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Dudley Do-Right follows the hilarious exploits of the dedicated but hapless young Mountie (Brendan Fraser), as he struggles to outwit the evil Snidely Whiplash (Alfred Molina). Snidely has devised the scam of the century setting off the biggest gold rush since the Klondike. Prospector Kim J. Darling (Eric Idle) is an unsuspecting oaf who joins the millionaire wannabes streaming into the town that has since been named Whiplash City. It's up to the usually sweet and naive Dudley to lead the charge, defeat the villain, win the heart of Nell Fenwick (Sarah Jessica Parker) and bring peace back to Semi-Happy Valley. Hopefully, he won't screw it up.
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Brendan Fraser (George of the Jungle, The Mummy) brings his considerable charm to this awkward live-action version of the classic cartoon Dudley Do-Right. The first half of the movie lays out the basic elements of the cartoon (none-too-bright Canadian Mountie battles melodrama villain Snidely Whiplash with pluck and dumb luck) with little wit or imagination, but lots of pratfalls and broad gags. But about halfway into it, when Whiplash has taken over the town of Semi-Happy Falls and become its leading citizen, the movie takes a curious turn: Since Whiplash has become, to all appearances, a good guy, Dudley decides the only way to fight him is to turn into a bad guy. Next thing you know, Dudley is decked out in black leather and cruising around on a motorbike while Whiplash fumes impotently. Bullwinkle fans may decry this departure, but it gives the movie a much-needed burst of energy and the opportunity for some entertainingly surreal images--like Whiplash up to his neck in a mudbath with cucumber slices on his eyes, consulting with his henchmen about dealing with that unpredictable Do-Right. With Alfred Molina, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Monty Python's Eric Idle. --Bret Fetzer
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