It is difficult to know quite where to begin describing how wrong Carry On Columbus is. I have never been opposed to the idea of a Carry On revival – the recent success of the St Trinian’s films shows that much-loved comedy franchises can come back from the dead and still retain the same old magic, but Columbus is executed so dispassionately, so awkwardly that it fails on almost every level.
Carry On Columbus is joyless. The story, and there really isn’t much of one, plods around confusingly before the team finally reach America at which point the remainder of the film is basically an over long sketch about how the gang are conned by the natives. But we knew that would happen the moment we first clapped eyes on Big Chief and his admittedly rather brilliantly conceived natives. The big payoff takes so long to happen that by the time it does, the only emotion left is relief. Any comedy potential disappeared long ago.
Carry On Columbus is a charmless attempt to breathe life into an old favourite. I tried to like it when it came out and I’ve tried again a number of times since but, no matter how hard I try to find some redeeming feature to make the effort worthwhile, I cannot.