DVD Release Date:  August 17, 2010
Theatrical Release Date:  April 30, 2010
Rating:  PG (for some rude humor, mild language and brief smoking)
Genre:  Comedy
Run Time:  92 min.
Director: Roger Kumble
Actors:  Brendan Fraser, Brooke Shields, Angela Kinsey, Billy Bush, Ken Jeong, Rick Garcia, Matt Prokop, Eugene Cordero, Patrice O'Neal, Alice Drummond

Consider yourself warned: Furry Vengeance is truly the worst movie I've screened this year, and trust me, I've already reviewed some doozies (Tooth FairyCop Out and The Bounty Hunter, for starters).

Not only did the filmmakers shamelessly pilfer the idea, not to mention the majority of the plot points, from a far, far better kids' flick, 2006's Over the Hedge, but they substituted gaudy animatronic woodland creatures in place of the cute animated ones.

Considering how the animals are supposedly the movie's big draw in the first place, that's already a mistake of cataclysmic proportions. And then if that lack of foresight wasn't already embarrassing enough for everyone involved, the screenwriters also manage to extract every precious ounce of humor from the storyline.

Well, unless your idea of a laugh-a-minute riot is seeing Brendan Fraser's character drenched with the contents of a port-o-potty. Or given a rather stinky facial courtesy of some rather angry skunks. Perhaps, the biggest gut-buster of all is when he's tricked into wearing his wife's pink sweat pants in public with the words "Yum Yum" on his backside.

Turns out, if scatological humor is your comedic poison, you're also in luck because there's plenty of poo—and lowbrow stunts usually involving painful kicks to the groin—to go around. In fact, the lengths in which the script goes to humiliate poor Brendan makes you wonder if he really needed the money that badly.

Even the film's point about the dangers of paving paradise by putting up a subdivision falls flat in the wake of such brainless shenanigans. If anything, Furry Vengeance is actually a disservice to the whole "green" movement because the jokes are in such bad taste. In addition to a slew of insensitive, stereotypical slurs against Asians and Native Americans, an elderly teacher who clearly should've retired years before is used for laughs because wait for it ... she's senile.

It's a shame that something targeted to families is such a waste of time because there actually could've been a good message about misplaced priorities or taking care of the beautiful world that God has created. Instead, we're forced to watch Dan (Fraser), who's basically a good guy with his family's best interests at heart, needlessly suffer for an hour and a half.

Thinking he's working for a good, environmentally-conscious company, Dan's family has recently relocated from Chicago to a remote area in Oregon where he's in charge of a new housing development. When asked whether a beaver dam should be obliterated because it's too costly to work around, Dan has to choose whether to take the high road or use dynamite and "make it look like an accident." As far as compromising decisions go, that's really only the beginning because his boss (The Hangover's Ken Jeong) is shady and opportunistic (and that's putting it mildly).

In the whole money vs. preserving the environment ethics dilemma, Dan's really a tree-hugger at heart. However, in order to provide for his family, he also feels pressured to climb the corporate ladder, even if it means being stranded in the boonies, something his wife Tammy (Brooke Shields) and son Tyler (Matt Prokop) say they loathe again and again.

Rather than exploring the ramifications of Dan doing work he really doesn't believe in, the script grows more mind-numbingly ridiculous by the moment instead. Case in point: Every time Dan considers a course of action that endangers the forest, or the creatures living there, the animals exact their revenge in all the lame ways I've already mentioned—not exactly the best way of selling the whole "take care of the planet" message or even offering a suitable entertainment option for the whole family to enjoy.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Cigar smoking (and it actually gets that character in pretty big trouble when he decides to throw it in the forest before he's finished with it).

  • Language/Profanity:  Several instances where God's name is exclaimed, plus one use of he-- and da--. Miley Cyrus' name is also used in place of an expletive.

  • Rude Humor:  There's quite a bit of lowbrow scatological humor, including a scene where Dan is drenched with the contents of a port-o-potty. A leech threatens to run rampant in Dan's groin area. Dan is called "Mr. Pee-Pee Pants" after getting sprayed by a sprinkler. There are several inappropriate ethnic jokes as well and a whole lotta poo scattered throughout the movie "for laughs."

  • Sex/Nudity:  There's a scene where Dan is naked in a tub (water covers anything that shouldn't be shown). Another scene features Dan in his wife's bra, and yeah, everyone sees him in it and automatically assumes he's a cross-dresser.

  • Violence:  All matters of torment are used for "comedic" purposes including Dan getting stuck in the window of his truck before it accelerates into the lake. Dan is also chased by a particularly evil vulture. He's also bitten and assaulted by a raccoon and launched into foliage that's full of bees (of course, his face is disfigured and horribly swollen afterwards). When falling off a roof, Dan predictably gets hit in the crotch.

Christa Banister is a full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in St. Paul, Minn., she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog

For more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website.