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Movie Review

Dudley was born to be a Royal Canadian Mountie. Snidely was born to be evil and make Dudley's life miserable. Nell was born to be fought over by Dudley and Snidely. So the announcer tells us as the film opens on these three children playing together. Twenty years later, each fulfills their destiny. Dudley truly is Mr. Do-Right, a loyal—if not exactly brilliant, or coordinated, Canadian Mountie. Snidely leads a large band of ruffians, and Nell wins both their hearts. When Snidely concocts a devious plan to seed the town's surrounding hills with gold, thus drawing hordes of prospectors, Dudley has to save the day, but how he will do it, not even he knows! When his faithful horse is chased away by Snidely, he's left with only his wits, which he hasn't very many of. It's only after a very drunk prospector takes him under his wing and teaches him to be "tough" that he rides—literally—to victory. Oh yeah, he gets the girl. Oops, that gave away the ending…

Positive Elements: The lines between good and evil, white and black are drawn clearly in the sand. Dudley can't bring himself to break the law even if it means he'll lose his fight against the bad guys. He may be a bit of an klutz, but his heart's in the right place. Goodness is rewarded here, not crime. The sentiment may be a bit simplistic, and at times not even true, but when the film ends with the announcer intoning, "Good things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people," this reviewer couldn't help silently applauding.

Spiritual Content: Snidely tells Dudley tales of vampires lurking in the woods to scare him away from his investigating.

Sexual Content: A couple of innocent kisses is as far as this film goes.

Violent Content: Cartoonish violence scattered throughout. Unlike Inspector Gadget however, most of it isn't played strictly for laughs. It's hardly realistic, but it's not excessive. Still, some of it is a bit rough. Snidely ties up the owner of the town's bank on the railroad tracks and forces him to sign over the bank's deed as the train approaches. One "war" scene pits machine guns against rock throwing. Two small tank-like armored vehicles fire at the defenseless "good guys." A motorcycle chase features several flashy jumps and crashes. Even Dudley himself rides into the bad guy's camp spraying gunfire all around him. He then proceeds to carve his initials in a wall with the bullets.

Crude or Profane Language: Twice the term "screwed" is used in a non-sexual manner. Once a character exclaims, "Oh God." "Heck" and "freaking" are also used once each. That's it.

Drug and Alcohol Content: The prospector gets falling-down drunk.

Other Negative Content: A reporter uses a Mexican racial slur to describe the horde of Americans flooding over the border to look for gold.

Summary: Dudley Do-Right offers a noble hero that everyone can root for and a classic bad guy that everyone can boo. It harks back to the "good ol' days" of children's shows where everything was always less complicated than real life. Sure, Snidely tries to blame his evil nature on his genes, but it's clear that he's reaching for excuses. Nobody buys it. Parents should note however, that the style of the film will excite 5- to 10-year-olds, not teens.


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