Making the Grades
Wrongfully Accused is primarily a spoof of The Fugitive, the film where Harrison Ford's character is sent to jail for a crime he didn't commit. However, with Leslie Nielsen playing the part of the murderer whose out on the lam and carrying an endless supply of bad jokes and puns that shoot off as blanks, the audience may be the ones wanting to make the great escape.
To be fair, Nielsen hasn't much to work with in this script -- no actor on the planet could salvage humor from this rubble. To make matters worse, Nielsen is suffering from what we saw in Mr. Magoo -- he's looking old and tired.
But alas, I did find myself laughing at a couple of scenes, one where Nielsen is being chased by a formidable train engine in the classic Fugitive scene, and another when Nielsen does his best to alter a wanted poster so he can avoid being arrested. However, for those few high moments your family will need to endure many other groaners. Along with the off-color humor, many sight gags make obvious sexual suggestions and sexual relations between unmarried people is clearly implied.
Of course being pure spoof, none of this is meant to be taken seriously, including the frequent violence. At least that is the excuse for scenes such as the one where a man is repeatedly shot while asking his killer if he's had enough. The murderer ends his tirade with an arrow to the heart. Later in a street war (a take-off from Clear And Present Danger), Nielsen's character is dodging bullets and bombs while trying to rescue others. Again, it's obviously played for laughs, but younger audience members may not find humor in this blood filled scene.
Seeing what you can recognize from other films is the only intriguing part of this movie, but children will be wondering what all the fun is about, unless they've amassed a serious amount of violent cinematic knowledge -- in which case you're hardly likely to be reading this column...