Executive producers, Robert Rohdie, Michael Derrick, Alan Ginsburg, Gary Stetson, Mike Wojciechowski.
Directed by John Huneck, David Sheldon. Screenplay, Larry Bischoff, William Brian Lowery. Camera (color), Shane Kelly; editor, Sean K. Lambert; music, Eva King. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 16, 1999. Running time: 98 MIN.
With: Tom Tayback, Lindsay Bloom, Jennifer Waldman, Selina Jayne, Maye Nutter , Joseph Campanella, Joel Rook.
Originality is in short supply in “Grizzly Adams and the Legend of Dark Mountain,” but this yarn about 19th century friend-of-the-wilderness Grizzly Adams and his bear pal will easily fill tube slots for webs looking for family fare. The Larry Bischoff-William Brian Lowery script is way too formulaic and the thesps deliver remarkably wooden perfs that help make this a tough slog for anyone with a grade-school diploma. But younger auds may be able tooverlook clunky dialogue and enjoy the old-fashioned adventure.
Grizzly Adams (Tom Tayback) and his trusty bear Samson are recruited to find a trio of lost kids, and before you can say “dancing bear,” Grizzly and his goofy animal sidekick — who isn’t above jumping up on two legs and waving goodbye to people — are in hot pursuit of a gang of bad-guy prospectors, led by Professor Hunnicut (Joseph Campanella) and the incredibly inane Mr. Pettibone (Joel Rook). Along the way, there’s much talk of Native American mysticism and some less-than-impressive special effects. Tayback mostly just looks square-jawed and lacks the charisma necessary to carry the role of action hero-wilderness lover. Other thesps don’t fare much better.