"It's like an Ernest movie without the wit and sophistication..."
It's every bit the bad idea you'd think (and know) it is, but yet it still got made. 93 minutes will never feel more like 93 hours than it does here.OK, you're Penelope Spheeris. You've just directed the hugely popular and wildly successful "Wayne's World," a smart, funny film. What do you do as a follow up? Continue with the "Decline Of Western Civilization" documentaries? Sit back and wait for a really good project to come along?
Nope, you take the big-screen version of The Beverly Hillbillies, the least likely candidate for the sitcom-to-feature-film treatment out there. It's a one joke show, man, I don't care if it was a #1 show or that it was on the air for nine years. It's lame. You'd think it'd be impossible to make a movie that's lamer than the show it's based on.
You'd be wrong.
Look at the casting. Cloris Leachman as Granny. Cloris Leachman hasn't been funny since "Young Frankenstein." You've got a pre-"Drew Carey Show" Diedrich Bader. In drag, no less. We're assuming he wasn't cast with Drew Carey on the basis of his work here, because - and it pains me to say this - his performance makes the original Jethro look like Sir Laurence Olivier. Erika Eleniak as Elly May? You think she'd have gotten the part if she hadn't shown us her breasts in Under Siege? Lily Tomlin? Dabney Coleman? Rob Schnieder? When was the last time any of those people were funny?
And then, of course, there's Jim Varney. Ol' one-joke Jim Varney himself. Actually, maybe he was the perfect guy for the role. But yet, here's his one chance to break ot of Ernest mode, and he does a by-the-numbers Buddy Ebsen homage. Right.
Plot? Well, you've got your basic (and seemingly neverending setup), where the hicks strike it rich and move to the city. Then you've got a suitor and his scheming wife trying to take the bumpkins' riches away by marrying Jed.
It's every bit as sitcom-y as it sounds.
The casting is uninspired, the jokes are weak. The clan is pretty much dead on arrival, and the bloopers/outtakes at the end make you long for another Cannonball Run movie.
Almost.Fans of the show (those who aren't dead, anyway) will have a grand old time. Everyone else (those of you with taste) will be hitting the eject button.