Movies in which animals with computer-manipulated faces get involved in slapstick, groin-crushing, scatological mischief are grueling enough; throw in pretentious and hypocritical moralizing, and they become utterly insufferable. And this is family filmmaking!
Brendan Fraser plays Dan Sanders, a real-estate executive who moves his wife (Brooke Shields) and teenage son (Matt Prokop) from Chicago to a woodland area to oversee a new suburban development — but the local fauna aren’t about to go down without a fight. I probably don’t need to explain the kind of “humor” that follows, as a game Fraser allows himself to be humiliated in every possible way.
But do I really need this movie to lecture me about valuing parental priorities over narrow-minded greed, considering the millions of dollars wasted here on perfecting a smirking raccoon? Sure, kids will laugh at it, but they’d also eat pizza and Twinkies for every meal if you let them. An adult’s job is to know better.
Here’s a lesson I’d like to see from a family movie: If you take your children to a brain-dead, bloated catastrophe of a movie, throwing away money on “entertainment” that panders to them, you’re a bad parent. Grade: F
Opens April 30. Check out theaters and show times, see more photos from the film and get theater details here.