Captain Ron (1992) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Tuna's comments in white:

Captain Ron (1992) is not a good movie. It is rated low by IMDb voters, and nobody has a good thing to say about it. The story is improbable, and it has a romantic, unbelievable ending.

The only problem is, I really enjoy this film.

Martin Short and Mary Kay Place and their two kids pick up an inherited sailboat at a remote island called San Pomme de Terre, or Saint Potato. Their plan is to have a family adventure, sail it back to Florida, and sell it for enough money to pay off their second mortgage, and their credit card debt. First problem is that the boat is more than a little run-down. The real problem, however, comes in the form of Kurt Russell, the one-eyed Captain Ron, whom they hire to teach them sailing and get them to Miami.

Along the way, they get lost, encounter revolutionaries, get caught in a storm, are attacked by pirates, and end up in Cuba. Their daughter ends up with tattoos. That is all just good fun. The real problem is that Captain Ron becomes a hero to Short's wife and kids, which is what he had been hoping to do.


Mary Kay Place shows her breasts, shot from above in a scene where she and Short are locked in a flooding shower.

Scoop's comments in yellow:

I'm with Tuna on this one. I enjoy the film, too. I won't claim that it's a comedy classic. It isn't even an especially good lowbrow comedy, but it can be absolutely delightful when Kurt Russell is on camera as the sleazeball Captain Ron Rico. (What better name for a guy who looks like a Caribbean pirate?) Russell always has had a unique comedy presence, and this film uses his abilities quite well.

And there is a kick-ass reggae score. The plusses of the movie are strong enough to make you overlook the fact that Martin Short seems to think he is the grade-b Bob Denver, who in turn is the grade-b Jerry Lewis. I'd say the film is about on the same level as Summer Rental or Last Resort, or the Rodney Dangerfield films. If you like those, or Russell's own Used Cars, you'll probably like this one as well. It is the same kind of movie, and is about as good, or not much worse.

One thing: if you are one of those anal-retentive types who wants the plot to make sense, you have to skip this. It is so illogical as to be surrealistic. For example, our heroes leave Captain Ron in "San Juan". Shortly thereafter, their boat is hijacked by pirates and they are left drifting in the open sea in a life raft. They fall asleep, float with the current, end up ashore in Cuba. So far, no so bad right, except you have to assume that San Juan is not the one in Puerto Rico, but some other, imaginary Caribbean port of call.

But here's where it gets hairy.

(1) They discover that they have drifted to the exact same spot where the pirates have sailed their boat!

(2) If that isn't illogical enough for you, they are about to be overcome by the pirates when they are rescued by Captain Ron! How could the old Ronmeister even know where they were, let alone get there?

Oh, well. Just let it wash over you and don't sweat the details.

Sidebar: I wish Kurt Russell and Michael Keaton would go back to being funny. 

The Critics Vote


The People Vote ...

  • with their dollars: it grossed $22 million in the USA
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. There are beautiful Caribbean shots and sailing shots, and the transfer is extremely well done. I enjoyed it, largely because I liked the characters, but because most people feel different, the proper score is C-. (Scoopy: C. It's a pleasant escapist summer comedy.)

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