Picks and Pans Review: Bushwhacked

updated 08/21/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/21/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Daniel Stern, Anthony Heald, Ann Dowd, Jon Polito

Nobody should be offended by this ensemble juvenile comedy. Nobody should become indignant at the waste of talent. Nobody should be too entertained either.

For one thing, Stern is a born second banana who makes a thin comedy lead in this movie, frequently resorting to crossing his eyes for comic effect.

Not that he has a lot to work with in a four-author script about a delivery-man, Stern, who is framed for murder by Heald, a crooked businessman. While running away, Stern is mistaken for a scout leader who is supposed to be taking a half-dozen scouts off on a camping trip in the mountains.

The kids are not the stereotypical melting-pot collection. There is no black youngster, and the chubby one isn't the butt of everyone's jokes; a token girl, Janna Michaels, seems included just to fill a roster spot, though Ari Greenberg, as the group's nerd, seems shoehorned in too.

The funniest character is Brad Sullivan, whose wizened, officious demeanor makes him an ideal small-town sheriff, judge or, in this case, the real scoutmaster whom Stern is impersonating. The humor runs to slapstick, such as Stern slamming into a mountain nose first or the boys urinating over the side of a mountain in an extended sequence. It's that kind of movie. (PG-13)

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