Ideally, I'd like to review all of the Ernest films over the next month, but in all likelihood, that won't happen. At the very least, I'll cover the entries that no one talks about. Ernest Rides Again is one of those entries. Ernest Scared Stupid didn't scare up much dough at the box office, and this follow-up was even less successful. Moviegoers were simply losing interest in Mr. Worrell. I can't say that I blame them. Compared to the initial ternion of Ernie flicks (Camp, Christmas, and Jail), Stupid wasn't that funny. The one-liners were stale and Jim Varney seemed to run out of ideas for the character. Ernest Rides Again continues the downtick in quality, and this time around, the script doesn't have a gimmick to lean on.
The plot is achingly boring. Ernest and his scientist pal unearth a cannon from the Civil War with crown jewels hidden somewhere inside. A bad guy wants the treasure, so he chases the two nitwits for 90 goddamn minutes until he gets his paws on the antiquated stovepipe. Doesn't that sound hilarious? Here we have a screwball comedy based around a soot-smothered cannon. What the cock were they thinking? The only redeemable aspect of this film is Jim Varney. But that goes without saying. Granted, Rides is a little funnier than Stupid, but it's no fun. An Ernest movie shouldn't be a chore to sit through.
Varney does what he can to salvage the material. He's in fine form, upstaging the film itself. As per usual, he slides in and out of a host of different "voices." There isn't one accent that the man couldn't pull off. His physical performance is just as baronial. Poor Ernest gets his ass kicked in this one, and while I'm sure that a stuntman was used for most of the cartoonish violence, it couldn't have been easy to shoot the more action-oriented scenes. I'm not going to waste keystrokes on the rest of the cast. Everyone was terrible. I wanted to eviscerate the daffy scientist fucker. He couldn't have been more annoying if he made the sound that Lloyd Christmas makes in Dumb and Dumber. You know what I'm talking about.
The "villains" are ridiculous. They set out to kill Ernest just to gain possession of the cannon. I'm talking about trustees at an elite university. I'm supposed to believe that these guys are willing to (literally) rip a human being in half over a Civil War relic? Look, I know that this is a mindless comedy, but I can only swallow so much bullshit. How about the part where the coveted cannon starts to roll UPHILL out of nowhere? Jesus Christ. Watching Ernet Rides Again, you can't help but to feel sorry for Jim Varney. At one point in his career, he was a propitious Shakespearean actor. Talk about depressing.
Before I leave you, can I just say that the Mr. Bill short that precedes the feature presentation is atrocius and completely unnecessary? I can? Great! It's atrocious and completely unnecessary.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 3:30 PM