Hollywood Product: Furry Vengeance
A film to remind you just how awful movies can be
GENRE: Fish-out-of-water slapstick
THE PITCH: Well-meaning but compromised real estate developer Dan Sanders (Brendan Fraser) bears the brunt of the animal outrage at his company's plans to destroy an unspoiled forest.
MONEY SHOTS: The animals employ a Rube-Goldberg device to roll boulders at unsuspecting SUVs. Dan's face swells grotesquely from bee stings. Dan has a nightmare of his wife (Brooke Shields) with a raccoon face.
ANIMAL ANTICS: The ring-leading raccoon and his platoons of skunks, crows and occasional bears neither talk nor behave like real beasts. Instead, they flash creepy CGI grins or twinkly eyes, while chirping noises sound like like "Uh-oh!" "Yoo-hoo!" etc. At times, comic strip thought-balloons "translate" the squeaks of the animals.
BEST LINE: "I shot 'im with my t'ankilyzer gun! He's takin' a t'ankilyzer gun-nap!" exclaims the overzealous security guard. Toby Huss overplays the role like he's trying to be the next Jim Varney, but admittedly coins the film's most weirdly memorable lines.
WORST LINES: "Miley Cyrus!" screams Dan (for no reason) during an automotive mishap. "Dan, we don't want the world, we just want you," says his wife. Pretty much any remark from their insufferable, sarcastic teenage son (Matt Prokop) - why can't the skunks spray him en masse?
FASHION STATEMENTS: The raccoon hides all of Dan's clothes forcing him to wear his wife's pink warm-ups with "Yum Yum" across the butt. Fraser wears caveman, Viking, puritan, and hippie costumes in a montage of the forest's animal-plagued history.
CROTCH JOKES: A chewed-up sprinkler sprays fully dressed Dan in his groin. Dan slips on his roof and crashes, spread-eagle, in his bikini area. The raccoon bites Dan in the baby-maker.
SOUNDTRACK HITS: Transcenders' cover of "Insane in the Brain" accompanies a creative closing-credits montage that seems to be the only time the performers enjoy themselves. Otherwise, the songs include the predictable likes of "Don't Bring Me Down," "It's a Beautiful Morning," and "Le Freak" during an animal disco dream.
PRODUCT PLACEMENT: "Who wants a Wii?" Dan asks, trying to bribe his son into staying in the small town.
RACIST SUBTEXT? The plot's engine has Asian real estate mogul Neal Lyman (Ken Jeong, doing his best with what he's got) and his Indian investors running roughshod over a white-bread, all-American rural community to destroy their forest. When the Indian investors get stuck in a Whack-a-Mole-type game and walloped by a (white) ferret, the film flirts with xenophobia.
THE BOTTOM LINE: No one would expect sophisticated humor from a film in which a bear locks Brendan Fraser in a Port-a-Potty, but Furry Vengeance even botches the dumb laughs. With poor material badly executed that looks dismally cheap, Furry Vengeance reminds you just how awful movies can be.