Adventure Comedy Western Is Total Nostalgia Trip, Stream Without Netflix

By Robert Scucci | Published

After successfully doom-scrolling through every single Chris Farley short that YouTube has to offer, I figured it was time to settle down and watch one of his feature-length films. While I’ve seen Tommy Boy and Black Sheep more times than I’d care to admit, I can’t say that Almost Heroes received similar treatment, and I was overdue for a rewatch. While I’ll admit the final theatrical cut of this movie wasn’t one of Farley’s more memorable outings, it’s still one of those movies that’s fun to watch if you want to go on a nostalgia trip with one of SNL’s most prominent figures of the ‘90s. 

Chris Farley And A Friend Head West

Almost Heroes is a slap-stick historical fiction starring Chris Farley and Matthew Perry. While the movie plays out like a buddy comedy, the original screenplay was meant to be more of an ensemble piece, according to writer Tom Wolfe (not that one). The final cut that we’re all familiar with was apparently subjected to a number of edits that placed more emphasis on Farley and Perry’s characters, which was said to be not only a detriment to the film’s intended storytelling but also Farley’s final lead performance before his untimely passing. 

Odd Couple Explorers

As for its premise, Almost Heroes centers on Matthew Perry’s Leslie Edwards and Chris Farley’s Bartholomew Hunt as the ultimate odd-couple expedition plays out in the then-uncharted American wilderness. Leslie is the kind of guy who drinks from small tea cups with his pinky finger sticking out, and Bartholomew is the kind of guy who chugs whiskey straight from the bottle. Leslie hires Bartholomew for his supposed tracking knowledge so he can beat Lewis and Clark to the Pacific coast, but it turns out that Bartholomew isn’t exactly the expert he says he is. 

Absurd Physical Comedy

Along their journey, the team runs into a number of mishaps involving bear attacks, getting ambushed by Native American tribes, and frequent violent run-ins with a Conquistador named Hidalgo. Chris Farley does what he does best in Almost Heroes, and most of his gags involve falling from great heights while yelling incoherently each time he smashes into a foreign object on his way down. Throughout their long and arduous journey across the United States, Leslie and Bartholomew develop a newfound understanding and appreciation for each other. 

Disjointed Story

While I admit that Almost Heroes lacked a satisfying sense of conflict in this context, the stand-alone jokes are enough to make me want to watch it again sometime in the near future. If you go into watching this movie with the intention of enjoying what feels like a number of solid yet disjointed comedy skits rather than a cohesive film, you’ll have a great time watching Chris Farley and Matthew Perry butt heads before they eventually become great friends during their adventure. 

Hated By Critics, Loved By The Public

chris farley almost heroes

If Almost Heroes’ Rotten Tomatoes scores indicate anything, it’s that this isn’t a great movie but rather a failed attempt at using Farley’s star power to drive the narrative instead of utilizing the rest of the supporting cast. Though Almost Heroes received a 5 percent critical score, audiences gave it a much more favorable 64 percent across over 25,000 reviews. As for my own enjoyment of the film, I find myself caught somewhere in the middle. 

Farley Is As Good As You’d Expect

If you’re a Chris Farley fan, you’ll absolutely enjoy Almost Heroes because it will probably remind you of better times when you weren’t consuming media so critically. His performance in this film is exactly what you’d expect (I mean that as a compliment), but it can only do so much to carry the story that isn’t that great to begin with. While Almost Heroes isn’t the swan song that Chris Farley deserved, I can’t say that his performance in this ill-fated buddy comedy hurt his legacy either. 

Streaming Now On Tubi


Next time you’re feeling a little nostalgic, I strongly recommend that you fire up Tubi and give Almost Heroes a go. This movie may not move the mountains that its central characters are attempting to traverse, but it still has a decent amount of laugh-out-loud moments that will, at the very least, allow you to enjoy the journey.