Review Date: June 27, 2000
Director: Des McAnuff
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Producers: Jane Rosenthal, Robert DeNiro
Robert DeNiro as Fearless Leader
Rene Russo as Natasha
Jason Alexander as Boris
Piper Perabo as Karen Sympathy
To be fair, I did hear quite a few people laughing in my audience, but even then, most of them were adults. I suppose that if you're in "the mood" and appreciate the "Bullwinkle humor", then you might enjoy this film, which to its credit, doesn't take itself seriously for a moment, and sure doesn't pretend to be about anything either. It's a cartoon movie with some live-action stars intermixed. In the end, the film will either work for you or not depending on your connection to the humor. The film's first 20 minutes are probably its most ambitious, with an excellent explanation of how the badly drawn duo from the 60s got to be the better-looking 3D animation characters in the year 2000. There is also a pretty cool sequence featuring Bullwinkle literally "surfing the Internet" near the end, but other than that, the effects did little to impress me. The film is also filled with plenty of cameos (see below), most of which feature actors whose best work is long behind them, and also stars a cute Britney Spears wannabee FBI agent, who I've never heard of before, but from whom I wouldn't mind hearing again! Robert DeNiro must've taken a little less than a week to film his scenes, because he's barely in the film, while Alexander and Russo both perform admirably as the notorious No-Goodniks from Pottsylvania, Boris and Natasha. But in the end, without much to impress me visually, without much humor to make me laugh, and without much of a story (granted, the film is a cartoon, you don't really expect much there), the film didn't do much for me.
But who knows, others may just enjoy it on their own level as an empty, frivolous, campy (funny to some), children's cartoon. And for anyone who wants to tell me to "lighten up", I'd be more than happy to accept your directive. I'll be the one watching yet another hilarious episode of TV's "The Simpsons". Now, there's some real humor!