Friday, September 29, 2006

Open Season


Open Season has been advertised for well over a year, and by the time it arrived this weekend, around 11 other animated movies had been released just before it, including 5 (Ice Age 2, The Wild, Over the Hedge, Barnyard, The Ant Bully) that have the creatures-in-peril theme. There was one point I had forgotten all about this, and when I saw an ad early this month for the movie, I thought to myself, "Didn't this already come out?" Such is the way this year's crop of animated movies have blended in with each other and failed to stand out completely. There's also been a great number of overlapping celebrity voices. Many stars have a voice in at least two of the animated movies this year. Open Season, thankfully, is a little better than most of the competition from 2006.

Boog (Martin Lawrence) is a show bear, kept in the garage of his rescuer, Beth (Debra Messing), in a small town. He's fully domesticated, and lives like people. One day, while sitting in Beth's jeep, a truck owned by the town's conspiracy and gun nut Shaw (Gary Sinise) comes bearing a deer he thinks is dead, Elliot (Ashton Kutcher), who is nonchalantly saved by Boog. Later that night, Elliot comes knocking and he and Boog get into huge trouble, and later even more trouble--forcing Beth, with much anguish, to take Boog (and Elliot) in her helicopter to a remote section of woods and let him free. The area should be safe from the impending open season, but Boog wants to go back to town and prove he can be good. Thus begins the adventure, making friends, battling Shaw, and eventually, trying to dispatch all the other hunters.

The first 40 minutes of this are kind of generic, and what I thought was a bit lazy, but then the middle section kicks in and the movie redeems itself for the most part--I actually laughed out loud a few times as the movie finally started going for some gags. There's also a really cool river-rapids action scene. Overall, I think this is better than Over the Hedge but coming short of Cars and Monster House.


At 9/29/2006 05:57:00 PM, Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

I've skipped the last five or so animated movies so as to not support the glut in the market, but this one looks just fun enough to bring me back .. thanks for the heads up!


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