Kurt Russell has had a long, successful movie career. He cut his teeth making movies for Walt Disney in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and when the Walt Disney Company decided to offer more adult-oriented material through their Touchstone banner, Russell was part of that too. One of those films, the 1992 comedy Captain Ron, has just hit the free YouTube movie streaming service and is ready to serve up some harmless nautical fun.
You can watch Kurt Russell in Captain Ron streaming for free here on YouTube.
Kurt Russell is Captain Ron. From his look to his dress to his lazy attitude, Russell plays Captain Ron as he is meant to be played. The movie also stars Martin Short, who was coming off recent hits such as Three Amigos!, Innerspace, Three Fugitives, and Father of the Bride, as Martin Harvey who has recently been bequeathed a 60’ yacht from his dead uncle that was once owned by screen legend Clark Gable. Fed up with the hustle and bustle of his office-working Chicago life, he decides to take his wife Katherine (Mary Kay Place) and their two children, 16-year-old Catherine and 11-year-old Ben, to the island of St. Pomme de Terre where the boat is docked so they can retrieve it and sell it. At first, Katherine is against the trip until she finds out her daughter just got engaged.
When the family arrives on the island, they immediately see that the yacht is in horrible condition. They inform the yacht broker, who instead of sending an experienced captain to run the boat sends over Captain Ron (Kurt Russell), the one-eyed, lazy, Navy veteran who arrives under auspicious circumstances – gunfire.
Martin takes an immediate dislike to everything that is Kurt Russell’s Captain Ron. He doesn’t trust the “Captain”, who doesn’t appear to have as much experience as he claims. This is evidenced when the Harvey’s decide to stop off in the Caribbean, but Ron isn’t quite sure how to navigate this stop. But they do finally stop and while hiking on the island, Martin runs across guerillas, who are led by General Armando. The only way to get Martin back safely is for Captain Ron to take the guerillas to the next island and deliver some firearms.
When they arrive at the next island, both Martin and Katherine are arrested for smuggling the guerillas. Things get crazy for Ron and the kids while Martin and Katherine are in lock up with Caroline getting a tattoo, Ben destroys his glasses and Captain Ron loses his glass eye. Things then go from bad to worse after Martin and Katherine are released from jail and decide to head out on the ocean without Captain Ron. This is when the Harvey’s run into pirates and are forced off their yacht and into a raft. All is not lost though because Captain Ron comes to the rescue. And in typical fashion, we won’t spoil the ending for those who wish to jaunt over to YouTube movies and check out Kurt Russell in Captain Ron.
The movie is not without its laughs. Martin Short always seems to bring a smile and Kurt Russell as Captain Ron harkens back to his Dean Proffitt character in the 1987 hit comedy Overboard. When Russell decided to take on Captain Ron, he was right in the middle of a decade-plus of great movies that included The Thing, The Best of Times, Big Trouble in Little China, the aforementioned Overboard, Tango & Cash, Backdraft, Unlawful Entry, Tombstone, and Stargate. Sometimes you just don’t realize the string of hits Kurt Russell was a part of starting from the early ‘80s up through the late ‘90s.
Unfortunately for Captain Ron, this one didn’t sail smoothly at the box office. While both Russell and Short were hot commodities at the time, audiences didn’t take well to the film. Either did the critics, who pretty much panned the movie all the way around. Touchstone and parent company Disney shelled out $24 million to make the movie and it only brought them a little over $22 million in return. Not a good split right there. The main issue it seems critics had was putting Kurt Russell in the comedic role and Short in the more serious role.
Kurt Russell should have known what he was getting into with Captain Ron. This was the type of movie Touchstone made back in the day. It is often compared to another Touchstone film, What About Bob?, a movie that had that similar storyline involving an uptight, need-to-be-in-control family man. In Bob it was Richard Dreyfuss, here it’s Martin Short, who have their lives turned upside down by someone way out of their family norm. In Bob, it was Bill Murray. Again, though, these were the movies Touchstone/Disney made in the day when they wanted to take an edgier tone and not necessarily have audiences see the Disney logo. It could be this mix that ultimately doomed the movie.
On one hand, Captain Ron appears it wants to be a raunchy, adult-oriented movie, ready to let Kurt Russell’s naughty side come out and dominate the film. On the other hand, the movie looks to be scared to go all Russell, dialing it back with Short keeping things probably more grounded than the movie should allow. It’s a shame they didn’t lean more into Russell’s degenerate nature.
Even though Captain Ron wasn’t a huge hit at the box office, over the years though, Captain Ron has slowly found an audience. The movie, in general, is harmless and at times offers some good laughs. Kurt Russell shows his talent for comedy, as he did in movies previous and after Captain Ron and, while Martin Short leans more toward the straight man in this, his brand of comedy also shines.
Captain Ron offers some fun. If you’re in the mood to see an eye-patched, Rasta beanie-wearing Kurt Russell throw some chaos in Martin Short’s direction, Captain Ron is your film. Here it is for you.