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Overall Rating
2.24

Awesome: 7.41%
Worth A Look: 16.67%
Average: 12.96%
Pretty Bad: 18.52%
Total Crap44.44%

4 reviews, 30 user ratings


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Envy
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by Chris Parry

"I guess Ben Stiller and Jack Black were having a slow month..."
2 stars

Step one in creating a great comedy is to know what comedy is in the first place. Things that matter are funny. Things that don't matter, aren't. In Meet The Parents, people laughed with Ben Stiller because he was an average guy caught up in a bad scene. Ditto There's Something About Mary. But whenever Stiller has come out with roles that aren't real, the comedy dissolves into thin air. Which is bad news for Envy, a film in which every single character is a detestable creature with no redeeming features, no shred of reality, and nothing really amusing to offer. Popcorn movie? No. Popcorn tastes good going in.

Stiller plays a family man who hates his job working at a sandpaper factory, has a fairly pedestrian family life, and boasts precisely one friend in the world, that being a seemingly ADD afflicted motard played by Jack Black. The motard buddy is an ideas man, though his lack of intellect means his ideas are of the highly suckworthy variety, so when he begins talk of an aerosol spray that would evaporate dog turds, Stiller pees on his parade and announces the idea could never work.

Only it does. And soon motard man is a very wealthy businessman with a massive mansion, a white stallion and a child who plays classical piano. Meanwhile, Stiller's house is a hole, his car is a lemon, and his kid features the sort of musical talent that consists of banging two trash can lids together.

What follows? Nothing worth reporting. Stiller gets jealous and does horrible things to his friend, his friend loves him regardless, Christopher Walken shows up to be evil and weird (big shock), and the jokes run about as hot and heavy as your grandmother's weekly Mah-Jong night.

This film was sitting on the shelf for nearly two years, considered unreleasable due to crappy test screening responses, and if not for the surprise success of Jack Black's School of Rock, it would have ended up on a shelf at Blockbuster alongside such other big name straight-to-video affairs as The Third Wheel and Hope Springs. The fact that it earned ten million on the big screen regardless proves that at least a million gullible folls in North America don't do any research before spending their ten dollars. Baaah!

Jack Black can often ad lib his way though crap and come close to saving it from total shite-dom, but there's just nothing worth saving here. The characters are such cartoons that it's impossible to relate to them, empathize with them or, for that matter, waste ninety minutes in their company.

Various subplots involving Walken, a dead horse and where the vaporized poop actually goes are nothing more than filler which would scarcely be necessary if we the characters were at least two dimensional. But all that is actually on offer here are cardboard cutout people, eye-rolling attempts at humor, and a lot of looking down at your watch as you wonder if you could make the Van Helsing screening next door if you snuck out right now.

And yes, I know Van Helsing stinks. That's kinda my point.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=9281&reviewer=1
originally posted: 05/31/04 11:52:46
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User Comments

3/01/11 PAUL SHORTT OBNOXIOUS, SILLY COMEDY 1 stars
11/14/10 JP Ward This flick oughtta be vaporized 1 stars
2/17/08 Phil M. Aficionado So bad it probably has to be a 2-star rather than 1. Ironic that it's about dog poo? Nah. 2 stars
4/28/06 Ace i loved it! 5 stars
1/06/06 JM Synth Of the 100-odd movies Stiller made in 04, this was the most maligned, but I liked it. 4 stars
11/21/05 matt od walken is awesome, this movie rules, period. 5 stars
10/16/05 tony why did they put stiller and black in this shit movie 1 stars
9/24/05 Nadine Thompson Most horrible movie ever. Unfunny, boring, overrated, and sickening to a waste of talent. 1 stars
5/22/05 Saab Rocks How can a movie with Ben Stiller in it be this boring and uninteresting? 2 stars
5/01/05 ed.williams Just a bad movie painful to watch. Stiller has no charcter depth. 1 stars
2/21/05 Captain Craig Jacks a blast. The movie isnt oscar material but still funny 4 stars
1/28/05 Jack Scallops This underrated comedy is worth seeing 5 stars
1/06/05 Razzie-Magnet Easily, the Worst Movie of 2004 1 stars
12/23/04 HL Valderee, Valderah, Valderee, Valderah..ha ha... 4 stars
11/21/04 The Talking Elbow A great cast can't save this disaster 2 stars
11/07/04 Hilary Adamson So fucking funny I almost needed Vapoorize sprayed in my panties! 5 stars
10/11/04 Dan Funny 4 stars
7/16/04 Movie would've been better that way. Thought Debbie was gettin up to shit on table to make Tim retrieve Vapoorize from trash can 3 stars
7/14/04 Confessions Of A Teenage Trauma Queen Kinda cute. (Any Movie in which Rachel Weisz is watchable can't be half bad.) 4 stars
6/04/04 Wanda Ruhr Needs a sequel starring Ashley Judd, in which she gets sprayed w/ Vapoorizer and disappears 4 stars
6/01/04 mike I liked it. Walken is hilarious and the Flan bits as well. 4 stars
5/14/04 Agent Sands Hilarious. Good cast, good script, good horse death scene. 4 stars
5/13/04 Whatevr Worst movie I never saw 1 stars
5/08/04 Heidi A complete waste 1 stars
5/07/04 Gobsmack GOD!!!!!!! 1 stars
5/04/04 earl hofert yuck 1 stars
5/04/04 Mike Mike The audience was bored out of their minds. I think they laughed maybe 3 times. 1 stars
5/01/04 susan lee first draft of script pretty good, hard to drag out premise though 2 stars
5/01/04 Lillian Faye This is one of the worst movies I have ever endured. So bad I am actually rating it here. 1 stars
4/29/04 Rodg Not Last Temptation has its moments 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  30-Apr-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 28-Sep-2004

UK
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