FURRY VENGEANCE (PG) * DIRECTED BY: ROGER KUMBLE STARRING: BRENDAN FRASER, BROOKE SHIELDS, MATT PROPKOP
EVEN by the low standards of live action funny animal movies, Furry Vengeance is a pretty bad film, the sort of low gag rate family flick that aims for generic suitable-for-all fun and satisfies no-one in the process. It's too preachy for grown-ups, too square for tweens and too lacking in the kind of charming animal action required to enchant primary school kids. If Furry Vengeance's woodland-dwelling stars could be made aware of just how lame an enterprise they've unwittingly been roped into to prop up, the film's title would surely serve as a rallying cry for them against its makers.
As it is, they have to suffer the indignity of starring opposite a gone-to-seed Brendan Fraser (seriously, he looks as if he's eaten his way through his Mummy cheques) in a film that casts him as an essentially decent family man too naive to realise his job as a supposedly "green" property developer will result in an entire forest's eco-system being wiped out. As the animals set out to stop him, his wife (Brooke Shields) and disgruntled son (Matt Propkop) think he's simply cracking under the strain of trying to keep his profit-obsessed boss and his foreign investors happy. Hilarity does not ensue.