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Grizzly aka Red Machine (2015)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: David Hackl

Starring:
James Marsden/Rowan
Thomas Jane/Beckett
Piper Perabo/Michelle
Billy Bob Thornton/Douglass
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
A Grizzly bear (Bart the Bear) is killing folks for shits and giggles in an Alaskan forest (aka British Columbia, Canada). And it’s up to Billy Bob Thorton's white horse and Thomas Jane's to stop Bad Yogi!
THE LOWDOWN

It feels like I've been waiting forever for Red Machine aka Endangered aka Grizzly to come out (no relation to the cheesy fun 1976 film other than both bears sporting the same name "Bart"). Last I heard the film will see the light of kill in North America come May of 2015. But luckily for me, I didn't have to wait that long; I was in Europe and my buddy had the German DVD. So I sat down with him and checked it out. We figured out WHY the flick has taken so long to come out... the hard way!

GRIZZLY came off as a movie that had a rocky production. It's hard to put the finger on WHY exactly; but that is what I sensed (upon some reaserch, I found out that the film had its whole endind re-shot, not that it means anything, but still...) Now, on the upside David Hackl is no hack, dude's got a great eye (I was wowed by the manner he captured the British Columbia forests and by the epic areal shots while the cinematography as whole was jaw dropping excellent); some of the kills hit the spot, gorgeous Michaela McManus and Piper Perabo nailed their roles and I gotta hand it to James Marsden; even in subpar material like this, he brought his f*cking A game to the show. The dude acted with such conviction that he sold the stupidities on screen when he was around. 

So what was so bad about GRIZZLY? Well the flick was too complicated for its own good (a polish and a tightening up of the script or the edit was needed here), it sported laughable TV movie-ish drama, was filled to the brim with dumb moves to serve the plot, had too many ZZzzz inducing clock time padding scenes (which resulted in lagging issues) and it lacked suspense all over. On that, this one was more than just bad, it was so bad its funny! So yes I wound up being amused with it for all the wrong reasons. Here’s what killed me and my bud about Grizzly!

-Them shots of the bear looking docile and half asleep cut into a “threatening” horror scene = comedic gold! They had my respect for using a real bear though (Bart the Bear that is, credited in the opening before Billy Bob Thorton…yeah bitch!) but then…

-They lost my respect when they switched to a RIDICULOUS “we ran out of money” CGI bear, tagged with the most awful CGI fire you can think of. How the bleep does visual effects this poor wind up in a 10 Million $ movie?  Even if they were out of coin, nobody could have pulled a favor (BJ, cough, cough, BJ) to get some halfway decent CG in here?! Wow. On the upside, when the CG bear popped out, I literally broke in two from laughter. My stomach hurt so bad, I simply couldn’t stop. The biggest laugh I had all year right next to finally tapping TORRENTE 4: LETHAL CRISIS.

-Why were Adam Beach (named Johnny Cadillac… for some reason that made me chuckle) and Scott Glenn in this movie again?  One of them didn’t last the 20 minute mark, the other showed up in the beginning, vanished and then came back at the end for some drivel. Talk about cashing them checks!

-If you’re deaf (such was Piper Perabo’s character) maybe being a wildlife photographer and conservationist is not the right line work for ya, I don’t know man, hard to be safe from said WILDLIFE when you can’t hear them coming no? Made for an easy plot device though...

-What was up with these left field, out of nowhere scenes? Like the hooker sequence or the EVILLLLLLL poachers killing some innocent dude bit? They felt like they belonged in another movie. 

-How did that GIANT Grizzly manage to sneak up on people “Storm Shadow” style is beyond me – but hey - funny stuff - he’s got to teach me that!

-The cop caps with SHERRIF written on them in BIG BOLD WHITE LETTERS looked like they were bought at the Dollar store.

-Billy Bob Thornton had a crazy trench coat that belonged in a Western and he rode around on a white horse that also belonged in a Western. Yes it was as hilarious to see as it sounds! He stuck out like a sore clit! I was in stitches. Maybe Billy Bob walked onto the wrong set and decided to stick around… who knows? 

- Here’s what went through my head while clocking Thomas Jane here, you tell me once you’ve seen the film which one you think it was! 1- Thomas Jane knew he was in a shitty movie and REALLY didn’t want to be there. 2- Jane was hungover which is why he hid behind those sunglasses way too many times. 3- Jane pissed off somebody on that production hence the duh looking reaction shots that shouldn’t have been approved in the edit. 4- All of the above. So yeah, I have my theories as to what was up with Jane in this movie, what’s yours?

So there ya have it! I was really pumped for Grizzly; with that solid cast and groovy subject matter I expected the next BADASS killer animal flick! What I got instead was a beautifully shot turkey, one that was lots of fun to kick around and giggle at. In the mood for amusing "missed the mark" Grizzly shenanigans? BITE INTO THIS ONE!

GORE
Most of the gore was after the fact; a severed arm, a slashed face, blood spread about. We also get a spike in the leg, axe hits, bullets hits and more!
T & A
When get a pair of titties early on. I didn't complain!
BOTTOM LINE
GRIZZLY was a B Movie with a Grade A cast (James Marsden was too good for this) and gorgeous locations/photography, but that failed as the dead serious killer bear movie it tried to be. It lacked tension, was too melo-dramatic & all over the place for its own good while being mucho unintentionally funny for varied reasons (Billy Bob and his white horse, shit CGI, docile bear shots in action scenes, Thomas Jane looking like he wants OFF that set etc.). Not the next near classic “killer animal” movie I was hoping for but an ideal so bad it’s good romp to take on with beers and buds in tow (in both senses of the word)!
BULL'S EYE
Adrien Brody and Gerard Butler were almost the two brothers in the film.

The film began production in February 2, 2012.
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