Over the Hedge

Bomb Rating: 

Oh my God, the novelty of cute animals anthropomorphizing right before my eyes! Look at that one! He sounds and acts just like Bruce Willis! Aw, isn't he cute? Can't you just hear all the kids cooing and laughing?

"Over the Hedge" is the kind of movie that requires Mr. Cranky to have his intern bring a barf bag. I honestly feel bad for the minimum wage theater worker who had to empty out that trash can. There's nothing quite as disgusting as the stench of regurgitated nachos steeping in partially digested "cheez" sauce.

Amazingly, we learn in "Over the Hedge" that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and created a secret society of penguins that vigilantly protects the secrets of Christianity to this day. Okay, I made that up. There are no penguins in "Over the Hedge." However, there is a raccoon named RJ (Bruce Willis), a turtle named Verne (Garry Shandling), a squirrel named Hammy (Steve Carell), a skunk named Stella (Wanda Sykes), a possum named Ozzie (William Shatner), a bear named Vincent (Nick Nolte), and porcupines named Lou (Eugene Levy) and Penny (Catherine O'Hara).

Has anyone actually ever seen so many different animals get along? When I go to the zoo, these different animals are separated by fences and cages because when you throw them all together, well, they kill each other. Heck, there was a cougar in my neighbor's backyard the other day and it ate a house cat. A big cat ate a little cat, so I'm not even sure animals of the same species get along. It was like Dick Cheney suddenly up and devouring Ralph Reed during a Republican fundraiser or something.

"Over the Hedge" is primarily about hording food, and during this day and age of obesity problems, that isn't exactly a great subject for a children's film. RJ must recover a bunch of food he stole from Vincent and does so by trying to convince a group of animals, led by Verne, to venture over the hedge into human territory to do it. Verne and friends just try to get enough food to feed themselves over the winter, but they're suckered by RJ's greedy ways.

I of course realize that we're supposed to watch movies such as "Over the Hedge" and see the characters as metaphors for ourselves, but how many times do we have to watch the same thing over and over again? The animals overcome their differences and bond. It's like animation's version of the buddy cop picture.

Too many more films like this and somebody will probably have to put me in a cage.

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