The summer of 1998 was the last hurrah for the spoof movie, before being reinvented by the Wayans Brothers. Genre architects Jim Abrahams, David & Jerry Zucker, and Pat Proft had long since broken their collaborations and each man splintered off into less successful ventures. The lowest of these projects is surely, Wrongfully Accused. There are at least 50 gags in the movie and only two are able to produce a chuckle. Leslie Nielsen and Richard Crenna have proven themselves deft at subtle comedic ability but, neither are given anything remotely funny to say or do. They, and the viewer, are stranded in a dead zone for a seemingly endless 86 minutes.
Someone has murdered blue-blood art collector, Hibbing Goodhue (Michael York) and Ryan Harrison (Leslie Nielsen), an imbecilic violinist has been charged and convicted of the crime. Harrison maintains his innocence, but takes advantage of an escape opportunity when it’s presented. Now, on the run, Harrison tries to find the real killer, while U.S. Marshall, Lt. Fergus Falls (Richard Crenna), uses his loony methods to track down Harrison and bring him to justice.
Staring off tone-deaf and only getting more unbearable from there, Wrongfully Accused treads on worn gags and un-inspired lampooning of blockbuster movies. Mission Impossible, The Fugitive, and Titanic are a just a few of the movies spoofed uneventfully here. This is a long way from the glory days of Airplane and The Naked Gun, I’d even settle for lesser fare like Mafia or BASEketball over the warmed over staleness of Wrongfully Accused.
Director: Pat Proft
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Richard Crenna, Kelly Le Brock