Reviewed by: Debi King
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).