Over the Hedge

Over the Hedge

Film review by: Witney Seibold

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            A hungry raccoon (Bruce Willis) steals and accidentally destroys a hibernating bear’s (Nick Nolte) stash of junk food. The bear gives him a week to replace it, else he gets eaten. Nearby, a group of furry animals led by a nervous turtle (Garry Shandling) awaken to find that their forest has been mostly replaced by suburban tract house hell. The raccoon, under false pretenses, enlists the help of said animals to invade this new suburb and steal back the bear’s food. Along the way, we learn about the value of family.

 

            This is kind of a blah film. Nothing new, nothing ventured, nothing gained. I guess the only thing that differentiates a film like this from some of its more recent contemporaries is its pedigree, so let’s take a look: It features the voices of William Shanter, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Wanda Sykes and Steve Carell. All of those people are very funny comedians, so that’s a plus (well, Shatner isn’t markedly a comedian, but he can be hysterical). It was fun seeing überham Nick Nolte as a bear. If you’re into this sort of thing, we get to see punkpop riot grrl Avril Lavigne try out her acting chops. The songs were sung by Ben Folds, which means something to Ben Folds fans. It was directed by the guy who did Antz, and the animated Sinbad movie. Neither of those was particularly bad, I guess… I guess the pedigree is fine. It’s a fun film that will keep your kids distracted for a while, especially Carell’s hyperactive squirrel. Better than Madagascar. Better than The Wild.

 

            I was kind of let down by the film’s end, though. Over the Hedge starts out essentially as an ecological parable. Not only are the furry animals encroached upon by the human element, but there are subtle messages of natural food you find yourself being better than the packaged crap food that humans eat. It was also nice to see that there was no product placement among the bags and bags of potential junk food ad space.

 

Unfortunately these ecological messages vanish, and the film ends with frantic chases and escapes. The animals end up driving an armored truck with a bear on the top. Uh-huh. Well, like I said. The kids might like it.

 -May 19th, DreamWorks

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Published in: on March 27, 2008 at 1:33 am  Leave a Comment  

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