Wrongfully Accused

Nashville Scene

DIRECTED BY: Pat Proft

REVIEWED: 09-08-98

Do you know why I enjoyed Wrongfully Accused? Because nobody vomited. This has been the throwing-uppest summer on record, what with Saving Private Ryan, Henry Fool, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the upcoming Simon Birch, and the two "comedies" that Wrongfully Accused most resembles Mafia! and BASEketball. These last two were especially putrid, because when people weren't regurgitating, they were crawling up goat rectums or slurping liposuction.

Much has been made of the gross-out humor in There's Something About Mary, but that movie's obsession with fluids and physical defects was tempered by some good gags and a fundamental sweetness. Mafia! and BASEketball brought out the toilet humor to cover creative bankruptcy, which is especially shocking when you consider their respective creators, Jim Abrahams and David Zucker, were part of the team responsible for the funny and inventive Airplane!, Naked Gun, and Hot Shots! series.

Wrongfully Accused was put together by another member of that team, Pat Proft, who clearly understands the appeal of his oeuvre better than his colleagues. Leslie Nielsen stars as a concert violinist who's accused of murdering his patron (Michael York), all of which is a setup for a parody of The Fugitive, which veers into a parody of Lord of the Dance, Titanic, Anaconda, and, most memorably, The Usual Suspects. These parody movies have been pretty well played out in recent years, but Proft has a gift for Mad-magazine-style visual jokes, and he maintains a lightness and zippiness that makes the film pass pleasantly.

No, Wrongfully Accused is not fall-down funny, but it offers some riotous momentsmy favorite has the runaway train from The Fugitive stalking Nielsen like a hungry lion. Most importantly, even at its worst, it only induces groans and rolled eyes from the audience...not turned stomachs.

--Noel Murray

Capsule Reviews
Wrongfully Accused
Wrongfully Accused
Wrongfully Accused

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