Gone Fishin' (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Christopher Cain|
|Produced by||Roger Birnbaum
Julie Bergman Sender
|Written by||J. J. Abrams
|Music by||Randy Edelman|
|Edited by||Jack Hofstra|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Box office||$19,736,932 (USA)|
Gone Fishin ' is a 1997 American comedy film starring Joe Pesci and Danny Glover as two bumbling fishing enthusiasts. Nick Brimble, Rosanna Arquette, Lynn Whitfield, and Willie Nelson co-star. This film is the third collaboration between Glover and Pesci. The first two films with the two are Lethal Weapon 2 and Lethal Weapon 3. They would team up together again the following year for Lethal Weapon 4.
Joe Waters (Pesci) and Gus Green (Glover) are bumbling yet happy best friends who live modestly in New Jersey and have known each other since childhood. They share the hobby of fishing and win a stay in the Florida Everglades to go angling, but promise to return home in time for Thanksgiving.
On the way, however, while stopping at a bar, they meet an Englishman, Martin (Brimble), who discreetly steals Joe's car keys and leaves. Joe and Gus are forced to push their boat down the road until they are met by two women, Rita (Arquette) and Angie (Whitfield), who are after Martin and offer them a lift. During the ride, a bump causes the boat to disconnect from the car, leaving Joe and Gus stranded yet again, and the boat is accidentally hooked to a train and pulled away along with their beer and supplies. Joe and Gus hitch a ride with two men, but on the way, they see their car at a gas station and investigate. Joe goes to confront Martin inside the toilet, but backs down when he catches Martin loading a gun. Joe and Gus flee the petrol station in their car, and discover a blood-stained knife in the dashboard.
Joe and Gus stay at a trailer park for the night, and while watching a documentary on television, they learn that Martin is actually Dekker Massey, a wanted criminal who has conned several women out of their riches and is implied to have stabbed his last victim to death and hidden her money and jewellery somewhere. The presenters offer a bounty for Dekker's capture, and Joe and Gus decide to turn in the knife after their fishing trip. Meanwhile, Dekker begins hunting Joe and Gus down.
Following a recommendation by the trailer park owner, Joe and Gus visit Phil Beasly's boatyard and rent a speedboat, but end up breaking almost every gadget on the boat, losing the knife and wrecking the boatyard by accident. Distraught, they decide to return home early, but end up with a flat tire. While getting the spare tire from the trunk, Joe discovers a map that leads to Dekker's fortune. They book a room in a nearby hotel, and while having dinner, they are found by Rita and Angie, who question them about Dekker and reveal that they are after him because Rita's mother was one of Dekker's victims. Joe and Gus promise to bring Dekker to justice, but that night, Gus sleepwalks and starts a fire in the hotel, destroying their suite and the map. At gunpoint, he forces them to push Joe's car into the swamp and ties them up inside a sheriff's office, intending to flee the country with the treasure.
After Dekker leaves, however, Joe and Gus are found and freed by their idol, Billy "Catch" Pool (Nelson), and they set out to stop Dekker. After a long chase across the swamp, Joe and Gus find and capture Dekker moments before his escape via plane and hand him over to the police. Though they claim the reward money, Joe and Gus are forced to spend it mostly on the damages they caused during their trip.
- Joe Pesci as Joe Waters, the more temperamental of the duo made of himself and Gus. He initially desires nothing more than to go fishing in the Everglades, but reluctantly agrees to help catch Dekker Massey.
- Danny Glover as Gus Green, the calmer of the duo made of himself and Joe. Upon hearing of Dekker Massey's crimes, his moral demeanour makes him determined to bring Massey to justice.
- Rosanna Arquette as Rita, the daughter of one of Dekker Massey's victims, who seeks to bring Massey to justice for his crimes and befriends Joe and Gus along the way.
- Lynn Whitfield as Angie, Rita's best friend who accompanies her across the Everglades to catch Dekker Massey.
- Willie Nelson as Billy Pooler, a professional fisherman who is Joe and Gus's idol.
- Nick Brimble as Dekker Massey, a British conman who specialises in swindling single women and is the main antagonist. He earns the wrath of Joe and Gus by stealing their car.
- Gary Grubbs as Phil Beasly, the owner of a boatyard who accidentally supplies Joe and Gus with a faulty speedboat.
- Carol Kane as Donna Waters, Joe's wife.
- Edythe Davis as Cookie Green, Gus's wife.
- Jenna Bari as Gena Waters, Joe's daughter.
- Raynor Scheine as Glenn, the owner of the trailer park where Joe and Gus learn Dekker Massey's true identity. This was Scheine's second performance with Joe Pesci following My Cousin Vinny.
- Maury Chaykin as Kirk, a waiter who takes a shine to Joe and Gus and is implied to be homosexual. Like Raynor Scheine, this was Chaykin's second performance with Joe Pesci after My Cousin Vinny.
- Louise Fletcher as a restaurant Owner
When Gone Fishin ' was in the early stages of development during the early 1990s, the roles of Joe and Gus were first offered to John Candy and Rick Moranis. Both turned it down as they were busy with other projects. Once the film was given the greenlight in 1995, Joe Pesci and Danny Glover were eventually cast as the leads. John G. Avildsen was set to direct the movie and had already filmed it for the first two weeks, but he was fired from Disney and paid his $2 million salary to the studio, until Christopher Cain immediately signed on to replace him.
During production of the film, stuntwoman Janet Wilder was killed when a boat that was made to jump a ramp in one of the scenes landed on top of her. Wilder's husband and father-in-law were also injured.
In its opening weekend, the film opened at #3 at the U.S. box office behind The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Addicted to Love making $5.8 million USD approximately. The film had received negative reviews and was a box office wipeout. In his book famed film critic Leonard Maltin gave the film a "BOMB" rating which is the worst rating a film can get from Maltin. He called it "an annoyingly unfunny gambit" and declared that it was a waste of Pesci and Glover's talent, and "this film really smells". Film critic Chris Hicks of Salt Lake City said after Gone Fishin' and 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag the Academy should have asked Pesci to return his Oscar (which he had won for Goodfellas). The film earned a pretty low box office income of about $19 million domestically. It currently holds a 4% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 27 reviews with the consensus: "Sloppy, formulaic, and unfunny, Gone Fishin ' marks a painful low point in the careers of its two talented leads."
Gone Fishin ' was released by Hollywood Pictures which is one of the brands of the Walt Disney Company that releases more mature-themed films. Although the film could probably pass as family entertainment, Disney chose to use their Hollywood brand for distribution considering the fact that the film has all adult main characters and many Disney films revolve typically around adults and children. The movie started filming in November 1995 and completed filming in early February 1996. Disney had scheduled to release the film some time in late summer or holiday season 1996, but the film kept going in a back and forth manner in terms of getting a release date. Disney delayed the film's release to the end of May 1997 which more or less was the start of summer movie season that year, and finally released the film nearly two years after it began filming. Despite the fact it was released later, in the spring-early summer time-slot of 1997, it did not much help the films chances of getting a very big audience because some other blockbusters had been released previously and more blockbusters would follow throughout the rest of the summer.
- Gone Fishin' at the Internet Movie Database
- Gone Fishin' at Rotten Tomatoes
- Gone Fishin' at Box Office Mojo