Love the late, great John Candy? Me too. Let's honor the funnyman by never seeing this movie again.Why is it that brilliant comedians so often get mired in horribly unfunny movies? I have no idea, but there are few clearer examples than John Candy’s Who’s Harry Crumb?, a movie so inert and desperate for laughs that it boggles the mind. Aiming for a “Mad Magazine meets SCTV via Dragnet” sort of thing, the film is instead a lifeless melange of sitcom-style humor, wooden acting performances, and gags that seem aimed squarely at small children. Small, slow children.
Candy is the titular dolt, the black sheep of a detective family, and the only schlub called in when the nefarious Draisen (Jeffrey Jones) wants a dick inept enough to screw up royally. Much like this plan worked in Billy Madison and countless other low-minded movies, stupidity rules the day here, as Crumb consistently succeeds through his own ineptitude.
Perhaps hoping to create a Canadian version of the ~Inspector Clouseau’ character (fat chance there), Candy ambles his way through an unflattering series of broad comic disguises, mumbles and bumbles, knocks furniture over, accidentally spills things, etc., etc., etc.
The bare-bones kidnapping plot is a transparent framework on which to hang several desperately unfunny set pieces, and one wonders how people like Annie Potts and Tim Thomerson are trying so damn hard. If it’s a loving and adorable memory of John Candy you’re looking for (to say nothing of the actual humor content), go rent Planes, Trains, and Automobiles or Uncle Buck one more time.Movies like Who’s Harry Crumb? may make you sad; Candy wasted too much of his short career on worthless junk like this one.