Talk about beating a dead horse. Leslie Nielsen is still trying to squeeze the last drop of humor out of the spoof comedy. Give up! It’s bone-dry, as his latest comedic train wreck, Wrongfully Accused, can attest.
The film roughly follows the plot of The Fugitive, but spoofs a variety of films inbetween, from The Empire Strikes Back to Titanic. Leslie Nielsen’s bumbling fool this time around is Ryan Harrison, master violinist. He’s falsely accused of murder and must escape to find the real killer: a one armed, one legged, one eyed man (Aaron Pearl).
In the Tommy Lee Jones role here is Richard Crenna as Fergus Falls, the U.S. Marshal assigned to track Harrison down. You’d think that the filmmakers would be able to get some mileage out of Tommy Lee Jones’ Oscar-winning role. No such luck. Crenna barks out orders in Jones-style, but his character is so uninteresting that he goes missing for most of the film’s last third, and you never notice the difference.
And of course the film has to have some sort of love interest. That job is dually provided by Kelly LeBrock and Melinda McGraw. One of these women has Ryan’s best interests at heart…the other wants to kill him. But he doesn’t know which is which, and the audience couldn’t care less.
The film is packed with wall-to-wall non-sequitur gags, but the film’s escape sequence is the only one which even mildly works, and it is mostly successful only in comparison to the rest of the film.
One of the big problems with the humor here is the source material. Rather than spoofing a genre, Wrongfully Accused decided to spoof one specific film, The Fugitive. As all the comedic potential is tapped early, the film grasps out for other sources of inspiration. However, the amalgamated hodgepodge of scenes are so desperately humorless that it seems the filmmakers are simply playing a game of “Guess Which Film We’re Spoofing Now!”
There have been worse spoof comedys…but not many. For the crime of being unfunny, Wrongfully Accused is guilty, guilty, guilty.