First – a-ha-hand best! – of Jim Varney’s slapstick simpleton cycle (although Ernest Goes To Jail does have some fantastic moments, “I can recommend the lobster!”). We always likes to leave ourselves available if selected for any decent film review job going, say, at the Guardian Guide or other such jolly cavalcade of laughs, so we’re polishing up on our broadsheet film criticism. Rule one – prove you’re a cut above the Total Film plebs, and that you read a copy of Cahiers du Cinema once when you were at university, by applying the auteur theory to every film you appraise, even the most bog-standard production line comedy. So – director John Cherry, while firmly in the tradition of American slapstick from Mack Sennett via Keaton to early Woody Allen (rule two – always mention Woody Allen if at all possible), somehow fails to impose a coherent comedic vision, resulting in a drab escapade more tatty than Tati (rule three – no pun is too weak, especially if it looks like Barry Norman might be retiring anytime soon).