Seemingly written to the tastes of underachieving five-year-olds, director Roger Kumble ("Cruel Intentions") is hamstrung to create an even mildly entertaining children's comedy. A doughy Brendan Fraser attempts to milk the last drop of his outdated Boy Scout charm as Dan Sanders, a gag prone real estate developer who moves his wife (played blankly by Brooke Shields) and son to a "model home" in the middle of a protected Oregon forest. Blind to his capitalist pig boss Neal Lyman's (Ken Jeong) long term plan to rape and pillage the verdant land, Dan becomes enemy #1 to the area's woodland creatures who constantly assault him with a barrage of animal-made booby traps--like a crew of skunks that wait in Dan's "hybrid" SUV for the chance to ruin his day. Although the animals are a "live action" collection of raccoons, birds, and bears they don't speak in a language audiences will understand. This dropped comic opportunity, along with obvious cost-cutting production techniques, combine to present a thoroughly unsatisfying movie for which audiences should demand a refund. It's time Brendan Fraser grew up and stopped making kids' movies.
Rated PG. 92 mins. (D) (One Star - out of five/no stars)
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