Open Season

by Alan Rapp on September 29, 2006

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Open Season
  • IMDb: link

Open SeasonBoog (Martin Lawrence) is a big domesticated Grizzly Bear who has been raised in captivity by a forest ranger (Debra Messing).  Boog’s life is perfect, all the food he can eat, a mother who loves him, entertaining youngsters with his trained act.  His life is paradise.

Then a dimwitted deer named Elliot (Ashton Kutcher) turns his whole world upside down, and Boog finds himself out in the woods only days before hunting season is to begin.  Boog and Elliot try to make it back to town, avoid the hunters – especially the villainous Shaw (Gary Sinese) who has it in for the pair – and make it home in one piece.  Along the way they cause trouble, meet new friends and explore the woods.

There’s nothing too original here, the plot is pretty straightforward.  The film has a nice joke at the beginning as Shaw compares Beth to a Girl Scout.  Enjoy it; the next laugh will take about an hour to find you.  Many of the children in the screening I attended seemed bored, disinterested and only vaguely aware a film was showing.  Not a great endorsement.

It’s not that the film is bad; it’s just not more interesting than any animated show you’d find playing on your television.  The supporting cast includes Billy Connolly, Jon Favreau, and Patrick Warburton, but even their humor does little to lighten the mood.

On a side-note, for animation buffs, the film breaks a cardinal rule of animation by not only having the characters discuss “taking a crap” (their words), but actually showing it.  The scene is supposed to be funny, but when an animated PG-rated film has to stoop to such low humor to elicit a laugh, then you know you’re in trouble.

There’s been a glut of animation that has hit theaters this year after a relatively poor showing in 2005.  Compared to the likes of Cars (read that review) and Over the Hedge (read that review), and even Barnyard (read that review) and Monster House (read that review), Open Season fails to measure up.  Still, it’s marginally better than The Wild (read that review here); at least that’s something, right?

Previous post:

Next post: