Despite the cringingly unfunny jive-talk opener, Sony’s first computer-animation turns out to be a bit of a hoot, replete with some fabulous characterisations and a couple of decent songs. Boog the domesticated grizzly (voice of Martin Lawrence) leads such a cosseted lifestyle that he wouldn’t even entertain the idea of living in the wild. Until he meets stressed-out elk-type creature Elliot (Ashton Kutcher), who persuades the big fella to accompany him back into the woods. Boog lives to regret the decision, however, when a) He can’t find a decent spot to defecate and b) Billy Connolly’s band of squirrels start pummelling him with nuts. Will the approaching ‘open season’ galvanise the bear into helping the forest creatures fight off the annual gathering of huntsmen or will he forego their plight and mosey on back to his cosy suburban existence? Conventional animals vs humans storyline notwithstanding, I have to say that the humour here (some of it Pythonesque) is mostly spot on and, at times, mischievously dark. Just be prepared to swallow the implausibility of various species all getting along in perfect harmony. This is Hollywood after all.
Friday October 13 2006
Roger Allers, Jil Culton, Anthony Stacchi
Steve Bencich, Ron J Friedman