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Overall Rating

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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by Jason Whyte

"Envy. The Shit Disturber."
1 stars

Delayed for just over two years, "Envy" is a monstrosity of a film that languished on the shelfs at Dreamworks Pictures, and was probably forced by producer and legal contracts to have 35mm prints made and released into theatrical exhibition. This is the main thing that went through my mind while suffering through this hideous piece of...well, poo.

I'm sure that the studio hated this movie. The filming commenced around the summer of 2002, and was set to release in early 2003 (I recall seeing a preview for the movie before the Julia Stiles disaster "A Guy Thing) but suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth. Now, in the dumping grounds of April 2004, we are present to witness stars Jack Black and Ben Stiller making absolute asses out of themselves in many awful, painful ways.

The two leads, who have been funnier in much much better movies, play Nick and Tim, two friends who work at a sandpaper company. Nick (Black) is a guy who is constantly coming up with crazy ideas for inventions, much to the agony of Tim (Stiller). But one day, one of Nick's inventions actually works. "Vapoorizer" is a spray that literally makes doggie doo-doo vanish, and is a big success (but what about bird droppings? Kitty crap? Human waste? Movie doesn't say).

Nick is stinkin' rich, but since Tim (who is stubborn and doesn't believe any of Nick's ideas) bowed out of paying for his half of the patent, he is still stuck in his old house and Nick is across the street in an uber-mansion, the kind of mansion in movies where they have improbable bowling alleys and 30-foot beds in rooms where you enter through a swivel-door. Tim's envy suddenly hits and chaos ensues.

Christopher Walken is good in smaller doses. When he shows up in a bar and calls himself the "J-Man", he delivers many monologues that would easily qualify as Walkenese Moments if he didn't TELL SO MANY OF THEM. He then proceeds to actually involve himself at a great deal with the film's glacial moving plot, and becomes pivotal when Tim gets drunk, kills a pet horse and is forced to put it on top of a car to get rid of it. (I felt I should make a large mention of this because this segment occupies about 20 minutes of the 99-minute running time.)

The man responsible for this disaster is Barry Levinson, a two-faced director who once did "Good Morning, Vietnam", "Avalon" and "Rainman" also did "Toys", "Sphere" and "Bandits". Here he directs with no imagination or any semblance of comedic style. Most scenes putter out of steam, or go on for far too long. An example: When Tim has the guts to tell Nick everything that happened over the movie, Stiller delivers a godawful monologue towards the end of the film that unspools for several minutes, telling almost all of the events that we as an audience have suffered through. The sheer pain of watching Stiller yell out his anguish is absolutely painful; Roger Ebert, whose two-star review mentions this segment as "Well done" with "Manic comic zeal," but I saw it more as a childish man yelling out all of his inadequacies.

"Envy" is one of the year's worst films. I don't know the exact reason why the studio unleashed this much-delayed film into mulitplexes, but one thing's for sure: this piffle deserves to waste away in the 99-cent bin at a local pawn shop.

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originally posted: 05/02/04 17:54:06
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User Comments

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
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  30-Apr-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 28-Sep-2004



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