Written by / 7/01/2011 / No comments / , , , ,

WAGONS EAST

title: WAGONS EAST
year: 1994
cast: John Candy, Richard Lewis, Robert Picardo, Ed Lauter, Ellen Greene
rating: **1/2

John Candy's last film, in which he died on location, isn't completely awful. A comedic Western about a group of disheveled citizens in a desolate Western town who, realizing their dreams have, thanks to rowdy locals, become a nightmare, decide to head back East. A clever premise, and for the most part, an involving "Road Movie" as John Candy, playing a weathered wagon master, leads five stage coaches, which includes Richard Lewis as a whiny doctor, Robert Picardo as a doubting banker, Ellen Greene as a hooker with a heart of gold, and scene-stealer John C. McKinley as a gay librarian, into Indian territory, dry riverbeds, and a winter storm. The humor relies on the perilous situations and how the neurotic characters, especially Lewis, reacts to each. A bland finale for Candy, not only because it's not very funny, but as a frustrated, sulky drunkard his endearing sweet-natured underdog humor is absent, so anyone could have played the part. And since most of his scenes were filmed there's not much missing except a funnier script, which the late icon deserved to go out with. Perhaps fans should consider UNCLE BUCK as his last truly classic swan song.
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