Brad Harris (Jack Black, Kung Fu Panda 2) has a job he can’t stand, and a desire to do a Big Year. What he needs is more money. His mother (Dianne Wiest, Rabbit Hole) is willing to coordinate his travels, but his father (Brian Dennehy, The Next Three Days) wishes his son would grow up, give up his dreams and work a steady job. Brad chooses to chase after the Big Year title, enlisting Stu’s help in an effort to dethrone Kenny.

The Big Year has a few mild laughs early on, but those moments are the comic peak of this episodic, pointless story. With no sharp edge to its humor, The Big Year lays on the sentiment, often keyed by a soft guitar and a sappy soundtrack. Can Kenny work things out with his wife? Will Stu find peace away from the office? Will Brad make his dad proud?

Were these the questions you thought would be posed by a film starring three of our brightest comic talents? If not, take a pass on The Big Year. Watching a cable documentary about birding would be a much wiser, more educational choice—and it might even contain more laughs than this languid, lethargic movie.

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity: Lord’s name taken in vain; “c-ap”; “a-s”; “p-ss off”; “son of a b-tch”; a middle finger extended.
  • Alcohol/Smoking/Drugs: Drinking with dinner; a character asks, “What’s [he] smoking? Because I’d like to get me some of that!”
  • Sex/Nudity: None; Kenny’s wife shown in a towel and a bathrobe; husband and wife kiss; suspicions over a wife’s possible affair are quickly shot down.
  • Violence/Crime: Brief shot of a gun shooting at a bird; Kenny uses a handicap placard to park in a handicap space; a woman threatens Kenny with a knife; vomiting; a woman injects hormones into her back side; Brad is kicked in the face by accident; a woman is attacked by birds.
  • MarriageA Big Year is said to have caused the dissolution of one of Kenny’s previous marriages; marital strain is evident between Kenny and his current wife; Brad’s marriage has ended.
  • Religion: Stu cites an “act of God” for avoiding a business transaction

Questions? Comments? Contact the writer at crosswalkchristian@hotmail.com.