to retain possession of the precious stone.

Magoo (nearly blind and constantly confused) has no idea that this “rock” found by his dog is anything but a play toy; he is constantly throwing the rock into his yard. The sexy jewel thief tries to entice Magoo into falling in love with her. Or better yet, fall into some sort of compromising position so that she can retrieve the jewel.

Eventually, the jewel thieves are caught after a chase thru a ski resort (a weak chase—yet the only scene promoting a small giggle). But the stone is still on the loose, finally emerging at a Brazilian wedding as mobster “The Piranha” Peru attempts to purchase the Star of Kuristan for the apple of his eye (his new bride).

“Mr. Magoo” is a weak film, confusing in plot and an unproductive expenditure of time. This film contains little offensiveness, but cannot be recommended due to the simply ridiculous antics of the entire cast, non-humourous comedy, mild violence, misunderstood-by-Magoo sexual innuendos, and two instances of crude language. My children are 6, 7, 8 and 10; they did not find “Magoo…” entertaining in the least (and they weren’t the only disappointed movie-goers).

Viewer Comments
Clean by today’s standards and compared to a lot of movies out today. One sexual enundendo that kids would not get. No foul language. Seven yr old up would get plot and find amusing. I would recommend for 7-12 yr old. A good clean family movie. Much like the cartoons.
—Corey, age 17
Our family enjoyed “Mr. Magoo”. Leslie Nielson was his usual moronically dumb character (“Naked Gun”, “Airplane” etc.) MINUS all the sexual innuendos and swearing. I thought this movie would be torture to sit through but it wasn't, it was a “cute” funny and though predictable (as are all the antics of Nielsons comic characters), people in the theatre were laughing out loud. It was refreshing to see the “hero” so naive, sweet and guileless especially to anything remotely off colour! It was definitely as funny as flicks not as clean cut--“Flubber”—to name one. This is a movie version of a cartoon character so one has to expect it to look and be “comic book” in feel and without any character depth. My 14 year old loved it and she is very sophisticated in her taste as she is a local TV performer and writer with a comedic bent. Personally, I hope the movie does well so as to inform Hollywood that cursing, sex and all the garbage they throw out is NOT necessary!
—Candace Holtsberry