Hollywood Pictures dumped this lame Joe Pesci-Danny Glover comedy without press screenings, and the chief mystery is why this unfunny item didn’t go directly to homevid. Perhaps they’re hoping “Gone Fishin’ ” will pick up some spillover business from filmgoers facing sold-out showings during the second weekend of “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.” Pic is unlikely to be around for the third frame.
Premise has lifelong buddies Joe (Pesci) and Gus (Glover) winning a contest and getting a free Everglades fishing trip. They’re working-class guys who are so good-naturedly stupid the film comes across as an unwitting tribute to the films of Huntz Hall. Pesci plays his role with a speech impediment, and is given to saying “Holy shmokes.”
Along the way everything goes wrong: Their car is stolen by a murderous con man (Nick Brimble), they’re caught in two runaway boat chases (one on dry land), their hotel has been destroyed by Hurricane Andrew, they accidentally blow up another hotel, and two women (Rosanna Arquette, Lynn Whitfield) appear infrequently, just to provide some contrast to the two middle-aged, dumpy protagonists.
Film is so formulaic that virtually every plot point is telegraphed way in advance. If Gus keeps talking about Joe’s bad memory, you know some point is going to turn on his ability to remember. If Joe complains about Gus’ sleepwalking, you know he’s going to do it at an inconvenient moment.
Not even a string of cameos can save the film. Willie Nelson appears briefly as the perfect fisherman, and an unbilled Louise Fletcher and Maury Chaykin drop in as well. Chaykin, at least, injects some life into a nothing role with an eccentric turn as an enthusiastic waiter.
Tech credits are unmemorable, but Randy Edelman’s heavy-handed score needs to be singled out as especially fitting the dismal proceedings. A reference to “Deliverance” is actually a cue for a banjo chord.