Film: Almost Heroes

Our explorers are different.

Almost History... Almost Legends... Almost Heroes... Mostly Ridiculous.

This 1998 film took a lighter look at the concept of exploration in the early 1800's. Leslie Edwards (Matthew Perry) seeks to trek West, from the United States territory to the Pacific. Unfotunately, he finds himself in a race against the more famous Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, and lacking much in the way of the crew. Enter Bartholomew Hunt, a hefty, crass woodsman with a taste for booze. Accompanied by Hunt's hapless cohorts, a frenchmen and his Indian slave, the band sets out to beat the more famous Lewis and Clark at their own game.

This was Chris Farley's last movie before his premature death. His true final movie, Dirty Work, was released after it (though Farley only had a bit part in Dirty Work, while he was a co-star for this film).

This film provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: In the historical sense.
  • Artistic License Geography: "We can walk to Asia!"
  • Artistic License Physics: Hunt is carried in the air... by an eagle. The saving throw is that it's done for laughs.
  • Badass Grandpa: "I am one of these braves!"
  • Bold Explorer: The whole film basically parodies this trope, as both protagonists want to be bold explorers, but neither is particularly bold.
  • Chekhov's Gag: The eagle.
  • Companion Cube: One of the men carries a woman made of straw on the journey (he in fact brought her from a "whorehouse" full of them that they come across), completely convinced she's real.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: Apparently all that was needed to cure Edward's sickness was the shell of an eagle egg. It would have been nice to have told that to Hunt before he kept eating the eggs and having to go back for another. (And being savaged by an eagle each time).
  • The Dandy: Leslie Edwards.
  • Dawn of the Wild West
  • Drinking Contest
  • Envy: When Hidalgo tells the captured companions that he's going to cut Shaquinna's hair off and asks them why, Higgins answers is because he's jealous of her hair being more beautiful than his. After we find out that Hidalgo is bald and was only wearing a wig, Higgins may be right.
  • Fake Hair Drama: After Hidalgo is revealed to have been wearing a wig the entire time.
  • Forbidden Fruit
  • Indian Maiden
  • Outdoor Bath Peeping
  • Playing Against Type: Chris Farley as the mostly competent sidekick, a role usually reserved for David Spade.
  • Rule of Funny/Three: Hunt's trials in obtaining an egg.