Making the Grades
Just like the many before it, Dudley is a poorly conceived and written movie based on a poorly conceived and written television cartoon. A timid member of the over-romanticized Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Dudley (Brendan Fraser) who dreamed of being a Mountie all his life, is assigned to an outpost in a small village that looks like a Canadian postcard. His life long acquaintance - the evil Snidely Whiplash (Alfred Molina), is the one criminal in this one-horse town (the horse belonging to Dudley).
When Snidely plans to get rich by planting gold into a local stream and starting a new gold rush, Dudley determines to set things right -- even though the town is making a fortune from U.S. tourists. Amidst the chaos is the flighty Nell (Sarah Jessica Parker) the love interest for both boys. While Dudley attempts to win her with his heroic feats, Snidely impresses her with his power and charm.
Nell is as decisive as a two-headed coin but seems to prefer the darker side of Snidely who is portrayed as having more fun than Dudley. Only when Dudley begins employing similar evil tactics does Nell take a serious interest in him. Although this film is hardly ever serious, young audiences may miss the humor and take these messages at face value.
Young children may find the scene where Dudley threatens to saw a bad guy in half frightening. Other comic stunts such as people being blown up (they just get covered in black soot and their clothes are torn) or hit with rocks and boards or a reckless motorcycle chase, may provide ideas older children could mimic.
While I did smile when the local "Indians" (a bunch of white guys dressed for the part) did a dinner theater where the rain-dance met Riverdance, this portrayal may offend others. I found little humor in Dudley's clowning and overly flatulent horse, although he may be the only one who can claim this film was a real gas.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Dudley Do-Right.
Why are people in authoritative positions often played as clowns in movies? Can you think of other movies where parents, teachers, principals, or other authoritative people are played for laughs?