Watch Wrongfully Accused
- 1 hr 27 min
Wrongfully Accused is a parody of the classic thriller The Fugitive, directed and co-written by Pat Proft. Released in 1998, the film was largely panned by critics and failed to impress at the box office, yet it retains a cult following among Leslie Nielsen fans. The plot follows Ryan Harrison (played by Nielsen), a renowned musician who is falsely accused of murdering his rich wife. Despite insisting that he is innocent, Harrison is convicted and sentenced to life in prison. However, on his way to jail, the bus he is riding on crashes and he manages to escape. Now a fugitive, Harrison must prove his innocence while being pursued by the police, the real killer, and a feisty reporter named Cass Lake (Kelly LeBrock).
As a spoof, Wrongfully Accused is filled with absurd gags, puns, and pop culture references. It plays out like a rapid-fire succession of jokes, with little regard to plot coherence or character development. Leslie Nielsen, who had already made a name for himself as a comedic actor in films like Airplane! and The Naked Gun, delivers his signature deadpan humor, often breaking the fourth wall to acknowledge the absurdity of the situations he finds himself in.
Joining Nielsen in the cast are Richard Crenna as the grizzled detective who is hot on his trail, and Kelly LeBrock as the plucky reporter who becomes Harrison's love interest. The supporting players include a host of familiar faces from other comedic works, such as Melinda McGraw, Michael York, and Sandra Bernhard.
The film borrows liberally from The Fugitive, as well as other thriller and action films. Harrison's escape from the bus, for example, is a direct homage to a similar scene in the Harrison Ford movie. Similarly, a sequence in which Harrison hijacks a helicopter and accidentally sprays a crowd with pesticide is a nod to a similar moment in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice.
Despite its comedic intentions, Wrongfully Accused received mixed reviews upon release. Some critics praised Nielsen's performance and the film's ability to elicit laughs, while others found it to be too silly and lacking in substance. Roger Ebert, for instance, gave the film one and a half stars out of four, calling it "a pale, unfunny carbon copy of The Fugitive, with movies like Nurse Betty and Bowfinger showing how it's done."
In terms of box office performance, Wrongfully Accused was a disappointment, grossing just over $9 million domestically and $3 million internationally. Its critical reception and lukewarm commercial success likely contributed to the decline of Nielsen's career as a leading man. Nonetheless, the film has since gained a cult following among fans of Leslie Nielsen's brand of humor.
In conclusion, Wrongfully Accused is a goofy and irreverent parody of The Fugitive, featuring Leslie Nielsen in one of his last starring roles. While it may not have the depth or sophistication of some of its contemporary comedies, it delivers a non-stop barrage of silly jokes and visual gags that will appeal to fans of slapstick humor. Its cast of seasoned actors adds to the film's charm, making it an enjoyable if not particularly memorable comedy.
Wrongfully Accused is a 1998 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 27 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0.