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Corner Gas: The Movie (2014)

by on 2015/01/04

Corner Gas the Movie (2014)

“I love this stupid town”

* * * *

Now this is how it’s done.

Corner Gas: The Movie stands as a wonderful example of how to adapt a TV comedy to feature film duration. In stark contrast to the mean spirit of Duct Tape Forever and the flailing provocation of Don’t Legalize It, this crowd-funded reunion embraces and extends what made the series beloved.

Of course we’re reacquainted with the cast of familiar faces, as well as a few new ones in cameos or larger roles. Personal favourite actor Don Lake is among them, playing a sympathetic sort-of-antagonist.

(I was particularly thrilled to discover a WolfCop pinball machine in one scene!)

The premise, assuming it matters, involves the bankruptcy of the town of Dog River. The locals try to raise its profile by quaint-ifying themselves for a national competition. Hilarity — or at least solid amusement — ensues.

It’s not without its surprises. I don’t want to spoil the “romantic” or other subplots, but I will point out that the Woolerton revelation is brilliant. It made me rue the comparative mishandling of Red Green’s Port Asbestos.

The strength of this movie comes not just from the likeability of its cast, but in their numbers. Where a standard sitcom might have a main and subplot, or various minor threads, Corner Gas gives everyone something to do. Each of the threads is both fun and true to its characters. Furthermore, in a manner which reminded me of Fawlty Towers, they build and converge from disparate points to a shared cataclysmic finish.

Other than scope, however, very little is different. The tone and feel, the sights and sounds, all fit the original show. Moments such as the flash-forward opening, a nearly noir bar scene, and sci-fi fantasy tangent are played for laughs, lightly or as cutaways, without disrupting the whole. The approach is perfectly in keeping with a show which had similar gags on television, but also acknowledges the expectations inherent in a transition to the big screen.

Or maybe I’m thinking too hard. It may not bear over-analysis. Perhaps it’s as simple as this: if you loved Corner Gas, the show, you’ll probably love Corner Gas: The Movie.

Because it’s got a lot more going on.

* * * *

Not rated, but appropriate for a PG audience

87 minutes

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