Brendan Fraser, Brooke Shields, Ken Jeong. Summit Entertainment. Family comedy. Written by Josh Gilbert, Michael Carnes. Directed by Rogers Kumble.
FILM SYNOPSIS: A real estate developer moves his family from Chicago to Oregon when his job calls for him to oversee the building of a major housing development. But when his latest project threatens the homes of the local forest creatures, the animals seek revenge by turning a peaceful cul-de-sac under construction into a battlefield of epic proportions.
REVIEW: The Three Stooges, I like. Wile E. Coyote, I like. Brendan Fraser and his co-starring sadistic forest critters, I ainít so crazy about. The klutzy comedy and zany antics meant to amuse, I assume, both little ones and their accompanying goodies-buying nannies just fell flat. Hey, that kind of humor didnít always work for the Marx Bros. I watched Love Happy the other night and found it to be the least of their efforts (also the last of their films as a team). Itís simply a mystery when any film comes together, especially one built on ďzanyĒ situations. Why did the violent slapstick work for the Brothers Stooge and not Mr. Fraser? Maybe we were able to handle them in small doses (short films, about the length of a Saturday Night Live sketch). Same goes for Roadrunner cartoons. Whereas a whole film full of scheming animals with CGI faces and pained expressions from their tormented victim loses its appeal quickly.
Itís a clean film, the producers holding back the gross-out quotient, but the creatures are incessantly sadistic as they set out to drive our put-upon hero crazy. They are even willing to cause car accidents that endanger the occupantsí lives. Their actions are often more mean-spirited than amusing.
PG (a few crude situations, but fairly tame compared to most comedies of late; though cartoonish, the violence is endless as the lead character is hit in the groin, spewed by skunk spray several times, chased by a bear, tumbled in a Porta-Potty, stung by hundreds of bees, etc.).
DVD Alt. Beethoven. Charles Grodin, Dean Jones (against type as the bad guy). Escapist fare about a mischievous St. Bernard who transforms the mundane life of a dysfunctional family. In spite of disapproving critics, both kids and their parents seem to enjoy this film. PG (one vulgar expression for which the culprit is reprimanded).
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