Kurt Russell in Captain Ron, 1992.

The Many Faces of Kurt Russell: CAPTAIN RON (1992)

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Best Bad Kurt Quote:
“Nah boss, she’s not a cretin; she’s a Puerta’ Rican!” 
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The comedy package film: polar opposite characters, a crazy scenario, conflict, hijinks, bigger conflict, triumph, newfound respect, resolution. Same sh*t, different outfit, every time. Some are hits, some are misses, it all depends on how clever the spin and how authentic the actors’ chemistry. In the early ’90s, into the land of Trading Places, What About Bob?, and Twins, sailed yet another gem in this cinematic crown. One helmed by Captain Kurt.
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This movie so wrong. So very, very wrong. First of all, the casting is the opposite of what it should be. Kurt, whose brand of comedy is generally cocky/charming and almost always action-oriented, is playing the off-the-wall, madcap Captain Ron, while comic genius Martin Short, who could run funny circles around pretty much everyone on the planet, is stupidly playing the straight man. Marty can pull off the switcheroo, however displeasing this may be to the audience, but  Kurt, poor Kurt, cannot. Instead, he enters Ham Central, talks in a staccato, beach bum “Arrrrgh, matey” voice, and postures himself like he has conch up his ass. Just imagine an electrocuted ostrich in a bad wig. With an eyepatch. Who knows, maybe Kurt went method and used this animal as his spirit guide when planning his characterization??? It was indeed a bold move that, while delightful to the soul independently, is painful to witness within a storyline that cannot authenticate itself.
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The narrative follows Martin Harvey (Short), whose dead end, passionless existence is given a ray of light when he inherits a yacht. Desperate for adventure, he convinces his wife and kids to join him on a voyage to retrieve the boat, shape it up, and sail it to Miami, where they will sell it for mucho dinero. They enlist the help of a true ship captain, Captain Ron, to guide them from St. Pomme de Terre to Florida. Unfortunately, Ron is a little too bohemian for the uptight Martin, and he consequently gets the family into ALL kinds of trouble, like… making them have fun… and stuff. The stakes are pretty low.
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As Ron works his magic, Martin starts to feel that he is being replaced as the Captain of his own life. (Metaphors). Ron flirts with his wife (Mary Kay Place), teaches his son to drink beer, and lets his damn slut daughter be just plain damn slutty. Basically, everyone likes Ron better, and Martin acts like a jealous little bitch in reaction. I honestly can’t remember Ron doing anything terribly wrong to earn Martin’s antipathy, besides warning him about an island’s dangerous “guerrillas,” which Martin chooses to interpret as “gorillas.” This is but one of many of the movie’s “jokes.” Yup, Ron is just an innocently wild and crazy guy– a misunderstood rarity with a bad sunburn and a heart of gold.
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Still, I get why Martin hates him; Ron’s annoying. He constantly gets lost, he has a glass eyeball, and he wears speedos. And that voice and ostrich-y head twitching… WTF? But what’s really, really bad, besides the misshapen performance of the main attraction, is the paper thin storyline. I can’t even write a proper review, because I can’t with any honesty remember what the Hell happened. The movie was that bad. I just kept asking myself why the movie… was. Why was it? What kind of sicko greenlit this red-headed bastard? It’s like watching the Titanic sink, but wanting it to happen. (Just let go, Ron. We’ve already let go). The only thing that could have saved this nonsensical, nautical numbscullery would have been Short, but he was given no leverage to be his balls to the walls self. I was really hoping that he’d have a major freak out or, even better, turn into Jiminy Glick and start interviewing Ron. Sadly, this was before Jiminy’s time. I think, just maybe, the purpose of this film was to teach the industry what not to do. Sadly, Hollywood remains a re’tard.
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Please, for your own sake, don’t watch this movie sober. It is the loneliest feeling you will ever feel. But do watch it drunk. You’ll never truly understand the chameleon that is Kurt Russell is until you have see him… No, just don’t watch it. Abandon ship. And then drown yourself.
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Rating:
 
1 our of 5 Ring-a-ding-dinghies
Captain Ron still 4
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