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‘Captain Ron’

By Rita Kempley
Washington Post Staff Writer
September 21, 1992


Thom Eberhardt
Kurt Russell;
Martin Short;
Mary Kay Place;
Paul Anka
profanity, nudity and underage drinking

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If we lived in a just universe, "Captain Ron," a farce filmed in and around the Devil's Triangle, would simply have vanished into another dimension. But we don't and it didn't.

One of the year's sorriest comedies, this seagoing family affair is an attempt to remake "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" on the bounding main. Kurt Russell, his blond hair braided and beaded, plays a ragtag drifter who teaches a corporate executive (misused Martin Short) to sail and bond with his decorator wife (Mary Kay Place) and their bratty kids (Meadow Sisto and Benjamin Salisbury).

Short is stuck with the wacky cap'n after he and the family realize they need a skipper to get their moldering yacht, which they recently inherited, from a remote island to the mainland. Luckless as an albatross, Short fights the cap'n for control of the yacht and the respect of his family. By the time Ron, who turns out to be a sea sprite or some such, lets him win, we would rather see the hapless hero get eaten by a shark. Not that the foulmouthed, brewski-sucking, wench-hungry title character is much better.

Directed by Thom Eberhardt of "Without a Clue" -- which he happens to be comedically -- the movie takes no advantage of Short's considerable talents, Russell's sensuality, nor the slapstick potential in the autobiographical story by John Dwyer. It should be funny when Short and Place are trapped naked in the shower with the drain plugged up and no way to turn off the water. Eberhardt manages to make it look like they're drowning. Ahoy! Man the bilge pumps.

"Captain Ron" is rated PG-13 for profanity, nudity and underage drinking.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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