There’s a suggestive headline I’d like to take back. But I can’t. All is fair in the world of bait-and-switch (that’s not true). The switch is that seeing comedian Zach Galifianakis bring his unique sensibilities to a role made famous by wacko-man Don Knotts isn’t such a bad idea. And a remake of The Incredible Mr. Limpet easily fits into the “it could be worse” category of Hollywood rehashings.
Much about the world of filmmaking has improved in the 50 or so years since Knotts became a fish and swam against the Nazis. The world of animation is better. Mr. Limpet might end up looking more like a character from Finding Nemo, which wouldn’t be so bad. And there are plenty of other big bads in the world these days — perhaps Mr. Limpet can solve the BP Oil Spill crisis. We all know that it will still be going on in a few years when this film makes its way to theaters.
All of this leads us, of course, to the combination of technology and societal factors with Zach Galifianakis. A role like this would be a wonderful project for him — something he could make all his own. And like Don Knotts fifty years earlier, he could easily take Mr. Limpet to crazy town (in a family-friendly way) and it would likely play well. And with Enchanted director Kevin Lima already on board, the project is headed in the right direction. If you ask me, it’s a nice and easy vehicle for Galifianakis, who has made a splash in supporting territory but hasn’t found that one right role in which he can carry a film.
Like I said, it could be so much worse.