The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
Magoo drives a red Studebaker convertible in “Mr. Magoo,” a fact I report because I love Studebakers and his was the only thing I liked in the film. It has a prescription windshield. He also drives an eggplantmobile, which looks like a failed wienermobile. The concept of a failed wienermobile is itself funnier than anything in the movie.
“Mr. Magoo” is transcendently bad. It soars above ordinary badness as the eagle outreaches the fly. There is not a laugh in it. Not one. I counted. I wonder if there could have been any laughs in it. Perhaps this project was simply a bad idea from the beginning, and no script, no director, no actor could have saved it.
I wasn't much of a fan of the old cartoons. They were versions of one joke, imposed on us by the cantankerous but sometimes lovable nearsighted Magoo, whose shtick was to mistake something for something else. He always survived, but since it wasn't through his own doing, his adventures were more like exercises in design: Let's see how Magoo can walk down several girders suspended in the air, while thinking they're a staircase.
The plot involves Magoo as an innocent bystander when a jewel is stolen. Mistaken as the thief, he is pursued by the usual standard-issue CIA and FBI buffoons, while never quite understanding the trouble he's in. He's accompanied on most of his wanderings by his bulldog and his nephew Waldo, of which the bulldog has the more winning personality.
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