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R: ARCHIVE, S: MOVIES, D: 08/27/1998,

Wrongfully Accused

Leslie Nielsen is not funny. Well okay, he can be hilariously deadpan when the material's right. But it's trouble in comedy city when poor Leslie must struggle to act wacky to compensate for a lousy script, as he does in this lame spoof of The Fugitive. Writer/director Pat Proft, who helped David Zucker with The Naked Gun series, once seemed heir apparent to the spoof throne. But here, he throws everything at us and nothing sticks -- the random jokes, a few of them approaching funny, seem tacked on without purpose. Parodies of Mission: Impossible, The Usual Suspects, and, get ready, Titanic, are instantly recognizable, but they go nowhere. Plus, Proft, perhaps realizing how futile the idea of a Fugitive parody is, has Nielsen painfully copying his colorful hard-boiled detective language from The Naked Gun. Maybe it's time someone spoofed these spoofs. At the Copley Place, the Fresh Pond, and the Chestnut Hill and in the suburbs.

-- Mark Bazer