Wagons East Review

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In what purports to be a comedic spin on the wagon-train Western genre, John Candy is sadly almost unrecognisable with a scruffy beard and long hair. Sad because this is the last film he made - the voluminous star having died after a heart attack during the shoot. He stars as the disreputable and drunken oaf James Harlow, who is hired as wagon master by the unhappy folk of the one-horse-town Prosperity ("somewhere out West") to lead them back East.

The reason for their itchy feet is that they're just too darned civilised for Western ways. The local banker would rather sip a gin and tonic than take a slug of whiskey, while gay bookseller Julian (McGinley) is shocked to find his customers using Pride And Prejudice as toilet paper. So, Prosperity's citizens decide to become the first American quitters and head back Eastwards with Harlow up front.

In contrast to frequent schmaltzy moments - to show the portly Candy in a glowing light - there's an abundance of vulgar (and unfunny) humour, from questions about the size of male members to oral sex gags. Harlow's lack of any directional sense soon leads the wagons into Injun country. Cue one tribesman called Big Snake That Makes Women Faint. Meanwhile, a black hatted baddie (Lauter) tries to scupper their journey with a predictable lack of success. Altogether, this effort is a poor swan- song for the hallowed career of Candy and we can only hope that the forthcoming, although previously shot, Canadian Bacon will bring a whole lot more sizzle than this.