Movie: Around the Bend

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Our Rating: 2.50

Just when you had ghettoized Christopher Walken as reliable comic relief in middling pictures like Envy, along comes an Around the Bend to prove that he can still bring dramatic credibility to middling pictures, too. As an absentee father attempting a belated reconciliation with his son (Josh Lucas) and grandson (Jonah Bobo), the achingly sincere Walken is the best element of this otherwise cloying road/buddy flick, in which the men of the Lair family undertake a cross-country tour of KFC restaurants to fulfill the final wishes of their deceased patriarch. As the latter, Michael Caine expires early enough in the film to spare us a full earful of what is merely the latest in his long line of bad Yank accents. But Caine doesn't have the worst mouth in the movie: That belongs to family nurse Glenne Headly, whose Danish dialect is apparently meant to be taken seriously yet comes across as pure Mel Brooks.

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