From The Trailer Park Boys to Letterkenny Canadians have brought dumb characters to life on both the big and small screen for a long time, much to the delight of fans across the globe. There’s something about the simple, sometimes criminal antics of the characters that other countries have a hard time replicating. Wharf Rats is the latest example, but it just doesn’t reach the same heights of some of the other examples.
Wharf Rats follows the story of Hughie Hackett (Robbie Carruthers), a slow-witted, lazy man who lives in a small town in Prince Edward Island. He lives a simple life. He seeks only the pleasure of beer and girls with the hopes of one day owning his own fishing boat. But the only problem is that no one, especially his uncle who took over his father’s business, wants to give him a chance. One day while going through some old papers he accidentally comes upon his dad’s will. And he finds out that the fishing business his uncle had taken over was left to his older brother Hughie.
Hughie’s the brother who’d mysteriously vanished in the middle of the night shortly after he was born. He has no chance at finding his brother and reclaiming the birthright that is rightfully theirs. So he enlists the aid of a village idiot (Dennis Trainor) to pose as his brother and help him take over the business. Of course what he doesn’t count on is that the village idiot may be even dumber than he is.
If you are from P.E.I., you may get more out of this movie than someone who doesn’t. Many of the jokes fall flat without having an immediate knowledge of the area or the people that live there. The reason shows such as Letterkenny work is because the characters are relatable in some way or another. And you probably know someone or know of someone like them. That isn’t the case in this movie. Throughout Wharf Rats you’ll merely find yourself shaking your head at their unrealistic stupidity instead of laughing at it. Think Dumb and Dumber To instead of the original Dumb And Dumber. In both cases the movie featured characters who weren’t smart and did stupid things, but the sequel went well above what anyone could tolerate.
Unfortunately Wharf Rats loses its way very early on, and doesn’t manage to find its way back on track. It’s the type of movie you’d flip right past while channel surfing on a Sunday afternoon.