June 07, 2009

Kumquat Nation in Dudley Do-Right

Correspondent DMarks recently reviewed the Dudley Do-Right movie in his Throwaway Blog. He wrote the following about the Native aspects:I caught a little bit of this movie. It's from 10 years ago, is live action, and stars Brandon Fraser, Alfred Molina, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

It seems to be firing on all cylinders when it comes to stereotypes. Or perhaps the term would be "firing all arrows." There is a tribe called Kumquat Nation. They were a major part of the plot. They lived in a tipi village and have totem poles and canoes. The Indians (or would it be First Nations people, being this is supposed to be Canada) are played by Italian-Americans and have names like "Chief" and "Standing Room Only." Hadn't we been there before...like movies and TV from 50 years before?

With all of these other things going in, I was surprised the Indians did not speak Tonto-speak. But they did not.

And overall, the movie appeared to be unwatchable. Molina was badly miscast as Snidely Whiplash: the cartoon character is not fat, but the movie character is. To make sure we know what character he is supposed to be, everything Snidely is involved in (vehicles, etc) has a logo of the Snidely cartoon character on it.

This movie looked pretty bad. And "how."
In his review, Kenneth Turan of the LA Times adds:Short though it is, "Dudley Do-Right" is rife with out-and-out padding, such as the "River-dance"-type production numbers the local Canarsie Kumquat tribe is passing off as its authentic native rites.Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought the idea of Indians being played by Italians was somehow apropos.