I've often admired the French. Their smug superiority, their love of spirits and women. The French are a people who know what that life is an uncertain and unpredictable thing, and their films reflect this life view. Sadly, the French have only a very limited appreciation of comedy, as evidenced by their great love of Jerry Lewis. Yet, perhaps in this case, the French have learned how to really make people laugh.
Just Visiting stars Jean Reno and Christian Clavier as the bold knight Count Thibault of Malfete and his faithful peasant Andre, sent into the future and into America by an accident prone Wizard. The original verion took place in France, but this is pretty much the only difference between the original and this film. Damned if I know why they bothered if the plan was to just going to remake the same movie, evidentally someone thought Americans will only watch films that take place in their own country. Sadly enough, "they" were probably right.
Regardless, everyone loves a fish out of water story, as evidenced by the upcoming resurretion of the Crocodile Dundee franchise. In fact, there is very little about Just Visiting that is really all that different from you Croc Dundee film, except that perhaps this Croc Dundee is French, and truly has a VERY BIG knife indeed.
Just Visiting, is at its core a somewhat Frenchy film, but somehow manages to come off feeling British in its sense of madcap comic timing and inane silliness. Indeed, Just Visiting as a comedic work could easily be seen as a French attempt to do Monty Python rather than some sort of Frenchy Jerry Lewis fest. Perhaps it is a result of the director's attempt to Americanize Just Visiting for an American audience. Or perhaps one of the writers was British. The truth is you don't care and neither do I. The Hobbit says if you like laughing at guys in cold hard underwear, Just Visiting may be for you.
Reviewed By: Joshua Tyler