Directed by: Roger Kumble Cast: Brendan Fraser, Brooke Shields, Matt Prokop, Ken Jeong Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins Rating: PG Release Date: April 30, 2010
PLOT: Dan Sanders (Fraser) is overseeing a new development in the middle of a forest, but besides the typical setbacks, he also has to deal with a pack of vengeful woodland creatures led by a malevolent raccoon.
WHO'S IT FOR? Young children with low expectations.
EXPECTATIONS: The preview, featuring a shot of Fraser dancing with a couple of raccoons, was horrifying to watch so, though I hoped it wouldn't be that awful, I wasn't betting.
Brendan Fraser as Dan Sanders: I like Brendan Fraser, even though I don't always like his choice in movies. He's generally charming and he can be a good actor when he tries (Gods and Monsters, School Ties). Unfortunately, I think he was trying but it just was not working. Fraser's game for whatever crap the filmmakers throw at him, and there is a lot. He gets covered in more fluids, both human and animal, than I would have thought possible. Through it all, Fraser is mugging away gamely, and it's just hugely embarrassing for him, for anyone involved in the film, for the audience. There were scenes where I watched through my fingers cause I could barely bear to look at the screen. I've just made myself a little nauseous. Score: 1
Brooke Shields as Tammy Sanders: Shields is a TV actress who can play light, uncomplicated characters. She hasn't been in a memorable movie in awhile, and I don't think this is going to change things for her. She spends most of the movie watching her husband, Dan, do asinine things. Weirdly, she doesn't seem as appalled as I feel. It's not much of a part and she doesn't screw it up, but the best I can say is that she's not as bad as the mess that is this movie. Score: 2
Matt Prokop as Tyler Sanders: Where did they find this kid? OK, answered my own question, he was in High School Musial 3. Really, I shouldn't be so hard on him, the script is terrible too. He's written as a sullen teen who is mad he moved away from Chicago, right up until the moment he sees an attractive girl at which point he loves this new town. It's nothing new and Prokop has nothing to add to the part. Score: 1
Ken Jeong as Neal Lyman: I know, why is Jeong in this movie? He's not the only good comedian in this, Samantha Bee (The Daily Show), Angela Kinsey (The Office) and Toby Huss (Artie the Strongest Man in the World from The Adventures of Pete and Pete) all show up in small roles. Even so, they do nothing to help this film. Jeong has a few amusing moments, yelling at Kinsey in his weird made - up Asian language is sort of funny. But he's much better on Community, a show I love and one that doesn't make me want to gouge my eyes out while I watch it. Score: 3
TALKING: Most of the dialogue involves Dan trying to convince everyone he's not crazy for believing that a raccoon is out to get him. This goes on for over an hour. It's not good. Score: 1
SIGHTS: The CG's pretty bad. I could easily tell the difference between scenes using real animals and those using CG animals, mostly because they didn't seem to have the proper weight. It's not the sort of thing you think consciously, it just feels weird and looks unnatural. Score: 1
SOUNDS: These are the loudest animals ever. One of the first scenes has Dan turning the sprinklers on a squirrel in his garden. I have never heard a squirrel chirp that loud in my life. And they don't seem to make it loud for comedic purposes, it's like a person who has never heard a squirrel before trying to make squirrel noises. Score: 1
BEST SCENE: The best scene was the last scene, because the movie was over.
ENDING: We learned so many good lessons from this movie. Kids, if your Dad has a morally reprehensible job, just tell him to quit. He'll easily find a new and better job doing something good, because that's how jobs work, they're either good or bad. Also, if you work with woodland animals rather than against them, they will help you smite your enemies.
QUESTIONS: Why was this movie greenlit? Was it always this bad or did something happen in production? Why did Brendan Fraser gain weight for the role? Why does Fraser's ass look surprisingly good in those faux Juicy sweatpants?
REWATCHABILITY: Absolutely not, I barely made it through the first time.
I didn't hold up high hopes for this movie beforehand but had I known the suffering I would endure I would have declined to review this film. Furry Vengeance sets itself up as an ecological comedy, where animals fight back when their land is being encroached on. But at the same time, the filmmakers are poking fun at green companies and people who drive hybrids. You could argue that they're attempting to point out the hypocrisy of a company purporting to be green while at the same time attempting to develop over a forest, but I think to make that claim the writers would have had to lay a lot more groundwork. As it is, it's a weird mishmash of populist environmentalism, family dramedy, man being beaten by nature and teen romance. The only part that's successful is man being beaten by nature, but just because it works doesn't mean I enjoyed myself. That's the main problem, on all the levels this film doesn't succeed on, the most important is that I just had a terrible time and didn't like it. Don't see this stinker.
FINAL SCORE: 1/10