By Dirk Sonniksen | April 30, 2010
Director: Roger Kumble
Writer(s): Michael Cames, Josh Gilbert
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Brooke Shields, Matt Prokop
Dan Sanders (Brendan Fraser) is a real estate developer relocated for one year to the Oregon wilderness by his employer, Lyman Industries, a supposedly green company building a new subdivision in an sleepy town. Dan has completely bought into the green vibe of his employer, and believes he is doing some good for these country folk, but the animals that inhabit the forest know better. In fact, Neal Lyman, head of Lyman Industries, is planning a much bigger project that involves decimating the habitat of the little critters dwelling happily in the forest. The animals go helter skelter on Dan, and the torture and humiliating ensues with Dan bearing the full brunt of their animal wrath. Dan takes all that the animals can dish out and plays dumb through virtually the entire movie until he finally sees the light, and all is happy and joyful.
To call Furry Vengeance a fun movie for the kids would be doing children everywhere a great disservice. It’s certainly marketed to kids, but I found very few children laughing throughout the movie, probably because they were being subjected to this tired, worn slapstick over and over again. Hey kids, that guy just got racked! Look, there’s a car that looks like it’s going to go over a cliff, but then doesn’t, but then does! Look, a guy wearing women’s clothing that are much too small for him! Animals attacking people—and on and on and on. If you’re an adult, and you find Furry Vengeance entertaining, well, I’m sorry, but you are easily entertained.
This is a film that seems to be pushing some sort of environmental message, but there’s not enough meaning to hit home. In fact, the message itself is simply a ploy to showcase a handful of reaction shots by pissed off animals that grunt and snicker throughout a film that can’t hold up. If Furry Vengeance actually focused more on the animals and less on the cast, there might have been something redeeming about the film.
On the acting front, it’s difficult to understand why Brendan Fraser continues to torture not only his audience but himself with these films (see Dudley Do-Right, George of the Jungle, and Monkeybone). Mr. Fraser had me at Gods and Monsters, and while I can appreciate his flare for adventure films, his continued forays into these wacky kids films are a mystery. As for Brooke Shields, I have no idea. I’m assuming some series she was in got cancelled, and Furry Vengeance was a paycheck. You’ll also find a few of the Comedy Central troupe making an appearance, with Samantha Bee being the only highpoint in the film for me.
Furry Vengeance is a failure—a very furry failure. I’m sure Brendan Fraser will continue to pepper his resume with little gems like The Quiet American, but unfortunately he’ll always be a tough pill to swallow when he continues to pick up films that ultimately end up straight-to-video nightmares. Furry Vengeance used every gimmick imaginable to draw in an audience, but ultimately it was a disappointment. Perhaps films like these could do with a bit of intelligent dialogue and fewer cheap laughs to try and fill theaters. They might have enough material to make for a great trailer, but the trailer itself won’t bring in the almighty dollar once word-of-mouth begins to spread.