Was anyone clamoring---finally!---for a movie about the bear in the hat? Even the original Hanna-Barbera TV series was nap-inducing for those old enough to remember it; Yogi Bear on the big screen feels not just needless, but wasteful. Cavorting in his blandly bright forest environs, the awkwardly animated bumbler (voiced by a lazy Aykroyd) demonstrates zero original personality, doling out his two weak catchphrases, one about being better than the average bear, the other, an instantly annoying mispronunciation of picnic. Justin Timberlake's quietly docile Boo Boo is only marginally less dull. (Both actors seem bored, so it's not just you.)
As with Werner Herzog's upsetting Grizzly Man, the cracked humans hanging out with the beasts are somewhat more appealing. Anna Faris, looking constipated rather than stoned, plays a stridently enthusiastic doc director, who's come to Jellystone Park to capture the talking wildlife and hook up with charmless Ranger Smith (Cavanagh). Saving the park from ruin by a gubernatorial wanna-be (Andrew Daly, an uninspired casting choice given the potential for Palin jokes with a you-betcha female) feels like a secondary concern of the filmmakers, who ladle on head-bonkings and scatological rim shots with glee. If you're a parent asked to grin and bear it, you have our sympathies. But don't growl at us if the kids hate it too.
Watch the trailer
|Release date:||Friday December 17 2010|