DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Film Review: Over The Hedge

Over The Hedge (U)
Dir. Tim Johnson & Karey Kirkpatrick

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

There are some seriously strong animal instincts out there but the most powerful is ‘survival’… So if you’re a small furry critter that hibernates - finding and storing enough food to see you through the winter is sure to be high on your ‘things to do’ list. RJ the raccoon (Bruce Willis) has the added incentive that if he fails to collect a specific extensive shopping list of foodstuffs he will be hunted down and killed by a huge grizzly bear (voiced by Nick Nolte)… And so it is that he stumbles across a lovable bunch of misfit animals who have had their woodland habitat built over whilst they’ve been sleeping. Now separating them from what were once their foraging grounds is a massive hedge that goes off for miles in either direction. Things look dire for all concerned; can RJ rally this pack of reluctant friends to grab the food he needs from the dangerous human suburbia? Will he manage to pay his debt to the big bad bear before ending up on the menu? Or will the other side of the hedge be the end of them all at the hands of the malicious ‘Verminator’…sworn destroyer of animals, armed with some of the most evil and ingenious traps, snares and extermination gear ever dreamt up!
Dreamworks follow up Shrek and Madagascar with this madcap critter comedy that confidently sweeps weak pretenders like ‘The Wild’ away and continues their rivalry with Pixar – who’s Cars will be unleashed here next month. Over The Hedge is overall a decent entry into the ever increasing animated family film cannon. The CGI effects are crisp and clean and there is a general sense of fun and mischief that should appeal to all ages. It certainly went down with my younger son James who pronounced that it was ‘wicked cool’… I can only blame the ‘hip’ script and the casting of Avril Lavigne as a teenage daughter possum. Casting Bruce Willis in the lead however was a genius idea and he carries the movie with his charismatic energy, smooth banter and quick wit.
Also of note is the loveable speedy squirrel (voiced by Steve ‘The 40 Year-Old Virgin‘ Carell) who steals the show with his Matrix induced ‘bullet time’ sequence after being given caffeine for the first time!
A delicious montage about our insatiable human food fixation is another highlight. For family fun this week there are few places better to go than Over The Hedge…

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action ööö – critters go M:I at one point!
Laughs öööö – Funny
Horror ö – Very mild
Babes öö – Avril as a Possum? That's kinky...

Overall ööö1/2 (might drive you over the (h)edge)

"he's nuts alright"

"Bruce making friends with his furry alter ego"

Matt Adcock Meets Bruce Willis

Darkmatters: H O M E

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