Monday, August 13, 2007

Strange Brew

Strange Brew (Rick Moranis & Dave Thomas, 1983) [5]

It's hard reviewing this film so many years later because it's basic structure, the adventures of two dim-witted men, has been aped by Wayne's World, Tommy Boy, and almost every Will Ferrel movie that it's hard to remember that this was pretty much the first one. Moranis and Thomas the McKenzie brothers made famous on SCTV and now so more for their beer commercials. They're basically two dim-witted brothers concerned with drinking beer and calling one another hoser and telling everyone to take off. Their Canadian white bread routine is funny for a while (about the length of a skit) but the repetition of eh's and hoser only can get so much laughs. Still, there were moments throughout that made me laugh out loud, especially the scene with the two brothers fighting in straight jackets. That's more that can be said for most comedies today. The plot, loosely based on Hamlet, has no real importance to the film; it could have been anything as long as it propels Bob and Doug along and gets them to act stupid. The film also suffers like most comedies of its era from cheesy 80's syndrome, highlighted by not very effective effects and the corny opening credits song. Some credit has to go to Moranis and Thomas for breaking down the fourth wall, clearly addressing the audience and letting them know that they know they're making a movie, something Wayne's World would copy and make seem like new years later. Also, for being two dim bulbs, the McKenzie brothers are completely likable, something that the smugness of Ferrel's characters lack. Strange Brew isn't great and it shows its age but it certainly has more laughs than Rush Hour 3, which I guess passes for comedy nowadays.

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