There are a few questions in life to which there are no real answers. Why is the sky blue? Why is Justin Bieber always a trending topic on Twitter? And what on earth has happened to Brendan Fraser’s career?
The first two we may never get a real answer for, but the last one is plain and simple. He makes and produces movies like Furry Vengeance, which is about to hit your local multiplex. A slapstick kids comedy without the comedy, Furry Vengeance is the sort of film you wonder how it managed to get itself greenlit and onto the cinema screen, but yet here it is.
Fraser is real estate developer, Dan Sanders, who has uprooted his family (Brooke Shields and Matt Prokop) from Chicago to Oregon to work on a new project for his scary boss Neal Lyman (Ken Jeong).
While a supposedly ‘green’ company, Lyman wants to extend the current project, taking the entire forest down to do so. Dan, in agreement with his boss to further his career, decides to go ahead with the project, but little does he know a very intelligent racoon is about to thwart the plan and make his life a living hell.
I’ll repeat that again in case you think I may have lost the plot a bit. A very intelligent racoon is about to thwart the plan and make his life and living hell.
This is the entire basis of the story and, although similar plots have been used to full comedic effect in the past, it falls flat on its face in this movie.
The problem, I think, is threefold, with bad script, bad cast and bad direction. As I mentioned above, the script really does focus on cute little animals taking down an evil developer for destroying their home, but what it fails to do is make you care. All the script does is trot out one unoriginal scene after the other, all to try and make you laugh, but failing miserably.
The side stories of Dan’s relationship with his family and his son’s new love interest are just as uninteresting and the entire time you watch the movie you really do think, ‘I have seen this all before.’
To make a great movie you need a great script and that is why, in many ways, I feel sorry for director Roger Kumble, because he really doesn’t have much to work with. My sympathies soon disperse, however, when I remember he was responsible for one of the worst movies I have ever seen, The Sweetest Thing, a film from which his career has never really recovered. It seems a shame that he has taken this path, as his debut movie, Cruel Intentions, was much better and makes me think he should focus on more dramatic films than keep trying his hand at comedy, which is just not his forte.
The cast put in place do not help matters and when your leads include Brendan Fraser (no real comic timing at all here), Brooke Shields (wasted in this) and the most annoying actor from High School Musical 3, you are not giving your audience a whole lot to root for or get engaged with.
The only real standout performance in the entire movie is Ken Jeong, who exudes comedy in spades no matter what he is in.
The other stars of the film are, of course, the animals and, well, you can’t criticise them, can you? They are all cute and sweet and basically doing what they are told and are, in fact, the most entertaining things in the movie.
Now, I know what you are all thinking. This movie wasn’t made for you, it was made for kids and I totally agree and I think these two facts should be the basis on which you see this movie or not.
The screening I went to was filled with little darling children and there were two points at which they all laughed. That’s two points throughout the entire movie.
The second fact is that, when I left the screening, I heard a mother asking her daughter what she thought of the movie. “Was rubbish,” was her answer. The same question was asked to her son, same answer was given.
And they were right.
If you want to torture yourself, Furry Vengeance is out in cinemas today.