I think Disney planted the theater audience with the mental deficients on nitrous oxide so that I would think this film was really impressive. They laughed and laughed at all the stupid jokes, went "wow" during the infuriatingly simplistic moments, and cheered as the hometown hockey team took on the New York Rangers in an exhibition game.
Basically, if you enjoy this type of film, you're either huffing silver spray paint or haven't seen enough "Mighty Ducks" movies, which, I assure you, are an entertainment roller coaster thrill ride compared to "Mystery, Alaska." For this we have David E. Kelley, of the insufferably precious "Ally McBeal" fame, to thank. In case you were wondering what his secret is (besides syrup of ipecac), it's this: Have grandmothers and toddlers say bad words. People will always laugh at that. In "Lake Placid" it was the grandma saying the f-word, and in this film, it's the three-year-old saying "shit." Memo to David: Even funnier is television producers with egos the size of Jupiter getting bitch-slapped by horny mountain gorillas.
I'm not going to say whether or not the boys of Mystery, Alaska, beat the New York Rangers, but the fact that they even compete is an utter joke. Does David E. Kelley think professional athletes are professional athletes because they stumbled into the right auditorium? Pitting these dreamers against the Rangers is like pitting Pat Buchanan against Mike Tyson -- and I'm sure most of us would prefer the see the latter.
Rest assured though, the boys from Mystery earn everybody's respect. This is signaled at the end when the crusty old judge (Burt Reynolds) starts clapping very slowly and the entire town, along with the Rangers, joins in. It was at this point that I tried killing myself by jamming my drinking straw through my eye and into my brain. Incidentally, how totally ass-rammed is your town if Burt Reynolds is your lone figure of respect?
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