out of Five
Running time: 91
Disappointing comedy that's let down by a lazy script, some truly dreadful CGI effects and a lack of decent laughs, though undemanding young children will probably enjoy it.
What's it all about?
Directed by Roger Kumble, Furry Vengeance stars Brendan Fraser as Dan Sanders, a real estate developer who's relocated his family – wife Tammy (Brook Shields) and teenage son Tyler (Matt Prokop) – to Oregon for a year while he oversees a forest-based housing development for his unscrupulous boss Mr Lyman (Ken Jeong). However, when the forest animals – led by a fiendishly clever raccoon – discover that their woodland home is threatened by Dan's project, they launch a series of attacks and Dan soon finds himself chased by vultures, stung by bees, repeatedly skunked by skunks, frequently stripped to his pants and even trapped in a portaloo by a bear.
To be fair, there are four things that rescue the film from one star ignominy: the first is the presence of Ken Jeong and Angela Kinsey (as Lyman's assistant), who have good comic chemistry and steal all their scenes; the second is an amusing cameo from Wallace Shawn (as Dan's shrink); the third is the clever cast singalong music video at the end; and the fourth is the simple but imaginative way the animals communicate (they speak in speech bubbles filled with live-action images) which both leads to one of the film's few good gags and also spares us a parade of celebrity animal voices.
Unfortunately, the rest of the film is extremely lazy – even Brendan Fraser (an actor who built his career around this sort of thing and never met an object he couldn't bump into or trip over) looks tired and sports a "So it's come to this" expression throughout. In addition, the script completely fails to nail its supposedly emotional scenes and is overly reliant on toilet humour – basically, if you've ever wanted to see a raccoon piss in Brendan Fraser's face, this is the film for you.
On top of that, though the film mostly relies on actual trained animals (respect is certainly due to the raccoon wrangler), there are a handful of utterly dreadful CGI sequences that completely take you out of the film.
While not exactly unwatchable, Furry Vengeance is still something of a disappointment, thanks to poor effects work, a lazily written script and a lack of decent laughs.
Furry Vengeance (PG)