DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Film Review: Open Season

Open Season (PG)
Dir. Roger Allers, Jill Culton and Anthony Stacchi

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

One Fur All & All Fur One… Oh please, after a year already choc full with animated romps featuring lovable talking wild animals, you might be more inclined to thinking ‘shoot me now’ rather than to be licking your lips in anticipation of yet another. But wait…this is the debut of a new power in the animated film world – this is the first feature film release of Sony Pictures Animation. And Open Season is their super-slick Shrekalicious tale aimed very much at kids. Yes it has a measure of wackiness, a sense of boundless joy and some endearing furry characters bur it all feels a bit unnecessary.
Martin Lawrence lends his voice to Boog – a grizzly bear that has been raised in domestic bliss and is in no way prepared for a shock return to the wild – especially when hunting season is just about to kick off. Ashton Kutcher is Donkey, sorry I mean Elliot, a deer with only one antler who has a knack for getting himself into trouble.
There’s little here to take real offensive to, the computer generated visuals are impressive in places but nothing that Over The Hedge didn’t do a few months ago. What is missing most from Open Season are the standout really funny moments, trying to think back now, the only scene that stuck in my mind was the amusing climatic ‘battle’ where the furry prey of the forest fight back against the hunters. It’s a bit depressing to think that seven writers and three directors couldn’t come up with a few more sparks of quality comedy?
My boys did enjoy it though and I guess they are the target audience at the end of the day but even they admitted that it didn’t excite or entertain on the same level of Hoodwinked from a few weeks back and my wife just slept through most of it.
Sony Pictures Animation have got some more work to do if they want to really compete with the big boys of Pixar or Dreamworks. Open Season was a fair effort, certainly better than weak offerings like ‘The Wild’ but with the queue of animated features approaching cinemas showing no sign of slowing down it is going to take something more impressive to keep the more discerning audiences coming back.

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ööö - end batle almost makes up for long slow sections
Laughs ööö – some but not enough really
Horror ö – very mild scares from a demented hunter
Babes ö – move along... nothing to see here

Overall öö (not quite a sitting duck)

Darkmatters: H O M E
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