While bureaucratic paper pusher Tim Dingman (Ben Stiller) is envious of his neighbor, Nick Vanderpark (Jack Black), who invents an amazing product called "Vapoorize" that makes dog crap magically disappear, I feel compelled to confess my sin and tell you who I'm envious of.
I'm envious of anybody who didn't have to sit through this piece of shit. I'm envious of the fact that the filmmakers came up with this great invention but I couldn't buy any and spray it all over the screen as this thing played. It surely would have worked. I'm envious of whatever screenwriter wrote this thing because it's so unfunny that one actually forgets it's a comedy. I'm envious of any film critic who got stuck in traffic on the way to the preview and missed "Envy" or anybody who decided at the last minute to see another film or to simply go home and slash their wrists.
It's not often I feel embarrassed for Christopher Walken. After Nick becomes rich and Tim starts moping about, Tim runs into the J-Man (Christopher Walken) at a bar. Eventually, the J-Man agrees to help Tim conceal a mistake he's made, but by that time, we're wondering what illegal substance convinced any of these filmmakers that this story was worth telling or that turning a plot on a chance meeting with a bum is a good idea.
Watching this film, one gets the idea that both Stiller and Black (who are essentially improvisation guys) were specifically told to follow a bad script and that they are extremely unhappy. It's like director Barry Levinson forgot how to direct - or maybe he simply didn't really know how in the first place. Let's face it: Black is a terrible actor unless he's pretending to be insane or high. Telling Black to act normal is like telling a director to intentionally make a bad film. As for Stiller, when he plays normal, it's like watching a guy trying to pass a stone. He just whines and plays every scene as though he's going to start sobbing at any moment.
Ironically, the metaphor of dog crap magically disappearing should be apt for "Envy" in about two weeks.
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