"Ugly, loud, obnoxious, unfunny, dull, unpleasant and stupid. Any takers?"
Two airplanes colliding in mid-air. A train full of blind nuns on fire. Siamese twins squealing and thrashing as they're being separated at the crotch. Bea Arthur's amateur spread shots. "What are 'Things I'd Rather See Than Monkeybone Ever Again'"? Ding! Ding! Ding!I don't know how much effort my brain can commit to discussing this movie. It's biblical. It's profound. To say that Monkeybone is not fit for human consumption may imply that other life forms may somehow enjoy it. But this movie would make bacteria stupid. I know I shouldn't have expected anything at all, since every single review I've read on this film invariably includes the words "Down's Syndrome" in one context or another. But one of my favorite hobbies is to rent these allegedly awful movies, watch them for myself, analyze them on my own terms...and then report that (yes) everyone was right after all and I just wasted three bucks. I just threw a pack of cigarettes away to watch freakin' Monkeybone.
Several other (noticeably kinder) reviewers have pointed out there could be a good movie hidden somewhere in the poopy pastiche that was the final cut. Perhaps if the movie had been edited properly and completely re-cast. Maybe the screenplay needed more substance than simply having "Monkeybone" (the animated moron monkey) and Brendan Fraser (the human moron monkey) grab their respective crotches and squeal every 43 seconds...If director Henry Selick hadn't been content to simply steal set pieces and visuals whole from his earlier films...If the very concept (animated monkey overtakes the body of his creator) hadn't been so ridiculously tired...And maybe if they'd have gotten rid of that godawful irritating and entirely unpleasant character of Monkeybone himself. THEN? Then...we'd still have one bad movie. But it would give me different things to complain about.
Let's break this movie down to the bare essentials:
Character development: Lasts about 45 seconds. Fraser's a nerdy cartoonist. Fonda is his blonde girlfriend.
Plot: Cartoonist in a coma has his body "possessed" by his own creation, an annoying little turd called....oh, never mind. You know his name.
Pacing: Maybe my DVD player was set on "Shuffle", but this film literally made no sense. One minute we see Fonda all weepy, then we're in the seventh ring of animated Hades and witnessing a whole gaggle of severely stupid-looking creatures. This movie should have been released as the world's first "Movie Jigsaw Puzzle". You'd have to rearrange the scenes to create a cohesive story. If you could somehow finish the puzzle, you'll earn the right to direct Monkeybone 2: Kill Me Now!
Actors: Brendan Fraser is a rich guy. I wonder how much it would cost to buy every single DVD of this film and ram them up his agent's ass. Who told him to make this movie? Bridget Fonda earns a little less wrath mainly because she's a cutie, but partially because she was obviously tricked into thinking she was making a movie that would make sense on this planet. Chris Kattan shows up at the end and plays a dead corpse and flops his head around a lot. Oh my sides.
I'm a fairly heavy smoker. About a pack a day. So guess what I noticed when I was through watching Monkeybone? The ashtray on my coffee table was empty. That's right: I was so hypnotized by the sheer, cascading awfulness of this movie that it made me forget my ever-present nicotine addiction! Now that's a bad movie. One good thing did come from this movie. It proved that American moviegoers aren't always complete idiots. (Reported budget = $70 million. Estimated US Box Office Gross = $5 million. Think about that.)Hollywood producers have more ways of making bad movies than I have suitable ways to describe them. Such creativity makes me so jealous. Bottom line: If you want to see one of those movies that's so bad it makes you ponder the very existence of cinema, here's another one to add to the (very long and always expanding) list.