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Mr. Magoo Reviews

Instantly forgettable but fun while it lasts, Disney's live-action adaptation of the classic cartoon is an ideal action-adventure thrill ride for kids who may be a little too young for the latest Bond extravaganza. Leslie Nielsen stars as myopic millionaire Quincy Magoo, whose stubborn refusal to get a good ophthalmologist keeps him forever teetering on the edge of disaster. When the priceless Star of Kuristan ruby is stolen from the local museum and accidentally winds up in his tackle box, Mr. Magoo becomes the target of a criminal mastermind (Malcom McDowell), a pair of squabbling government agents (Ernie Hudson and Stephen Tobolowsky) and a sexy but very dangerous femme fatale (Kelly Lynch). True to the spirit of the original, our nearsighted hero mistakes toothpaste for suntan lotion, a carp's mouth for Lynch's lips and a ferocious mandrill for an ugly baby girl in a dirty diaper. But have no fear: Fate and the forces of nature are clearly on the side of Mr. Magoo, and he sails through it all with aplomb. Putting Hong Kong action director Stanley Tong behind the camera is one of the most inspired ideas to have struck Disney in some time: Tong -- director and stunt coordinator of a number of Jackie Chan flicks -- knows how to fill a slugfest with chop-socky excitement and can transform an otherwise routine car chase into a comic set piece. The stunts are a lot of fun, but it's really Nielsen's show: Working a variation of his brilliant NAKED GUN schtick, Nielsen's Magoo faces the most ridiculous -- and potentially deadly -- situations with a hilarious, deadpan obliviousness that's not without a certain dignity. Whether snowboarding down a mountain on an ironing board or about to become the bride of a Brazilian crime boss (Miguel Ferrer), Magoo is always the perfect gentleman. Great Scott, Nielsen -- looks like you've done it again.