Captain Ron

(Thom Eberhardt, USA, 1992)


Captain Ron is one of those curious, middling comedies which, while avoiding at all costs the dark, anti-human laughs of something like Death Becomes Her (1992), nonetheless features characters who are essentially stupid, unlikeable and a bit grotesque.

It’s a hopeful variation on the City Slickers (1991) formula, transporting a typical middle class family (headed by Martin Short and Mary Kay Place) onto an inherited, worse-for-wear ship in the lazy waters of the Caribbean. Then, along comes a somewhat shady outsider, Captain Ron (Kurt Russell), to assist and endanger them in about equal measure.

Director and co-writer Thom Eberhardt (Without a Clue, 1988) specialises in satirical comedies with a hard edge, and his sensibility doesn’t gel entirely well with the feel-good house style of Touchstone Pictures. However, the fun he derives from the very mannered performances of Short and Russell and the crisp, visual gags is palpable.

© Adrian Martin June 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
home    reviews    essays    search