12 October 2006 | KungFu-tse
Knock-off of every CGI animated movie previously released.
I'd have to agree with the critics on this one. When you release so many CGI movies with talking animals, there is a point at which mediocrity becomes common place. Open Season is no exception.
It seems to me that a lot of these movies released this past year revolve around this basic formula. 1) A plot involving talking animals. 2) Hire celebrities to do the voice acting (need at least one comedian). 3) Have a main character and an annoying obnoxious sidekick. 4) Have some simple plot in which the main characters are on a journey and have to reach from point A to point B.
When watching Open Season, I couldn't help but notice the parallels to Shrek. Boog (the bear) = Shrek, and Elliot (the deer) = Donkey. Need voice actors? Easy, let's hire two comedians (Mike Myers & Eddie Murphy vs Martin Lawrence & Ashton Kutcher). Plot? Well, let's just make them stranded somewhere and they have to reach from point A to point B. In this case, from the forest to Boog's old home. Of course, I could make the same case with Finding Nemo (comedians Albert Brooks & Ellen DeGeneres, main character and sidekick, travel from point A to point B plot).
Now don't get me wrong, I love Shrek and Finding Nemo. The problem is that when you have two great movies like these released previously, you can't help but notice how much Open Season recycles from previous movies. Open Season lacks any emotional charm or comedic originality. Another problem I had is that a lot of the jokes are based on clichés and stereotypes (Scottish squirrels? Male deers = high school jocks? Ducks = French resistance? Female skunks = black women?).
If there's any redeeming value in this film, it would be the fact that I watched it in IMAX 3D. It looks amazing. Wearing the 3D glasses, I could see each individual patch of fur on Boog's back and the characters literally came out from the screen.
Is this movie good for the kids? Yes. It had some laughs in it and it does bring about a moral message about the preservation of wildlife. It's a good way to kill and hour and a half. But don't expect to see anything new or original in this film.