Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA/New Zealand, 2010. Warner Bros., Sunswept Entertainment, De Line Pictures, Rhythm & Hues Studios, Picnic Basket. Screenplay by J.R. Ventimilia, Joshua Sternin, Brad Copeland. Cinematography by Peter James. Produced by Donald De Line, Karen Rosenfelt. Music by John Debney. Production Design by David Sandefur. Costume Design by Liz McGregor. Film Editing by Kent Beyda.
The silly antics of the perpetually hungry ursine residents of Jellystone National Park make their way to the big screen in a live-action/CGI romp. The hopelessly predictable plot finds the park’s ranger Tom Cavanagh in a bind when a greedy mayor decides to shut the area down and cut down all its trees for profit, prompting Cavanagh to do whatever he can to make the park’s operating budget suddenly prove profitable in a week. At his side to help him is the delightfully goofy documentary filmmaker (Anna Faris) who has just shown up to film a bear she has heard about who wears a hat and tie and can talk. The bear in question, Yogi (voiced by Dan Aykroyd), and his little sidekick Booboo (Justin Timberlake), are also the challenge that Cavanagh must face, since Yogi’s habit of doing everything he can to steal food from the families who come to picnic at Jellystone is the reason why the visitors aren’t dropping their four bucks at the entrance and spending more time there. It’s all easy, lowbrow humour with little inspiration and it’s a complete waste of all talents involved: you would never know how lively performers like Faris, or Nate Corddry in a supporting role, actually are from the sleepwalking that happens here, not to mention that Cavanagh does some pretty execrable acting with his animated co-star. The kids will have a great time, though, and it’s perfectly safe viewing for the entire family.