Writer: Steve Smith
Director: Eric Till
Red Green....Steve Smith
Harold Green....Patrick McKenna
Bob Bainborough....Dalton Humphrey
Jeff Lumby....Winston Rothschild
Patrick Keleghan....Ranger Gord
Melissa DiMarco....Deputy Dawn
Graham Greene....Edgar Montrose
I enjoy the odd episode of The Red Green Show as much as the next Canadian male. The concept is funny. Steve Smith and the Possum Lodge Brothers make it work more often than it should. Heck, I once joined a guy's "Red Green" roadtrip. We wore plaid, drove to Toronto, drank beer at Gretzky's bar, and attended a taping of the show. We even got selected to join the obligatory "lodge meeting" scene at the end. Yeah, I actually appear in an episode. All right, my hat appears. For a portion of a second. Still, it's my hat.
So I really wanted to like this movie.
The Canadian icon/ PBS mainstay/ NASA favourite works best in small doses, as an amusing parody of male culture and Canadiana. All of the expected elements appear in the movie, and they're occasionally funny. Patrick McKenna manages some laughs as Harold, but a little of Harold goes a long way, and we're given too much of what is essentially a one-joke character. The emotionally warped Ranger and the pyrotechnically obsessed Edgar receive more appropriate time limits for their respective shticks. And Smith has a very stupid but rather funny moment with a vibrating bed.
But Possum Lodge (whose members strive for third place in a Duct Tape sculpture contest in this film's small plot) doesn't have what it takes to fill 90 minutes of screen time.
The script also features a bewildering anomaly. Understand how stereotypically Canadian this flick is. Filming took place almost exclusively on location in rural Ontario. Several Canuck icons makes cameos: Dave Broadfoot as an RCMP agent, Ronnie Hawkins as a gas station attendant.
Why then, does the villain send a corrupt sheriff and a sexy deputy, straight out of an American road movie, after Red? This is just wrong.
Fans will get some laughs. Duct Tape Forever has a somewhat better script then any number of over-produced, over-budgeted, over-hyped Hollywood summer comedies, though out-scripting the latest comedy remake of an old tv show isn't much of an achievement. The finale, the film's strongest moment, will warm the hearts of Red Green fans in Canadian homes, at Michigan hunting lodges, or in microgravity. But, if the classic tv bit where we see how real men cook dinner (with power tools) is Red Green at his finest, this movie finds itself at the other end of the scale. If Red's your thing, you're better off watching reruns of the show.
A variation of this review, by this author, appears elsewhere online.