Corner Gas: The Movie is a prime candidate for a review that requires me to cop out. The bottom line: if you liked Corner Gas during its humbling five year run on television and have since enjoyed reruns in syndication, then you’ll enjoy its big screen debut. But, let’s see if I can elaborate.
The original cast of Canada’s beloved Corner Gas have reunited for an encore, which includes Saskatchewan funny man Brent Butt leading the pack as gas station manager Brent Leroy. The movie comfortably stays inside the boundaries the television show created with the characters staying the same way we left them. Well, except for Officer Karen Pelly, who is now pregnant. The pregnancy is handled sophisticatedly with a few throwaway comments. It’s enough for audiences to accept and stop those from inspecting any scene Tara Spencer-Nairn stars in.
Corner Gas: The Movie sustains its polite sense of humour that only we Canadians could get away with. It’s also opened the field for onlookers outside the country to poke fun at our courteousness. Something tells me that if Brent Leroy was joked with about his civilness, he’d accidentally apologize. It’s just how we roll.
The writers behind Corner Gas are a group of clever individuals who act along with Dog River’s small town modesty and are perfectly self-aware of the simpleton attitudes. This allows them to play with personalities by throwing main players into cozy yet peculiar situations and misunderstandings. It’s a chemistry that has had successful results in making viewers laugh.
It’s no different with Corner Gas: The Movie. Andrew Carr, Andrew Wreggitt, and Butt himself have decently assembled a script taking the best qualities of the TV show and finding ways to make the audience chuckle over an extended length. It’s a very funny movie – that is, if you dug the show’s quirkily quaint sense of humour.
The film only really starts to sweat when the final act is in play and director David Storey is trying to button up all the climaxes. Storey covers his panic like a fairly confident student who’s been told there are only mere minutes left to finish a stumping exam. However, for his first foray into feature films, Corner Gas: The Movie is a modest showing of how this newly-developed filmmaker can cut a rug.
It’s clear to see the production has been given more money to play with. It explains the robot, the werewolf, the exploding police car, the beauty shots of Dog River, and the array of silent cognate background performers. But, Storey and the rest of the completed reunion don’t let the new format or the budget swell to their heads. Corner Gas: The Movie is just as sweet, silly, and charming as the television show was.